Because of COVID-19, those in the real estate industry had to pivot in a huge way to survive and find ways to thrive with the ongoing deurbanization. Keith Baker explores how people in this sector hone their strategies, particularly in private lending, by sitting with Kayla Wojcik. She explains their work at FlipCo Financial, a team of forward-thinking individuals in the real estate investing sector focused on bringing a better financing product to the Houston market and soon nationally. She dives deep into the type of loans they offer, why they don’t charge appraisal fees, what a typical bridge loan looks like, and their most common borrowers. Kayla also shares their strategy when it comes to bread and butter houses, which experienced a huge decrease in February.
Private Lending With FlipCo Financial And Kayla Wojcik
Bringing Better Financing Products To The Houston Market
I’d like to thank you for sharing your time with me. If you’re looking for practical tips and advice on private lending and how to keep your money safe, then you are in the right place. If you want to learn from my mistakes so that you can both avoid and profit from them, pull up a chair and pour yourself a drink because this show is for you. This show is dedicated to giving people like you and I the knowledge and the confidence to participate in the most passive form of real estate investing known to man, private lending. If you’re looking for a shortcut to begin private lending, then head over to the PrivateLenderPodcast.com/Ink to learn how you can put your money to work for you by investing in real estate backed loans right here in the Houston area with my friend, Paul Lamnatos over at Blink Lending. Make sure to join the show’s Facebook Group in order to connect with other private lenders and to be part of the ever-growing community.
I’m excited to get to the interview with our guest, Kayla Wojcik, who’s the Founder and Director of Sales and Operations at FlipCo Financial, which opened their doors and started lending in November 2020. FlipCo is a team of forward-thinking individuals in the single-family real estate investing sector focused on bringing a better financing product to the Houston market and nationally. What makes FlipCo private lender a little different is they were funded and started with one person’s capital who wanted to put it to work or a handful of it. It was a private capital that was put to work just like me. The Angel investor that started it had a lot more money to get started with first and was smart enough to hire Kayla to run the business for him. Let’s get down to the brass tacks of the show and listen to the interview with Kayla Wojcik as she discusses her lending criteria.
I’m honored to have Kayla Wojcik from FlipCo Financial. Welcome, Kayla.
Thanks for having me.
Thanks for coming on. You have an interesting story and background that I’m a fan of. You’re in Houston area providing flips and money for investments. Let’s start back, not the very beginning but how did you get into the real estate space. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
A little towards the background around eighteen years old, I worked for an attorney. He wanted to get into the tax foreclosure market. He would throw down the list on my desk. He would say, “I need you to circle the ones that you like.” He didn’t give me any direction. “I’m going to need you to go knock on those guys’ doors and offer them whatever amount I tell you for those deals.” I did. I went out there. I door knocked a few times. I got a lot of door slams and people all around not answering. It was the good old-school way of doing it. It scared the crap out of me.
That’s a lot for someone so young who doesn’t know much about how that works that’s my introduction to that. It lit a fire under me. I wanted to learn more about that. There’s something about when people door slam. You’re missing something because other than that, they would have stayed and talked to you for a minute. I did set out to learn more about it. Fast forward, I came to the Houston market a few years ago. The opportunity for real estate flipping was a lot more attractive than where I was at, which was in San Antonio, Texas. It’s not a bad market area, but it’s still a little bit slower moving, especially when you’re looking at Houston. It’s almost like you’re looking at something that you want to get at that, whatever that is.
I came to the market as a wholesaler. I connected with a high volume wholesaler to help kickstart myself and give myself all the tools that I needed in order to be successful at that. Within my first two weeks of being there, I made my first acquisitions and sold them. They had told me all throughout, “You’re not going to do anything for the next 3 to 4 months. Don’t expect to get paid, in other words.” I hit the ground running with that. I did well with doing wholesaling. A lot of it came from being an honest person and understanding the investor. I know a lot of wholesalers are taught, “Chase the deal, who cares. Make an offer. Go out and find someone. Someone will buy it.”
