In the past our maximum loan amount was $250K. We have now removed that limit. Thanks to the support of our customers and extra capital brought to the table by our investors, we are now capable of approving loan amounts in excess of $1M.
The cyclically adjusted price earnings ratio (CAPE) is the best predictor of long term stock market gains. You want to buy when the CAPE is low and sell when it's high.
The last two times that the was this high was right before the 1929 crash and right before the 2000 dotcom bubble burst. If the stock market doesn't scare the bejeezus out of you at this point in early September 2017, you need to get your head right.
This historical chart of the CAPE http://www.multpl.com/shiller-pe/ speaks for itself.
Worst Practice: Hold Title in Your Own Name
When you buy an investment property, if you buy it in your own name, you are personally liable for bad things that happen there. If somebody sues you and wins, they can take not only the property, but also your personal assets and income.
Better Practice: Hold TItle in an LLC
Rehab budgets are almost always overrun. Schedules are almost always blown. But if you are pessimistic in your planning, you may not blow out your budget and schedule too too horribly.
Here's an example showing how you can "chain your loans" to provide the down payments for a chain of future deals.
Bob buys a house for $70K with the intention to fix and flip it. He plans on putting $40K into the rehab and selling it for $200K. His realtor did a CMA (comparative market analysis) on the house and determined that $200K was a reasonable sale price. We call that $200K the "ARV" or "after repair value".
Stocks are currently hugely overpriced by historical standards. Dividends are near all-time lows. The volatility of the stock market is scary. Residential real estate promises lower risk (people have to live somewhere) and higher returns.
95% of the problems that landlords have is due to poor (or no) tenant screening processes. The landlords who do good, thorough tenant screening are not the burnt out, bitter ones. They are the ones who are always smiling. Here is a link to a fantastic Bigger Pockets blog post called "The Ultimate Guide to Screening Tenants": http://www.biggerpockets.com/renewsblog/2013/01/27/tenant-screening/.
A few years ago there was a foreclosure auction in my neighborhood. I walked over there with my wife and my dog just to see how it was going. As the bidding progressed, one of the auctioneers pointed to me as if accepting a bid. I looked around, wondering if maybe he had been pointing to someone behind me. I shrugged and put my hands in my pockets so that the auctioneer could not possibly think that I was bidding. Then it happened again! I folded my arms across my chest and avoided all eye contact with the auctioneer.
You're all familiar with the stereotype of an anal-retentive engineer. Well, I'm here to tell you the stereotype is correct. I know this because I am an engineer by education and long practice, despite being also the owner of New Hampshire Private Lending. In social situations this obsessive attention to detail is just plain embarrassing (more to my wife than me, as I am somewhat socially obtuse). However, it is of enormous benefit for planning monthly cash flow for a flip and estimating profit.