Category Archives: Apartment Loans

Covid-19 Pandemic Affects Entire Commercial Real Estate Market

The pandemic changed the world in early 2020 as the virus affected every segment of the real estate market.  Social distancing and stay at home mandates had severe effects on real estate.  Retail properties, hotels and motels, and leisure properties in general were decimated, while essential retail, medical offices, and warehouse properties for e-commerce companies did exceedingly well.  Close to a half million people have died from the coronavirus so far, although deaths and hospitalizations have begun to slow down.  The health crisis has caused employers to lay off some workers and force others to work from home.  This has created a major demographic shift in the economy.  This economic uncertainty has caused some households to search for less expensive housing, while others needed larger spaces for work from home and online school.  Due to a reduction in commuting, more people left dense urban areas in favor secondary or tertiary locations.  Public transit levels remain well below pre-Covid levels as fewer people are commuting to work.  Higher unemployment levels and people working from home are causing more people to spend more time at home than ever.  One positive benefit that we are seeing is a surge in new small business start-ups from people working from home.

The economy was relatively healthy heading into 2020.  Corporate profits were high, and companies were sitting on a lot of cash.  Throughout this health crisis, the money supply has remained liquid as the federal government has injected large amounts of cash into the economy with various stimulus measures including the Paycheck Protection Program and the CARES Act.  In response to the coronavirus, the federal government also fast tracked several vaccines for emergency use.  These immunizations are providing a path forward for the economy in general and the real estate market in particular.  Although major uncertainty exists in the market in 2021, we remain hopeful that the real estate market will rebound in the near future.

Whether you are purchasing or refinancing, we have the right solutions available. We will entertain loan requests of all sizes, beginning at $1,000,000. Get started with a Free Loan Quote.

Covid-19 and the Commercial Real Estate Market

The Covid-19 pandemic has created havoc on Americans’ health and the health of their businesses. April 1st marked a major due date for rent payments for millions of businesses large and small, and reports from around the country indicate that many were facing great difficulty.

The President and state governors have been reporting daily on total Coronavirus cases and the current death toll, but there is no daily count of lost businesses. However, reports of unpaid April rent have greatly increased around the country, along with accounts of how landlords and tenants are trying to cope with the sudden collapse of a large portion of the American economy.

Most of all, they tell the story of the commercial real estate industry in turmoil, with businesses large and small feeling the pinch that some say could wreck the economy like the Great Recession of 2008. With many businesses shuttered, and homeowners out of work, landlords are having difficulty collecting rents and paying their mortgages and taxes.

There are several government and private business efforts starting up to help suddenly cash-starved businesses survive the pandemic, most notably the Paycheck Protection Program now available through the U.S. Small Business Administration.

That money, in the form of loans that many expect to turn into grants, is only beginning to be distributed, and 75% of each forgivable loan must go to payroll. That leaves only 25% at most to go to rent.  While helpful, this program will only provide a short-term solution to businesses and landlords.  Depending on the length and severity of shutdown, Congress will probably need to more to ensure the survival of small businesses and the economy in general.

The American commercial real estate market, like the economy it helps support, is a complicated mix of financial and business relationships that is now being tested like we have never seen before. Some businesses will fail, and others will find a way to survive. We will be watching the market very closely in the weeks and months ahead.  Please visit our website at www.selectcommercial.com for current information.

How to Invest in an Apartment Building

Stephen A. Sobin

As a commercial mortgage broker with almost 35 years of lending experience, I am often approached by first time investors who are looking to buy an apartment building as an investment.  These new investors want to understand the steps involved in locating and purchasing their first building.  The following guide should be followed:

Check Your Credit – go online to one of the free credit reporting sites on the internet and run your credit report and credit scores.  Lenders expect to see borrowers with a good credit rating.  If any negative items appear on your credit, make every effort to clear up these items in advance.  If you have experienced past problems, be ready to explain these problems in a well written letter of explanation.

Locate an Experienced and Competent Real Estate Agent – make sure you find a real estate agent that specializes in apartment buildings.  Most agents that sell homes for a living have no experience selling apartment properties.  As a first timer, you need an agent that can help you through the details, as a commercial investment is much different than buying a home.  The agent should understand which neighborhoods are on the rise and which neighborhoods to avoid.

Get Full Disclosure – it is crucial that you obtain complete financial records on the property.  Do not rely on verbal statements.  You need to verify all income by looking at the leases and all expenses by looking at actual bills.  Most sellers overstate the income and understate the expenses.  Do your homework carefully.

Visit the Property – do not consider making an offer until you inspect the interior and exterior of the property carefully.  Is the property in good repair?  Is there any deferred maintenance?  Are the units actually occupied or is there apparent vacancy?  Is the neighborhood relatively safe and free of crime?  Are there other buildings in the nearby area that are in disrepair or suffering from high vacancy?

Make a Legitimate Offer – don’t be fooled by a high asking price.  Calculate the gross income and subtract expenses to come up with a net operating income.  The NOI needs to be adequate to cover a proposed mortgage, as well as, return a profit to the owner.  If the numbers don’t work, keep shopping.

Engage an Experienced Commercial Mortgage Broker – a commercial mortgage broker specializes in financing investment properties and will understand all of the nuances of a commercial mortgage loan.  It is crucial that you find a broker who is competent and experienced.  As a first-time buyer, the advice you receive will be invaluable.  A good broker will make sure you offer a fair price and do not overpay.  He will understand the market and negotiate the best terms available for your particular needs.

Be Prepared to Move On – many investment opportunities are not fairly priced.  Do not make the mistake of falling in love with a property.  This is an investment and you need to remember that the goal is to make a profit.  If the property does not make sense, move on and keep shopping.  Your commercial mortgage broker will assist you in this regard.

Stephen A. Sobin is the President and Founder of Select Commercial Funding LLC, a leading nationwide commercial mortgage brokerage company. For more information, you may visit their website at www.selectcommercial.com.