October 07, 2022
Eli was very communicative. Being my first loan with Civic additional requirements were needed which pushed the original closing date
June 20, 2022
Eli & Team are amazing A+++
May 25, 2022
Amazing service from the whole Civic team
May 25, 2022
Eli, David, Jenna, and the whole team was amazing to work with
May 24, 2022
May 07, 2022
Eli and Team are always A+++
January 26, 2022
Eli is great
September 24, 2020
I am very fortunate to work with CIVIC, Eli, Kailyn and Merlyn are extremely knowledgeable and professional. Thanks to CIVIC I have been able to better serve my client base and grow my lending network. Civic is the best!
Make CIVIC your private funding source for your Non-Owner Occupied lending needs
Whenever you're ready to invest in real estate, CIVIC is ready to help
Tips for Fix n Flip Loans for Beginners -Eli Smush
People always ask me for tips about fix and flip loans for beginners. I think there's four components that are important for beginners to understand. First, have a value of property. The purchase is actually where the majority of the money on a real estate flip transaction is made so make sure you do all your research. There are a number of great websites like Redfin and Zillow that allow an investor to look at comparable properties. Second, be clear on what the renovation budget will be for your property. If this is your first one I suggest having a general contractor prepare a bit for you. As you get more experience you'll be able to do them yourself and you can also use some online cost estimators to get ready. Third, it's important to look at what the end price will be or as repaired value. Make sure to find at least three comps that support your "as is value" and your "as repaired" and don't make the mistake of looking at a finished property that is five hundred square feet larger or has different characteristics like an extra bedroom a bathroom a pool or view. All of these items can have an impact on the value. Lastly, don't try to do this without having enough equity. The biggest mistake people can make is trying to use a hundred percent leverage on the purchase and the renovation. Anything goes wrong you're going to be upside-down and at risk of losing the property of the lender. I suggest putting at least 10-20% down on the purchase and having a back-up plan as well. If you can't sell the property you need to understand what a renter would pay and see if that will still cash flow. If so you'll always be protected in case anything changes in the market. If you have a scenario that fits this profile, please don't hesitate to reach out to me at (949) 421- 8904 or at email@example.com. At CIVIC our money's on you.
Is it the Right Time to Invest in Real Estate? -Eli Smush
Another question I get is, "Is it the right time to invest in real estate?" In my opinion there's never a bad time to invest in real estate provided you have a long-term outlook on your investment and you put down the necessary equity -whether any softening in the market. In today's environment, interest rates are low, and values have been appreciating for the last 10 years. I think the best investments are leveraging assets that you can buy hold and rent out. This cash flow will help pay down your loan balance over time and you'll grow your net worth. I suggest targeting 2 to 4 unit properties where you can have multiple tenants in one location and you also want to partner with a lender like CIVIC Financial. We truly understand the rental market and we have great loan programs for you if your property is stabilized we have a long term program or if the property needs a little bit of work we have a short term program for that as well. If you have a scenario that fits this profile please don't hesitate to reach out to me at (949)412-8904 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. At CIVIC our money's on you.
Can I use 401k or IRA for real estate investment? -Eli Smush
One of the questions I get all the time is, "Can I use a 401k or an IRA for real estate investment?" and the answer is "Yes!" You can use a 401k for a purchase and there are numerous benefits specifically related to taxes like not having to pay any capital gains tax when you sell the property. The trick with investing using your 401k is doing it correctly. First, you want to use a company that will allow you to open a self-directed IRA account. There are a few big names out there who specialize in this field like TrustETC. Do your research on them with respect to the fees they charge and the process they have and pick the company that works for you. Second, you want to work with the title and escrow agent that is used to working with self-directed IRAs. There are different documents to require for this type of transaction and the custodian must be involved and approved all the documents before you close. Working with someone who knows the ins and outs of the specific ownership structure will save you time, money, and hassle in your closing. Lastly, working with a lender like CIVIC Financial who has the knowledge and expertise in making loans to borrowers using their self-directed IRA as an investing entity. If you have a scenario that fits this profile please don't hesitate to reach out to me at (949) 421-8904 or at email@example.com. At Civic our money's on you.
