Proof of Funds for Commercial Real Estate Investors

Creative Financing

When a Commercial Real Estate Investor is looking to purchase income producing property utilizing any number of creative financing methods, one of the most important keys to their success is that their ability to provide adequate, verifiable proof of funds – P.O.F.- to both the seller and the lender. The verification of funds can enhance the investors credibility with the seller as well as satisfy the lenders requirement to know that the borrower has necessary funds to complete their transaction.

Proof of Funds

There are a few ways acceptable to lenders and sellers to show P.O.F. to close your Commercial Real Estate transaction:

  • Bank Statements or Bank Verification
  • Brokerage Account Statements or Verification
  • Escrow Account Verification

“Bank Verification” This is the most acceptable and widely used method to confirm the investors can complete the proposed deal. As such money must be put into a bank account and confirmed by statements or letter from the banker.  This is a “hard” (versus soft) method of verification, because money are deposited in an account in the buyers name to serve as proof the buyer can complete the transaction.

“Brokerage Account Verification” Similar to bank accounts, brokerage accounts show acceptable means to complete a purchase transaction. Likewise, statements or letter from the brokerage house representative will meet the requirement to prove adequate financial strength. This is also a “hard”  method.

“Escrow Account Verification” This is the one method that can be hard or soft evidence of necessary assets as the escrow agent simply needs to write a letter of confirmation attesting that the borrower has finances available to complete the transaction. It becomes hard when money is transferred  into an escrow waiting for the closing.

Companies

Finally, there are companies whose sole purpose is to provide evidence of the financial ability of Commercial Real Estate Investors to complete their transactions. Many of them provide “Proof of Funds” and Transactional Financing. P.O.F. is necessary at the beginning of the deal and Transactional Financing is for the day of closing only. Both of these methods are a necessary part of an investors arsenal when utilizing creative financing.

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How Down Payment Assistance Works for Commercial Property

Down Payment Assistance

Let us start off by first dispelling the rumor that down payment assistance (DPA) is something for nothing. For commercial projects the down payment may come from a third party but it is in reality funded by the seller. This means it is a creative way to allow the seller to cover the down payment and sometimes even the closing costs. This will allow a real estate investor to purchase an income producing property for little or no money at closing. To make any deal work you first need a motivated owner who is willing to cover the required DPA and the costs associated with it. THE DPA is Seller Funded!!! The seller Funds (Pays The Down Payment) the Down Payment from their equity!!!

Unlike a residential first time home buyer programs that the DPA will come from a government entity, bank (for CRA purposes) or a non for profit organization; in commercial transactions the seller always funds the assistance. No entity has a financial or other interest to give money to people to purchase multimillion dollar income producing investment property other than the seller.

Seller Funded DPA

Once you have an owner – seller willing to utilize creative financing the assistance in the sell of their property you now have the first requirement for a successful creative transaction. Without a willing seller there are no creative financing deals. As a commercial real estate investor attempting to purchase property using little or none of their own money, your first job is to find that willing and motivated seller. But not only must the they be willing, they must be able. This translates to equity in the investment property. Lots of equity. If you expect to fund a project without using your funds the property should have at least 30% equity. Sure you can do deals with as little as 20% equity, but the options for financing are greatly reduced and the buyer will pay at least the closing costs which would include substantial fees for the DPA. Most loan programs that work with DPA are hard money or stated lenders. These programs require a larger down payment.

Given a willing seller and an income producing property with substantial equity, you now have the minimum requirements for a seller funded assistance program.

How the DP Program Works

  • Willing Seller
  • Property with Substantial equity
  • Contract is written for value of the property (seller will receive agreed upon net amount)
  • Third Party DPA Company or private investor sends funds to escrow for closing (from buyer).
  • Escrow title company sends DP funds plus fee back to 3rd party company at disbursement of escrow (from seller).

Example:

  • PropertyValue: $1,000,000
  • Loan amount: $750,000
  • Seller to net: $700,000
  • Down Payment: $250,000 from 3rd party DPA Company
  • DPA Fee: $30,000
  • Return to DPA Company from escrow: $280,000
  • Balance for additional closing costs: $20,000
  • Net to Seller: $700,000

Finally,

This is an ideal situation. There are many variations to this deal based on the terms of your specific transaction. You have an opportunity to purchase property from motivated owners willing to utilize creative financing with seller funded assistance for both the closing costs and /or the required down payment. This is how the seller funded program works.

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100% Financing For Commercial Income Producing Properties

Lending for Commercial Real Estate

There are a number of ways to effect 100% financing of your income producing commercial property. They are creative financing alternatives that provide buyers with an opportunity to purchase apartment buildings, office buildings and mixed use buildings with little or no down payment. These alternative financing methods include:

  • Asset Backed Lending
  • Self Directed IRAs
  • Down Payment Assistance Programs

Asset Backed Lending

If you have securities like stocks or bonds there are lenders that would lend up to 90% of the value of these securities. This can serve as the full loan or the down payment. In either case you will still own your securities, they will just be the collateral on a loan.

Self Directed IRAs

If you have substantial assets in a IRA, 401k or 403b those assets can be placed into a custodial account that will allow you to purchase commercial real estate where the owner would be the Self Directed IRA. If you do not have enough to fully purchase the property, your Self Directed IRA could make loans. They could lend you the money for the down payment for your income producing property.

Down Payment Assistance Programs

If the building you are purchasing has enough equity and the seller is willing to work with you, you can establish seller funded down payment assistance. The Down Payment Assistance Company will actually provides the down payment. The seller pays the DPA Company to provide the assistance based on the equity in the property.

100% Lending for Commercial Property

All programs will provide up to 100% financing depending on the resources available. Now is the time to use your resources and creative financing options to purchase discounted commercial income producing property.

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