Author Archives: Joseph Perez

Architects and Hard Money Lending

Architect Makes House Using Pocket Knife

By Joseph Perez


We recently wrote a multi-million dollar hard money loan for a client who owns a house designed by Richard Neutra.  We got the loan request and began our due-diligence right away, and quickly determined the loan amount requested was secure at 60% LTV.  We walked the property and shortly after processing the file, funded in less than a week. 

The loan went to a worthy business venture, poised to yield our client very nice financial and creative returns.

Next to architects such as John Lautner and Frank Lloyd Wright, Neutra’s houses are part of California’s rich mid-century history.  Neutra came to be considered among the most important modernist architects.  His residential architecture is a blend of art, landscape and comfort.    

A friend once mentioned “there’s no architecture in Los Angeles.”  My response to him; “architecture is here, you just have to get off your bum and find it.” 

Be well, do excellent work and stay in touch. 

Joseph Perez

Co-owner Better Loans & Realty a private lending company

Conscious Hard Money Lending Vs. Careless Lending

Conscious Lending Vs. Careless Lending 

Written by Joseph Perez


As I write my first blog article I feel the urge to pull references, data-facts, and interesting trivia off the internet.  But instead I have decided to do this “blog post” without a net, and see if perhaps I might hold your attention for a paragraph or two.

When Ester and I started our Hard Money Lending company in 2004, we were naively under the impression that the oceans would part and stars would align; quickly and effortlessly.  Almost ten years later I am happy to report that it didn’t quite work out that way.  And although things didn’t work out in the manner in which I had predicted, I don’t think I could have written a better narrative for our journey.

A word that is used quite loosely and ubiquitously in our industry is “honesty.”  And although it might seem trite and uninteresting to listen to a company tout this word to all ends, I have to say it has served us well in so many interesting ways.  With honesty came excellent mistakes, and with excellent mistakes came meaningful experience.  An excellent mistake in my mind is when the only person taking a hit is me.  “Taking a hit” is a common term I reference for;  loss of money, loss of time, taking ownership of error.

Conscious Hard Money Lending Vs. Careless Lending

The best hard money loan we ever wrote was the one we didn’t write.  This brings me to “conscious hard money lending vs. careless hard money lending.”  Being a father to a 5 and 3 yr old puts a mirror in front of me, and offers an unblinking look at how my decisions impact others.

Every so often I get a call from a potential new client requesting information about our hard money loan products.  And after a few minutes on the phone, I might determine that the potential new client would be an excellent hard money borrower; lots of equity, good income, blemished credit.  However in the course of asking a few more questions, I might also determine that it would serve the client better if they didn’t take the loan.  Best to explore other means necessary to accomplish their goal.  This is where the rubber hits the road for me.  My impulse is to steer a loan in our direction even though it might not be the best solution for the client.  Thankfully, honesty wins over and everyone including myself feels that a new relationship has been cultivated or remained intact.

A hard money loan in my opinion should serve a higher purpose; empower individuals to grow and invest wisely.  Occasionally a hard money loan can be a temporary solution to an extraordinary situation.

I believe that what binds guiding principles and builds excellent experience is “honesty.”  By combining honesty and experience – we are capable of attracting larger and more complex opportunities for Better Loans & Realty.  The future looks promising and I hope that the future encompasses many engaging conversations with you.

Be well, do excellent work, and stay in touch.

Joseph Perez


Better Loans & Realty

What is a hard money loan?

What is a hard money loan?

A hard money loan is a specific type of asset-based loan financing through which a borrower receives funds secured by the value of a parcel of real estate. Hard money loans are typically issued by private investors or companies. Interest rates are typically higher than conventional commercial or residential property loans because of the higher risk taken by the lender. Most hard money loans are used for projects lasting from a few months to a few years. Hard money is similar to a bridge loan, which usually has similar criteria for lending as well as cost to the borrowers. The primary difference is that a bridge loan often refers to a commercial property or investment property that may be in transition and does not yet qualify for traditional financing, whereas hard money often refers to not only an asset-based loan with a high interest rate, but possibly a distressed financial situation, such as arrears on the existing mortgage, or where bankruptcy and foreclosure proceedings are occurring.

The qualifying criteria for a hard money loan varies widely by lender and loan purpose. Credit scores, income and other conventional lending criteria may be analyzed. However, most hard money lenders primarily qualify a loan amount based on the value of the real estate being collateralized. Typically, the biggest loan one can expect would be between 65% and 70% of the property value. That is, if the property is worth $100,000, the lender would advance $65,000 – $70,000 against it. This low LTV (loan to value) provides added security for the lender, in case the borrower does not pay and they have to foreclose on the property.

Provided by Wikipedia