I have a couple rentals in the St. Pete and Tampa areas and I’m seeking some recommendations on a local bank or credit union I could start building a relationship with. I have a deal right now I need to refinance and already have lending approved with quicken loans, but I think it’s a good idea to build a local relationship now. (Lines of credit, checking accounts etc)
Any recommendations on banks that offer good checking products and service for investors would be greatly appreciated!
Unfortunately, small local community banks are a dying breed... Cornerstone Community Bank in St Petersburg was one of the last ones in St Pete, and they were bought out by Republic Bank and Trust a couple of years ago, so they are now a large regional multi-state bank, with all underwriting and decision-making done in Kentucky.
Flagship Community Bank in Oldsmar is still a local community bank focused on Pinellas County, but they are 1/2 hour drive from St Pete.
You may find that it is less important where you bank than it is to establish a relationship with a good mortgage broker or mortgage lender.
RP Funding, and Van Dyke Mortgage are both local (ish) Florida mortgage lenders with a great reputation. I've done numerous deals with both, and they are two of my favorites.
@Michael Onuigbo I would shop with a local mortgage broker also. You will most likely have better terms than a retail mortgage company like Quicken.
I would also add, Quicken Loans does not have the best reputation amongst Realtors and sellers. You may have more purchasing power and be more likely to get offers accepted if you have a strong pre-approval from another lender.
I use First Citrus Bank. They are a small community bank with 5 branches. They focus primarily on businesses and do real estate loans, unsecured lines of credit, will allow you to ACH tenants, etc. I've done $200k wires with only minutes notice without ever having to set foot in the bank. The teller picks up the phone calls and the senior VP and other similar titles work in the same building.
I have high expectations and they exceed them. It's a fantastic bank.
Call the Oakfield location, speak with Sandra, and tell her I sent you.
All very good input. I’m definitely going to give first citrus a call too.
I will say in quickens Loans defense that I’ve had an awesome experience with two mortgages through them so far. They have it down to a science over there. What they can’t provide, obviously, is a local point of contact and services like wires, checking accounts and whatnot.
Michael, I was a banker in the Tampa market for 20 years and know lenders at most banks in town. PM me and we can chat about your specific situation and I can give you some guidance.
I hear Bank of Tampa has a good line of credit. Wasn't a fan of their banking requirements but worth a look.
I’ve heard Hillsboro Bank is pretty good.
Synovus, Cenntenial and Iberia bank also might be good to look into. Also ask about NO DOC style loans or lines of credit.
Do not use USAmeribank. I opened an account with them back when I lived in Tampa, but I have since moved. Apparently if I want to conduct any type of banking business, then they will not do it unless you are there in person. They refuse to do anything over the phone. So even if I want to close my account (trust me, I do), I have to drive 2 hours down to Tampa one day to do it. Completely useless and impractical for an absentee owner.
Does anybody know if any of these banks mentioned in this thread will conduct business with an out-of-town investor?
@Jeff Copeland tell me more about RP funding. I of course see the commercials all the time. Do they offer good terms and rates on cash out refis for investment properties? Do they really cover all the closing costs?
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