That wasn’t my mantra. It made those people that had hired me mad. They were like, “We need you to work. Stop asking so many questions, just work.” I would go to networking events with my little clipboard, “I’m looking to build my buyers list.” Everyone was like, “Get away.” I did my hardest to learn the most and get out there. I did well. At one point, I sold sixteen properties in one week. It was quite fun. Part of my success was because I found a better lender. What that means is at the time, my deals were falling through. The lenders were not being completely honest. Towards the closing table, my investors were falling out because there are too many surprises. A lot of weird stuff are going on.
I set out to find a better lender and I did. They were based out of Arizona. I started funneling all my business through to them. It was able to make me scale as well as them scale. They asked to recruit me onto the lending side. I took it. I was like, “I would love to get away from this and start learning more about that.” I opened up their Houston office and focused solely on the Texas market. I enjoyed it. I’ve learned a lot. The way that their company was structured was not as creative for what the demand in our market is. It’s ever changing. I see a lot of lenders are beginning to change their terms as well to stay relevant. I hit a wall. I hit a ceiling and the next thing I know, FlipCo was born. That’s the background story there before FlipCo became a thing.
I’d love to go back and unpack a few things that you said there. San Antonio and Houston are different markets. San Antonio is a major market, don’t get me wrong, but compared to Houston, it’s a different industry and different drivers. You said that lenders are changing their terms to stay relevant. What do you see in your field of those changes?
I don’t want to speak too confidently, but myself and my entire team set out to research the market. We’ve done some rigorous research for the past few months. I know that doesn’t seem like a long timeline, but it was a good amount of people. We’ve got a lot of good information. I am seeing a lot of new lenders coming to the market. Some of the data that we’ve pulled in conversations we’ve had with the older guys that have been in the market for ten-plus years. Back then, their terms were all day long 14% interest in 3 points. That was the bread and butter right there. That wouldn’t fly now in the Houston market. I could not speak on other markets but for the most part in Texas, we’re competitive.The market is changing, and people are realizing private money is more interesting than conventional lending. Click To Tweet
There are so many new lenders coming to the market. These prices are being driven down. We got started on this research months ago. You go back to those same guys, everyone’s vague about this because everything’s a case by case scenario, but they seem to have driven down their vague terms into something a little bit lower. You’re looking at not usually anything more than 2 to 3 points, whereas before people were confident with saying there would be four points upfront, plus a bunch of other stuff. The market is changing. People are realizing private money is more interesting than conventional lending.
With interest rates and depending on who you listen to, what side of the aisle is going to be great or we got inflation coming. As a private lender myself, I can’t wait for interest rates to rise. It’s my money generating that cash so the better. I have noticed with some of the lenders around town that I’ve spoken to, the money that they’re lending out have to come down. Therefore, where they’re getting their money, they have to give them less as well. A lot of players are hitting the markets. Every time I talked to an appraiser, it seems like there’s a new hard money company coming in from someplace else.
Tell me about FlipCo. You found it in November 2020. Your team’s been doing a lot of research. I saw from the photos that there are a couple of guys, but you’re predominantly a female-based team. The reason I wanted you on this show is I’m a daughter daddy. I love stories like yours. Mike Tyson said it best, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” I was going to go to college and that has changed. That’s a big pivot in COVID 2020. Tell us about that.
It is a risky time to say, “Let’s throw pasta at the wall and see if it sticks with this idea.” To be honest with you, I was lending even during COVID. I know for March 2020, we settled down a little bit. Everyone was weary of what was going to happen, but I never stopped lending with the company that I was with. What happened with FlipCo was quite an interesting story. I found an Angel investor that listens to the business model and to me. I had already known and realize that business model was still working throughout COVID situation. Real estate was still going. Investors still needed funds. Private money is something that is becoming more and more attractive to a lot of the bigger type of investor.
