- Hard money lenders in Texas help to facilitate the purchase and upgrade of properties by providing loans to investors.
- Many hard money loans provide investors with the ability to purchase, fix and flip homes, rental properties, and other investment opportunities with loans that are often more accessible than traditional loans.
- Hard money loans may provide higher interest rates, but they can be accessed quickly, allowing borrowers to tap into that deal that suddenly becomes available.
Texas is the second largest state in the country at over 268,596 square miles. It’s also home to over 29 million people, making it the second largest state in population as well. Some of the largest cities here include Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and El Paso. The Lone Star State, as it is called, is a vibrant region with ample diversity. It has numerous landscapes and diverse ecosystems throughout. The economy here is also just as versatile, with strong agricultural and mining industries, as well as energy in the form of oil production. There’s also a large technology and commerce sector here.
In Texas, the real estate market is quite extensive. The Texas Real Estate Research Center states that the average sale price of a home in Texas is $357,000. That value is based on statewide figures, but there are many areas with homes valued at significantly higher (including over $1 million) and properties at much lower levels as well. Like many areas of the country, Texas has seen significant growth in the region, with home prices growing, too.
When it comes to rental investment properties, there is demand for them in Texas. In some areas of the state, like Houston and Austin, home values are quite high, making rental property essential. In the state, 63.4% of residents own their homes and 36.6% rent. Of the available rentals in the state, only about 7.4% of them are vacant at any given time, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That could indicate, at least in some areas, that there is demand for rental properties in this area.
How hard money loans work in Texas
For some people, tapping into Texas’s real estate market is best done with the use of hard money loans. A hard money loan is one in which the lender is not a big bank but rather an individual or a small company, and sometimes even an investment firm. These lenders offer asset-secured loans. That means that the lender provides the borrower with funds to purchase the home.
If the borrower fails to make payments as agreed, the lender can pursue legal action in the form of foreclosure to force the sale of the home. This enables the lender to recoup at least some of the money it put into the purchase of that home. Because of this feature, these lenders are more likely to offer loans for higher risk properties.
To be clear, hard money loans tend to have higher interest rates. Hard money lenders charge a higher level of interest because the loans tend to have more risk of default. This is the lender’s way of reducing at least some of that risk. Often, these loans are for fix it and flip it style homes or rental properties. Sometimes the borrowers are inexperienced or may have a lower credit score. These factors put more risk on the lender, which is why costs are a bit higher.
There are many other differences between these loans compared to conventional loans. They tend to be for investment properties rather than homes individuals will purchase to live in. More so, they are short-term loans, which means most are in place for 1 to 5 years and not beyond that. For borrowers, they are beneficial because they often can be obtained quickly, sometimes within just a few weeks. This helps borrowers to take advantage of real estate market deals or potential investment opportunities that cannot wait the full 90 days for closing.
For residential or commercial real estate that you hope to rent in the future, new construction loans or working with a private money lender might make things easier for you.
8 Top Texas hard money lenders
Some lenders only offer hard money loans to experienced investors, while other programs can lend to those that are pursuing their first real estate investment.
1. Source Capital
Founded by Sacha Ferrandi, Source Capital lends in Texas, California, Arizona and Minnesota to real estate investors looking to find private money financing for fix and flip, residential or commercial properties.
We contacted Source Capital to learn more about their private lending business and here are some of the highlights:
- Loan to value up to 70%
- Terms up to 36 months
- Origination fees start at 1.75%
- No prepayment penalties
2. Little City Investments
Little City Investments focuses exclusively on Texas real estate investment properties. Founded by Kary Aycock in 2006, Little City is based in Austin and offers lending in the Austin, Houston and San Antonio areas.
We contacted Little City Investments to learn more about their private lending business and here are some of the highlights:
- Asset-based lending with main focus on the value of the property.
- Typically lending up to 75% of the after-repaired value
- Minimum FICO is 550
- No employment verification, reserves or debt-to-income ratios required
- No limit to the number of properties you can own
- 4 month minimum interest prepayment fee
3. Stratton Equities
Stratton Equities is a nationwide direct hard money lender for real estate investors. Founded by Michael Mikhail in 2017, Stratton Equities has over five years of experience in the private lending market.