Real Estate Investment Rental Loan Options
Hi, I'm Eli with CIVIC Financial Services. Here at CIVIC, we understand that cash flow is king and an important part in generating wealth through real estate. With our excellent long-term rental loan options, CIVIC can be your partner in achieving financial success. Whether it's an entire portfolio or a single property, CIVIC delivers speed, leverage, and consistency to both experienced and first-time real estate investors. CIVIC offers 5, 7, and 10 year interest-only ARMs with aggressive LTVs and achievable DSCR requirements. These are the perfect loans for you to generate cash flow while your property appreciates. CIVIC believes in being a great partner and delivering fast, honest, and simple lending for your real estate investment needs. Are you ready to build your real estate empire today? For a quick quote or to find out what rental loans you qualify for contact me today at (949)421-8904 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. At CIVIC, our money's on you.
Real Estate Investment Bridge Loan Options
Hi, I'm Eli with CIVIC financial services. Here at CIVIC we strive to see you thrive as a real estate investor. We specialize in short term bridge financing. Our most popular loan product is our 1 year term bridge loan geared towards fix and flip investors. Within that product we even have the ability to finance 100% of your rehab. If you don't know about CIVIC, we are an institutional direct lender meaning we make all of our decisions in-house. We can also be a great partner for you, as we offer quick approvals and five to ten day closings. Utilizing common sense underwriting. CIVIC has no minimum FICO requirements or prepayment penalties. We also provide aggressive loan to values on both purchase and refi transactions with competitive pricing. CIVIC can even provide an extended two-year bridge term for investment strategies with a longer timeline. Whether you're an experienced investor or first-time borrower, this is the perfect solution for financing your next investment property. Best of all, you can count on civic and me to be your trusted lender delivering fast honest and simple lending solutions for your real estate investment. For a quick quote or to find out what you qualify for in a CIVIC bridge loan, call me at (949) 421 - 8904 or email email@example.com. At CIVIC, our money's on you.
November 29, 2022
HOW TO CHOOSE A REPUTABLE LENDER
From the CIVIC Blog
When you are ready to find a trustworthy and reliable hard money lender, conducting your due diligence is very important. While it’s easy to be lured in by cheaper rates, don't forget to do all the math. The process of finding a reliable financing partner is easier if you know what to look for so be sure to take you time to find someone best suited for your needs. It's important to consider experience, adaptability access to capital and a proven track record of success. Experience & AdaptabilityHow many loans have they funded? Do they have experience addressing challenging scenarios, dynamic markets, or unique property conditions?Your sales associate, broker or lender needs to possess a broad perspective and know how to deal with challenging scenarios, unique market or property nuances, and fluctuations in the market. The industry has been feast or famine over the past decade, with improved quality and performance since going through the financial crisis. The pros who have weathered the ups and downs can bring that expertise to benefit you and your business which makes experience paramount.Access to Capital & Track RecordWhat is their capital source? Are they lending their own money, using a bank, or brokering? How long have they been lending?At the onset of the pandemic, many lenders were over-leveraged and reliant on capital partners to continue funding loans. However, warehouse lines dried up and institutional investors paused. Only the strongest, well-capitalized lenders prevailed. To protect yourself, identify their lender’s capital source. Are they lending their own money, using bank lines or brokering? Ensure they have an uninterrupted track record of funding loans as well as the strength and capacity to meet financial commitments and adapt to change.As always, we're here to help when it comes to financing for non-owner-occupied residential properties. We'd love to sit down with you to discuss your investment strategy and see if our lending solutions fit your needs. At CIVIC, we have several financing options available for both short-term and long-term investment goals. Give us a call at 877-472-4842 and let’s get started!