I call mine an Angel investor. I got lucky with them. I gave them the business model and showed them the track record. They went for it. They did initially put in their personal funds for it, but quickly we found out that wasn’t going to be enough. In the first week, we’re projected to clear about a little over $1 million and they were putting in $5 million of their funds. There was no way we would be able to scale. However, I was strategic with this one. They have unlimited amount of funds that they’re able to use through their bank contacts. They’re a large company. They opened a lot of companies underneath. The way that they structure these companies and these models to be attractive to these banks is something that I hope to get involved within 2021 starting with them. It’s already at the beginning stages because that’s a whole other animal.
On my team, we have one guy that’s solely dedicated to working with the banks that they already do, projecting our business and what would be our scenarios. In that way, we’re attracting more and more funds. We now have $10 million to work with. We got started in November 2020. Banks liked the idea especially when it comes to real estate. It hasn’t been that hard for them to convince banks to give us money for this lending on these deals. FlipCo immediately gave me everything I needed from IT to attorney, to marketing people, anything that I needed, anyone I wanted to hire. We took off with it. That’s why we’ve been able to go so quickly. When I initially gave it to them I said, “By the 120th day, we would be ready to start looking at deals.” We were already funding within 45 days. That’s how quickly everyone jumped on board for this. It’s exciting.
There was a little chatter on social media where your profile didn’t go away but it went dark. It came back quick with FlipCo. We’re talking prior to this interview the speed at which everything came together. What happens when you get everything you’ve ever asked for?
It never happens like that for me.
In 120 days and funding within 45 days, which is your average bank time of purchase for your personal residence anyway. To go from idea inception to the mechanics of money flowing, that’s quite impressive.
I would’ve never thought it was going to turn into this. At least we know there’s a high interest for this kind of business if someone was ever interested in taking this business model over to someone else who was an Angel investor like myself. There are people out there that want to jump into this.
It’s hard assets. Things can happen. No investment is 100% safe. No one’s going to short a house and drive up the price like they did with GameStop. Things couldn’t get manipulated but that’s not going to happen. People say, “How many points do you charge?” They always want to know what are your points, what’s your interest rate. It depends on the project. I’ve lowered my rates for some passion projects for people. I’ve raised it. I don’t want to chase risk but if I’m going to do this, you’re going to have to pay me some more. Average foreclosure in Texas is about $1,500. The borrower has to come with that fee. They have to pay for their foreclosure to me upfront. I put it away. God forbid if I have to foreclose, the money’s there. I send it over to the attorney and I’m done. You got FlipCo. They didn’t land in your lap. There was a lot of hard work that went through it, but it came to fruition a lot quicker.
It’s almost like the Angel investor fell into my lap. It was in conversation. That conversation was told to someone else who they knew had been working on this model but didn’t have anyone to fill in the blanks. I don’t know if you believe in the power of manifestation and hard work but it’s a real thing.
I’m a firm believer that everything we want is on the other side of hard work. Talking about the model, what is the model? What type of loans are you putting out there for investors?
We’re focusing on fix-and-flip and bridge loans. It’s mainly fix-and-flip loans. The bank likes to see that. That’s how we’re building our portfolio, our rapport with the bank. What we’re offering is 10% interest and 2.5 points. It’s case by case scenario. A lot of guys might be in and out of the loan. We are requiring guaranteed interest rate is what we’re calling it. At least 4 months on a 6-month loan. That’s usually fair because if guys are still trying to get in and out of it, it still takes about four months anyway. It’s not like we’re saying we’re guaranteeing your entire loan of interest. It was a lot of back and forth.
The team was like, “I think that we’re a little too competitive with our pricing.” We’re the new guys on the block. We’re trying to scale. We’re trying to go national. No one’s going to recognize us or pay attention to us unless we look attractive. That’s why I would say our terms are where they are at because we also don’t charge any other fees. There’s nothing. We’re collecting that 2.5 and the 10% interest but mostly fix-and-flip. We’re still working slow. We’re not quite ready to release the dragon.
The fix-and-flip that you mentioned, you don’t charge any fees. No appraisal fees.
We don’t. We do in-house underwriting.
Let’s get into that.