We reached out to Stratton Equities to get more information about their hard money lending program and here are some highlights:
- Loan amounts from $100,000 up to $5 million
- Investment properties only
- Single-Family, Condos, Townhomes, Multi-Family, Commercial, Mixed-Use, Office, Retail, Industrial and Warehouse are all ok
- Up to a 75% LTV
- Rates start at 7.25%
- Interest only payments
- Loan terms are 9-24 months
- Foreign nationals are eligible
- No prepayment penalty option is available
LendSimpli is a hard money lender based in Tampa, Florida. They can lend nationally in most states but may not be able to lend if the property is in a rural area. Founded by Brenden Crampton and Matthew Davies in 2018, they have nearly four years of experience in the private lending real estate investing market.
We reached out to LendSimpli to get more details about their bridge loan product and this is what we found:
- Loan amounts up to $5 million for 1-4 unit properties
- Loan amounts up to $20 million for 5+ unit properties
- Single family (1-4 units)
- Multifamily (5-20 units)
- No owner-occupied properties
- Loan terms 12-24 months
- Interest-only payments with rates starting at 8.50%
- Max LTC is 90% of project costs
- Minimum credit score is 660
- Prefer that you have at least two transactions in the past three years
5. HouseMax Funding
HouseMax Funding is based out of Austin, Texas but has a national footprint when it comes to real estate industry lending. Started by Jeff Fetcher and Alex Morris, HouseMax provides asset-based loan financing to investors for real estate transactions.
We reached out to HouseMax to learn more about their hard money lending program and here is what we found:
- Minimum loan amount is $75,000
- Lends up to 75% of the after-repair value (APV)
- 1-3 points origination charge
- 3 months reserves required
- Direct lender that approves loans internally and funds using their own private capital.
- Lends in urban and suburban communities in all 50 states.
- Goal is to close loans in 10 days or less.
- Specializes in fix & flip loans, construction and rental loans
- Multi-family and commercial properties are ok
6. Easy Street Capital
East Street Capital is based in Austin, Texas but lends nationwide except in North and South Dakota. Founded by Stephen Hagerman in 2016, Easy Street Capital has over six years of experience in the real estate investing world.
We reached out to Easy Street Capital to learn more about their hard money loans and this is what we found:
- Interest rates range from 6.9% – 10.9%
- Points range from 2-3
- There is a $1495 document fee
- No minimum credit score required
- Down payments of at least 10% required
- Renovation financing ok
- Fix and Flip loans do not typically have prepayment penalties
7. Fund That Flip
Fund That Flip is a hard money lender based in New York that focuses on short term bridge loans for real estate investors looking to flip properties. Founded by Matt Rodak in 2014, Fund That Flip lends in most states.
We contacted Fund That Flip to learn more about their bridge loan program and here is what we found:
- Up to 80% LTC and 70% ARV ratios for your project
- Rates start at 9.99%
- Direct lender with discretionary capital
- Construction projects ok
- 10% down payment required
EquityMax is based out of Florida and most of its business in the state but is able to lend throughout the United States. Founded by Brad Emmer in 1990, EquityMax has decades of experience as a hard money lender.
We reached out to EquityMax to learn more about their hard money loans and these are the key highlights that you need to know:
- Single Family Homes
- 1-4 Multi-Unit Properties
- Condos and Townhomes ok
- Commercial property and Industrial Warehouses OK
- Direct lender that has decision making over financing deals.
- Can originate loans to individuals, LLCs, corporations, land trusts and self-directed IRAs.
- No prepayment penalties
- No minimum credit score required
How are Texas hard money loans different from other loans?
There are numerous differences in hard money loans compared to today’s average mortgage. First, hard money lenders are not big banks but smaller organizations and even private investors that are offering to provide loans to those who may not otherwise qualify for them. They do carry a higher interest rate, often between 5 and 15%, but these are only in place for 1 to 5 years. Conventional loans are typically in place for 15 to 30 years.
Hard money loans are often able to offer after repair values. That means borrowers may borrow money that is over and above the value of the home in its current condition. Instead, the value is based on the expected value of the home after all upgrades and renovations are done to it, such as what occurs in a fix and flip. Most borrowers will then sell the home and repay the loan. Other times, in rental property investments, the lender will refinance into a lower interest rate later. Most conventional loans are hard to use for these types of properties because they are often considered high risk.
Credit is a factor in most loans like this, but unlike conventional loans, hard money lenders tend to be more flexible in the credit scores they accept. Keep in mind that, as in all situations, it is critical that borrowers compare options as not all home loan lenders are the same and different terms and conditions exist.
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Joshua Holt is a licensed mortgage loan originator (NMLS #2306824) and founder of Biglaw Investor. His mortgage expertise lies in the areas of professional mortgage loans, particularly for lawyers, doctors and other high-income professionals. Prior to Biglaw Investor, Josh practiced private equity mergers & acquisition law for one of the largest law firms in the country.