November 22, 2022
THE FACTS & FIGURES OF REHAB FINANCING
From the CIVIC Blog
PRESERVE YOUR CASH WITH REHAB FINANCINGFrom replacing cabinets and flooring to adding one more bedroom, home renovation costs can really add up. The latest Producer Price Index (PPI) report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics noted a 35.6% increase in the prices of goods used in residential construction since the start of the pandemic. While every project is different, it’s no secret that many investors view their renovation budget as the core component of their return on investment -- but at what cost? With rising material costs, many investors are faced with cash flow concerns. These issues are huge for investors that are managing multiple projects at once, as the more money they have tied up in renovations the less cash flow they have to keep their investment strategy in motion. When it comes to your renovation, the less cash you put in, the more liquidity you have. Most hard money lenders offer some form of Rehab Financing on top of your base loan amount. This type of financing helps investors maintain liquidity as it reimburses them for the renovation costs which keeps their cash working for them. From what it is and how it works to what lenders require, we’re diving into everything you need to know about Rehab Financing.What is Rehab Financing? Investors often find that conventional mortgage financing just isn’t suitable for their needs. The traditionally long closing times and restrictive requirements can quickly start to disrupt their investment strategies. Many investors are now turning to short-term Bridge Loans, an alternative form of financing that comes from hard money lenders or private lenders. This option provides investors with the funds needed to complete the initial purchase of the property along with additional funds to cover renovation costs (aka Rehab Financing).In fact, for investors with little to no experience, many hard money lenders might require the borrower to use Rehab Financing when acquiring a Bridge Loan. How Does Rehab Financing Work? When it comes to your loan, think of your total loan amount in two buckets:Your base loan amount: goes to the purchase or refinance of the propertyYour rehab loan amount: used to cover renovations to the property It works as a reimbursement program. You will come out of pocket initially and as work is completed and verified, you will be reimbursed expenses through a series of “draws”. Interest is only paid on drawn funds. Think of it like a credit card. Once you swipe it then interest accrues but undrawn money does not accrue interest. For funds that go unused, there are no penalties, so it’s a great financing option to cover rehab costs to the amount you need it. And if you don’t, no harm no foul.For any fix and flip or construction project, the lender bases their loan amount on After Repair Value (ARV). This is estimated potential value of the property after all stated improvements and renovations have been completed. Most lenders will only finance up to 75% of the ARV when it comes to the total loan amount.Now, let’s put together an example of a scenario where Rehab Financing is being used. You’re buying a property and here are the numbers:Purchase price = $500,000After Repair Value (ARV) = $650,000 Renovation costs = $80,000In this example, if we are financing 80% loan-to-value (LTV) of your purchase price and 100% of renovation costs, your total loan amount would break down like this:Base Loan Amount = $400,000 Rehab Financing = $80,000Total Loan Amount = $480,000In this scenario, the total loan amount is within the typical ARV requirements at about 74% of the $650,000 ARV. Your 20% down payment is $100,000 + any additional closing costs. Rehab Financing cannot be used to cover your 20% down payment or any closing costs. It is dedicated to reimbursing your rehab costs. When it comes to submitting costs for reimbursement, you can elect how many draws you want. You can either pay for everything upfront and get reimbursed at the end or break it down into, for example, 4 draws of $20,000 each.What Do Lenders Require for Rehab Financing? As with all financing, certain documentation is required. It is helpful to have these prepared and ready:The Contractor Profile (if applicable) Insurance verification - typically $1M General liabilityYour Rehab BudgetAs stated previously, lenders generally finance up to 75% of the ARV. This means your total loan amount (base loan + rehab financing) must stay within those borders, especially if you are looking to receive 100% Rehab Financing.Hard money lenders will often finance up to 100% of the rehab budget. In this case, they will usually require a FICO score of at least 640 and that the total loan amount stays within 75% of the ARV. Based on the example above, 75% of the $650,000 ARV = $487,500 which is $87,500 above the base loan amount of $400,000. In that example and with an approved FICO score, the borrower would likely be able to receive 100% rehab financing for the whole $80,000 rehab budget.Maintaining Liquidity is the Foundation of CIVIC’s Rehab FinancingWhether you’re an experienced investor or first-time borrower, CIVIC is here to help you achieve your real estate goals. We’re committed to helping our customers keep their investment strategy on track by helping you maintain liquidity with our Rehab Financing solution. Put CIVIC's Rehab Financing to work for your next project, get started here.
October 04, 2022
CIVIC PRESIDENT WILLIAM J. TESSAR RECEIVES 2022 HOUSINGWIRE VANGUARD AWARD
From the CIVIC Blog
We are honored to announce that HousingWire has chosen CIVIC President William J. Tessar as a recipient of its 2022 Vanguard Award. The Vanguard Award recognizes leaders of businesses that are contributing to the growth of the housing economy and having an unmistakable impact on the industry at-large. This is the eighth year that HousingWire has recognized executives in the housing economy for their outstanding leadership in the space. Tessar is among the 100 honorees selected for the prestigious award. "The 2022 Vanguards honorees represent the housing economy's elite leaders who have made an unmistakable impact on the industry at-large and continue to drive growth and inspire their organizations," said HW Media Editor in Chief Sarah Wheeler. "With these leaders at the helm, companies will be able to weather the current market to fight another day."HousingWire's 2022 Vanguards have led their respective organizations towards greatness while tackling challenges the housing economy has faced over the past 12 months. Tessar taking on the extraordinarily tall order of driving a private money lender through an acquisition by a publicly traded company, and doing so amidst a global pandemic, a volatile market, and everchanging financial landscape, serves as the perfect example of that. With over 30 years of mortgage industry experience, Tessar joined CIVIC in March 2017. William previously founded and served as President of three mortgage companies resulting in residential funding volume exceeding $35 billion. On top of his leadership accolades and track record of scaling organizations to new heights, William was formerly one of the nation's top loan originators. Having been in the shoes of the originator, he has used his unique vantage point to create a recruiting, training and management style that sets the gold standard among industry leaders."Bill Tessar is truly one-of-a-kind leadership and mentor. Over the past year he has proven that he is also a force to be reckoned with in the private lending space," said CIVIC EVP of Operations Merced Cohen. "His mastery of knowing when to lead tactically vs. strategically has catapulted his strength and directly impacted the direction and continued growth of CIVIC Financial Services."