People get nervous, especially lenders. They’re like, “You do what.” Our idea is we’re not trying to be the lender for everyone. We do want to work with quality borrowers. We want to work with mostly repeat clients. We’re not trying to be your next big hard money lender. Quality borrower means that those people have done more due diligence. It says in the background, “Never trust, always verify.” Our job is to pull that thing apart and look under rocks. We do have an in-house attorney that does a search of title. I know title companies are already supposed to handle that, but we have our guy immediately doing that in case there’s something that won’t be cleared and we won’t find that out until last minute.
We do have a good team that has a lot of experience in our market, appraiser or underwriter. If you’re licensed for it or not, it’s an opinion and value. For us with our knowledge, that’s more than enough for us to feel confident on a deal. If it’s something that’s a little bit more different or it’s out of the box, we would hire a third-party appraisal for that. Other than that, we do our underwriting in-house. The idea is for us to be competitive in our market. That would mean that we need to streamline the process. If we say we can fund within 48 hours, we need to be able to do that if all parties are ready to go. We’re trying to look attractive.
Are you funding within 48 hours of acceptance of application?
We can approve a borrower within 24 hours. We want to keep it that way. Part of the ability to keep it that way is we will have to hire on more people as we scale. We have enough. We’re not moving quite as quickly as we should be. It gives us the ability to approve someone within 24 hours. We’re not doing credit checks. We’re doing financial statements. We’re doing bank statements. We’re doing experience. We’re doing conversations with these people. I was having this meeting. A lot of it has to do with a borrower’s character.
For example, I’m almost to the end of an option period with one of my flips. I’ve got to change all of the piping. It’s a whole mess. A lot of people can’t handle that kind of stress. They won’t be able to take that to the finish line. This is the fifth extended option period that I’ve had on this property, but I don’t give up. If you have a good feel for a borrower that gives you that mentality, has the experience, has the funds, has the financial statement, that should be enough at least for now. We do plan on pulling credit in the future though like a soft one.
I don’t myself, but I make sure that the borrower knows that I can and will if need be. At the end of the day, I’m worried about more of the asset or I break it down. I want to know the person. To your point, know their character. I want to know the process that they’re coming to. Is this flip that his doing his 30th flip? That makes me feel a lot better than somebody with three rental properties going, “I’m going to start flipping.” There’s a process. At the end of the day, it’s the property. If the worst comes to worst, I have to take this thing back and foreclose. Are the numbers there? Is the margin there? Is it going to be worth my while?Lenders are set up to foreclose on properties. That's what they want to do. Click To Tweet
I’m lazy and passive. That’s why I like private lending. I don’t have to deal with toilets and termites. My last rental has stage-four cancer, that was complete bogus lie. He’s in bankruptcy. He got four more months of free rent out of me after that. I’m lazy. I always ask lenders what’s their process. It starts with the bank process. You’ve got to give everything. You’ve got to do the financial colonoscopy for the last two years of every credit card and savings account. Show me that you can cover my interest payments and you get this thing going. You got some reserves and I’m good. I don’t need the expense pulling it.
Do you require money down on your deals?
It depends. I’ll give you a prime example. The first commercial deal I ever did was a little strip center. The borrower wanted $70,000 to purchase it. He was going to owner finance it. My note was there for six months. It was acquisition only, interest only. He was going to get some commercial bank paper to refinance me out. I went and looked at the property. I remember I took my kids too, which I don’t recommend to people. There are broken glass and nails everywhere. I told them, “If this property appraises for $150,000, I’ll give you the $70,000 to purchase it.” We had to get a commercial appraiser because that’s out of my wheelhouse. I can look at single-family all day and feel good about it.
The appraisal came back at $305,000. I said, “Here’s $70,000. You can default. I will loan to you again if you bring me a deal like that.” That’s someone that’s trusted here. He’s starting to get some gray hairs. I like gray hairs. That tells me that people have been doing it a long time, not to bad mouth youth. I was there trying to work my way up too. I understand it’s frustrating. When it comes to money, you want to see people who know what they’re doing. They’re going to do the right thing. They can take busted pipes in a freeze and everything else.
