How to finance a fixer-upper

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Hello everyone, I live in the DFW area in a historic district. I am currently renting, but I have eyed some distressed craftsman homes that I could fix up and have a nice home. The catch is that they will need significant repair, and all the sellers adverts say "cash offers only", "hard money".  I called one listing agent, and she told me the house could not qualify for a conventional loan because it is in too bad of a shape. I know there is the 203(k) loan, but one of the problems with this loan is that the house has to be finished within 6 months. I just don't see a historic home in a preservation district requiring board approvals and permits ever being done in 6 months. The house across the street from my current rental is being restored and I've lived here 6 months now. They were working on it before I moved in and they are only *just* beginning to start working on the interior now. They still need to put in all the windows and pour the concrete on the drive way and paint the outside of the house - and this is all being done by professional contractors. 

That being said, is there *any* way for me - as a first time home owner - to get a loan to fix up the house? I have one year left on my lease and I could use that time to have the fixer-upper being worked on so I could move in once my lease ended. 


@John Doah Sure. A Hard Money Loan of between 12-24 months. Say 24 months to be sure (There are no prepayment penalties). You can probably get between 65% and 75% of LTV plus 100% of rehab money.

One of the things to keep in mind is that you also need cash reserves for:

- Servicing the loan from month one. The interest rate will not be cheap and likely not single digit.

- Rehab money to fund the first milestone if the rehab portion is paid in draws in arrears. 

- The purchase deposit - anything not covered by the loan. At least 25% of LTV, possibly 35%.

- Loan costs. Somewhere in the realm of $10K in points, fees, title, appraisal etc...

- Padding for Rehab costs over-runs and emergencies. I have lent on historic restorations and they tend to be expensive.  Down to even to the shape of the old fashioned drainpipes, the sprinkler systems...

Happy to answer any more questions about HMLs.

Wishing you the very best for this project.