October 03, 2022
CIVIC'S EVP OF OPERATIONS MERCED COHEN NAMED 2022 POWERFUL WOMAN OF MORTGAGE BANKING
From the CIVIC Blog
We are excited to announce that Merced Cohen, EVP of Operations at CIVIC, has been named among the 2022 Powerful Women of Mortgage Banking by Mortgage Banker Magazine. This accolade, awarded to a select group of only 35 winners, pays tribute to women who are making an impact and serving as excellent mentors to the next generation of mortgage bankers. Mortgage Banker Magazine asked readers and industry professionals to nominate women who symbolize the esteemed title of a 2022 Powerful Women of Mortgage Banking. The publication set out to find the most talented, ambitious, innovative, and philanthropic women who are achieving excellence and making a difference in these traditionally male-dominated industries. Merced joined CIVIC in March 2017, brining over 30 years of experience and an innate ability to apply disciplines from the conventional lending to the private money space that helped CIVIC achieve efficiencies and reductions in cost per loan, while also increasing annual volume. She currently oversees teams responsible for sales support, processing, valuations, underwriting, closing, quality, risk management, vendor management, construction financing, and people and culture. Her passion for people, diversity and strong commitment to elevating others has helped shape CIVIC's award-winning culture into what it is today. Aside from her massive contributions to developing new departments and breaking funding records, Merced has played an instrumental role in helping to grow leaders who also embody her influential methodologies. Through exercising the beauty of feedback and constructive criticism, Merced created a safe environment for CIVIC team members to grow and thrive. Her holistic leadership style provides equally rewarding opportunities for both personal and professional growth. "Merced's contributions to our operations and culture are immeasurable," CIVIC President William J. Tessar said. "Her success in scaling CIVICs business is not just the result of the considerable time she has devoted to the organization and her key role in it, but also the manner in which that she treats every single task and the people involved with an equal and extreme sense of conviction." The full list of 2022 Powerful Women of Mortgage Banking can be viewed here.
October 03, 2022
GET YOUR CONSTRUCTION PROJECT OVER THE FINISH LINE
From the CIVIC Blog
How the Right Financing Can Save Your ProjectFor builders, a successful project is one completed on time and within budget. But that is no easy feat these days. The construction industry has been hit hard over the past two years. From supply chain obstacles and price increase to labor shortages builders are forced to be dynamic in responding to these challenges.In last year's report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 92% of contractors report difficulty finding workers, and of those, 42% have turned down work and projects due to a lack of skilled workers. To throw more fuel on the fire, the Producer Price Index (PPI) report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that building materials prices increased 20.4% year over year.As an experienced builder, we know these numbers don't come as a surprise to you. While things may not be trending in an upward direction, it's important to know how to be strategic in lining up financing with the right capital partner to help you through these downturns. So, what do you do when your construction project doesn't go according to plan? Let's dive into your financing options that can help get you back on track and over that finish line.Construction LoansConstruction loans are short-term, interest-only loans that fund the building of a home. Whether its a tear-down or ground-up project, many lenders offer short-term construction loans often at a high rate due to the increased risk. Since these loans tend to have shorter terms, typically for a period of 12-18 months, developers have very little wiggle room for unexpected issues or delays during the building process. Paying off a Maturing Construction Loan Before Project is CompleteWhether it's because of increased material costs, labor shortages and other unfavorable factors maturing construction loans can be a big burden. When investors find themselves in a situation where they have a construction loan that will reach maturity before the project is completed, they have a couple different options: 1. Rush to complete the project on time & risk not being able to deliver the project as they originally planned. 