We finally found all the problems that storm caused. It was quite an interesting thing. We do require money down on all of them. We required 10% of the total loan amount. If they’re requesting their purchase in the rehab, they’re bringing 10% of that to the closing table. That helps us mitigate risks. Not only do they have money in the deal. It makes it a little harder for them to walk away if they wanted to have that choice, but it also shows us that they have the ability to put that money down. All day long, I got people asking me for 100% financing. I’m still wondering who does that. It’s rare. It’s all case by case at the end of the day.
If you come to me with an LTV of 30%, I’m not going to need it. Do what you need to do. Here’s the money. If you’re asking for 75%, 70%, my money, my term. I’m not going to tell you how much you have to bring, but I know what I’m not bringing anything over. You got to bring to the closing table and put it. If they don’t have skin in the game, they can walk away from it.
Some lenders are set up to foreclose on properties. I have seen it. That’s what they want to do. Personally, I don’t want to deal with that, especially with what’s going on. I don’t understand the court system, how it is now and what they plan on doing with it. I don’t touch that.
That’s what lawyers are for. Pay the lawyers and let them handle it. Worst case is you only get what the borrower agrees to pay. They sell the house and you move on. You get into predatory lending. I certainly do not look at private loans as an acquisition or means to acquire properties. Sometimes it happens. That is a casualty of it. By and large, there are laws against stuff like that. Hands on the table, stay above board and you’ll be fine. You have the ability to do bridge loans. Walk us through what a typical bridge loan from FlipCo would look like. What’s the scenario? What does a deal look like?
We haven’t done one yet, but we’re open to it. We’re waiting for someone to bring us one. We’ve mostly done fix-and-flip. We’re looking at charging more points for something like that, with money down into the deal as well. For the most part, we have not solidified terms for that yet. We’re working on it. We’re working our way up.
That’s something I’ve dabbled in, but I’ve gotten away from.
Why did you get away from it?
Everyone who was coming to me had already sank too much money into the deal. From an equity standpoint, if I had to foreclose, then there was no room for me after I paid a realtor or the lawyer put it up on the market and everything, there was no equity there for me. There was no protection for what everyone was bringing me. The guys that had the great deals didn’t have to come to me if it’s a deal that you’ll find the money. I get voicemails all the time from strangers looking for some money, “I got a great deal.” I’m like, “Why are you calling me? If it’s a great deal, every hard money lender in town would be all over it.”
That is the truth. I don’t think people realize that as well. Another thing I’ve noticed with investors, on my side of stuff, they’ve already got the deal. They’re looking for financing. Financing should be the first thing, but I don’t know why that’s an afterthought for people. They’re so crazy about chasing the deal. They know nothing about how the finance side of it works. It’s scary. A lot of people are that way. They don’t understand the finance side of it.
What do you see? What mistakes are they doing?
A lot of them are like, “What would you loan on this?” When they’re coming to me, they’re coming to all the other lenders. They’ve never used hard money before or they claim to have used hard money. They claim they got the best terms ever. When you go down into breaking it down like it’s 100% financing, no appraisals, nothing. I always tell people, “If that’s what you’re getting, I can’t beat that. By all means, you should go that way. Investor to investor, I totally get it.” What I mean by that is you get on that conversation with them. You’re talking to them about it. It almost turns into an educational conversation from there. You’re wondering in your head, you’ve done all of this due diligence, this work to find this deal, but you didn’t even think about getting the financing set up. You don’t understand how hard money works or private money or whatever it may be. I don’t understand that. This isn’t with everybody but it is with a good amount of people. It’s quite interesting.
I haven’t done much real estate investing because I have to go so far outside of Houston to find. The level of work that I’m willing to put into lead generation, I should caveat that. I got plenty of jobs. I don’t need another one. Lead gen doesn’t need to be another one. I backed away and I’ve been patiently building up cash as my loans are coming due. I keep waiting for whatever is around the corner that keeps getting pushed down the road a little further. It’s hard to find. Everyone’s trying to do it. Everyone wants to be a landlord. This freeze is going to show people that it’s work.
Private lending is not passive. It’s the most passive. You still got to put work into it. You got to protect your money. You have to educate people. That should be built into their model, 3 points, 11%. If they can negotiate something down, then great. It boosts their margin that much more. Especially if you’re borrowing from someone with a self-directed IRA, they don’t like it when they get hit with the IRA fees. I don’t pay them. I make my borrowers pay all my fees out of my IRA. Back to your point, you don’t charge fees. I see a lot of lenders are doing that. It’s more all-encompassing.
It’s almost like you have to be. The market is getting so competitive. We don’t want to not charge fees. We need to make money. We’re so new. We’re willing to bite that bullet. I don’t foresee it being a forever thing.
Tell us a typical borrower demographic experience. What they do before? What does that look like?
Our demographic is who we chase after in other words. We’re looking for people with experience. We’re looking for mainly fix-and-flip guys. We’re trying to find projects that are within six months, maybe a little bit over. We’re not interested in year long projects because we have to get the money working. We’re in a different stage of business. Surprisingly, the majority of my clients are females, which is quite interesting. As known, it’s a male dominated industry. It’s a female to female kind of thing. I have mostly female clients. Active loan wise, I have just a handful of males.
Are they full-time investors or do they have other careers? Flip is not so much on the side. Where are they in the investment game?
They are real estate agents. They’re figuring it out. It’s not all about traditional real estate.
When you go to any REIA meet up, there’s going to be a handful of women there, but it’s all guys. It’s usually the same ones kicking tires time and time again.
Real estate agents are hard to work with. It’s a whole different way that they look at an investment property versus the other way of looking at it. It’s not a bad thing. They’re picking up details that other investors would not pick up because they don’t have that background and experience in dealing with the emotional side of the sale, which is the buyer. Not usually the seller if they’re selling for an investor. Investors are like, “These are my numbers. Get it out of the way. I don’t care.” The buyer is all kinds of different things. It’s emotional buyer mostly.Bread and butter houses are not bad, but they do need love. Click To Tweet
A good friend of mine handled my last two transactions on my personal residence. I’m good friends with her husband. I know she’s good and all but I was like, “You’re leaving so much on the table just keeping it with real estate agents.” I was like, “There are more ways to make money off real estate than just selling it.” Predominantly women in real estate agents, that’s awesome. That’s cool. That’s completely not what I was expecting. Your average borrower is 55, bald, gray if he does have hair.
When I pitched the idea, that’s what I told them. I was like, “This is going to be our demographic.” They’re cargo short, flip flop wearing guys. You don’t need to be fancy, just be transparent with them. Here I am with a bunch of females. It’s totally the opposite.
It’s great, especially if you’re a startup. Your clients are people that are hustlers as well. I liked the story. I was looking up on MLS since you do your own underwriting in-house. I like to call the bread and butter houses that $150,000 and below. There’s a big decrease in February 2021. From $100,000 and below, sales has decreased by 40%, 100 to 150 days decreased by 42.8%. This is retail. This is MLS. It is a good indicator of where the market is. I’m not saying this is crazy, but this is what makes me uncomfortable with the market.
I understand why the money’s flowing here but houses above $750,000 has increased by 65%. The sales have increased, which makes sense. If you’re coming into tumultuous time, you put your money in a hard asset. You can also make that your homestead, which protects that asset even further. The people who can afford a $750,000 home in February of 2021 are doing that. What are you seeing? What ranges are your flips or your loans coming in at? For the loan amount but also what’s the ARV of that range?
We had this discussion. We’re almost like, “Is our bread and butter going to be the higher end flips? Is that where we’re headed?” I’ve only had a few of your lower-end, $150,000 ARV. The majority of our ARVs are in the $400,000 to $500,000, $700,000 range, which is interesting. This is coming from real estate agents. It’s a weird thing. It’s coming from a different demographic. It is where that’s happening. These houses are not bad, but they do need love. My clients are seeing that potential that no one else is seeing. They’re willing to jump on it in a sense.