2. Try to get an extension on the terms which comes with paying expensive extension fees or, even worse, no option from the lender to extend at all. OR 3. They can look into other financing solutions that allow them to pay off the maturing loan, extend their loan terms, and complete their project while avoiding extension fees. When laid out, number three looks like the clear solution but often times builders opt for number two, hoping to just extend their original loan and deal with the fees. Why Should You Care About Extension Fees?When it's time to pay off your construction loan but the project is not complete, most lender's will offer an extension in order to avoid maturity default. However, these extensions come with a price and typically can only be extended from 3 to 6 months. Now lets break that down the average extension fee is one to two points of the total loan amount. If you're construction loan amount is $3,000,000 with a one point extension fee, you would expect to pay $30,000 out of pocket to cover that fee. Here's why you should refinance that loan with a new lender. When you refinance, you avoid extension fees all together. Yes, you will have to pay an origination fee, but that cost is rolled into your loan so its not coming out of pocket. In addition to that, you get 12 months for your new loan vs. 3-6 months to get your project complete and sold in time. Talk about taking the pressure off. Need More Funds to Complete the Project? Mid-way through a construction or fix and flip project is not the time to run short on cash, but it is the time when property value traditionally goes up as the project progresses. With private money Bridge Loan solutions, investors can refinance and pull cash-out, sometimes up to 80% LTV*, on the established equity. This provides them with two valuable outcomes:1. The ability to pay off a maturing construction loan 2. and the ability to use the funds to see the remainder of the project throughWhat do Lenders Require to Finance Mid-Construction?When structuring out a financing recapitalization mid-construction, lenders will need to determine project viability. Here are the key project milestones that can help with getting your deal approved:1. House is weather tight. This means the roof is on, the doors / windows are installed, and the siding / stucco are complete.2. Lenders will look for rough plumbing, rough electrical and HVAC. If those are installed, your project is looking good.3. No mechanic's liens. A title report will be pulled to ensure there are no mechanic's liens on the property. Lenders want to make sure you are paying your contractors and sub-contractors.These milestones are crucial because lenders have to make sure there is enough progress to determine the as-is value so they can provide you with enough funds to pay off the construction loan.See the Power of CIVIC's Construction Completion Financing at Work LOAN AMOUNT: $922,000 LOAN TYPE: Construction Completion Cash Out RefinanceLTPP (loan to purchase price): 92.2% This borrower was experiencing a project that was taking longer than expected and facing extension fees of their maturing construction loan. We were able to refinance their previous loan from a different lender which gave the borrower 12 more months to complete the project and the ability to avoid extension fees. They were able to use the funds to pay off their maturing construction loan, put money towards the remaining rehab budget, receive a lower interest rate, and get the time needed to sell the property. Short-term Financing that Gets the Job Done, Literally. Are you in the final stages of a construction project but a loan maturity is threatening to derail your project? Do you need to more time to complete your project but don't have room in your budget for pricey extension fees? Has your project gone over budget but there's still work that needs to be done? CIVIC's Construction Completion Financing is here to help you get your project across the finish line! Find more information here.* 80% Cash Out is available to qualified borrowers. It is subject to decrease based on property condition. Terms and Conditions may apply.
READY, SET, RENT!
While the rental market poses serious lucrative opportunities, there is still a lot to know before investing. When it comes to overall profitability, the important factors to consider include what type of rental strategy you intend to follow (short or long
INVESTORS GUIDE TO FINDING THE BEST FINANCING OPTIONS
As an investor, you can prepare yourself to be in the best possible liquidity position to exploit today's opportunities and position yourself for maximum business growth. Financial and business strategies evolve over time and there are...
Our Recent Deals
November 21, 2022
UW process takes too long. Civic always trys to do the right thing. Eli Smushkovich communicates well via email and text. Would be nice to have an open line to David Levine as he deals with our loans closely but we can never reach him and he never returns phone calls.
November 21, 2022
Wow that was fast
November 10, 2022
The process was so easy from start to finish! Eli and the team stayed in communication with me and answered all my questions. I’ll definitely use them again
November 04, 2022
Eli was awesome on this deal as was Civic.
November 03, 2022
Eli is an excellent communicator. The appraisal department and/or the AMC dropped the ball and cost us over a month. The last minute pricing change definitely hurt the relationship with the borrower. Eli handled it well but it was unfortunate the lock was not allowed.
October 31, 2022
Eli got this loan wrapped up quickly and efficiently!
October 31, 2022
Some delay in underwriting final approval but great over all.
October 25, 2022
A+ with Eli & Team