We talked about that. We saw the change in the market. We’re looking at what we’re funding on, when we talked about it. On average, our ARVs are going to be $250,000, $300,000 homes. We’ve been looking at higher-end homes. We have big amount of money out on those kinds of deals, which was interesting. We’re not at the stage where those deals have been listed yet. I couldn’t tell you what’s going on with them. We do have two that are listed under $200,000. They went under contract immediately for over what I had valued it at. It was over by $10,000 to $25,000.
One thing I look at when I’m underwriting a deal is the pocket and how many actives are in the area. If this pocket has a high demand, it almost makes me go back to our last deal before this last one. I valued it at $285,000. The appraiser came back in at $285,000 when I had the buyer, but we sold it for $327,000 because I saw there were no other actives. Nothing has sold that was investor updated in the past 365 days. There was a need in the pocket. That thing sold three days on market to a cash buyer. I listed it at $333,000. They came at me with $285,000. I came back at them at $327,000 and then they came back at $315,000. I said, “If you can go from $285,000 to $315,000, you’re going to pay me my $327,000.” They did.
When you’re looking at these deals, look at how much is active on the market and/or pending. That tells you how popular this deal is going to be. As a lender, I baby my clients a little bit too much. I will tell them that’s not the deal for them. You’ve got fourteen other actives. They’re all investor updated. They’re all 96 days on market. How are you going to be special? You’re going to be stuck in this loan a lot longer than you expected, which puts me at risk for foreclosing on the property. They’re going to get to the point where it bleeds them out that they are not going to want to do anything else with the property.
When you say you have fourteen comps that are pending 96 days and they’re all investor updated, how are you confirming their investment properties?
You can tell when you look at them. I do have access. I’m a licensed real estate agent. I’ve never used it for traditional stuff. I don’t care to understand. It’s a little tedious. I’ve got the contracts part down. When you’re looking at a property, you’re looking at the year that it was built. If it’s a 1985 build and the thing looks like a brand new modern home, an investor most likely updated that. I don’t go that deep into it, but if you look at its history, you can see it was bought for a certain price if it was on market. If off-market, then it’s all common sense. You’re trying to figure it out.
When I’m underwriting, I’ll say things like, “This looks like a seller’s do-it-yourself charm.” It’s not necessarily an investor updated. It’s funny because investors follow the same theme at least in the Houston market. For a while, people were doing yellow doors and aqua blue doors or something. That right there will tell you. Most likely investor’s like, “Let’s go inside and see what the property looks like,” quartz countertops. You see it in the body of the description, investor updated. There are so many signs that will tell you.
I don’t have access anymore to the MLS. I’m not a licensed agent. I would barter. When I started lending, I didn’t trust appraisers or anybody. I went to people like Ray Sasser here in Houston. I said, “How do you comp a property?” You yourself, not just the general way of, “Can I get a quick CMA market analysis with three properties that happened to be somewhere in the area?” That’s why I was asking the question. Digging into the MLS, Zillow will tell you. If it’s on the MLS, then you can pull through other third-party sites like HAR here in Houston.
That’s one of the things. If you do it long enough, you know what house grandpa raised and then fixed it up and let it go. To your point, this is a 3-2 ranch in the middle of Houston. It looks like Mediterranean Oasis. I’ll look at the appraisal district. I’ll look at the history of sales if it’s there. If you see an LLC, if you look through even the county clerk and you see hard money lenders on the notes, on the deeds of trust. I would love to buy property in 77084. I would hate to sell it. I would not want to be selling property there because it’s all investment. It’s all going to be a rental market at some point.
There’s nothing wrong with third party. People are like, “Where did you get your buyer, from Zillow?” If you’re specifically looking for something to value, it all depends on who’s looking at it. I use Redfin a lot. I’ll do a lot of soft loan quotes almost every single day. These deals don’t get through. Their offers don’t get accepted. Redfin is a quick way to see how off these people are when you’re doing soft loans. When you type in their address, it populates exact comps of that certain property from bill to size to bedrooms. It’ll pull it up right next to each other. It will say when it’s sold. You quickly scroll through it and it gives you a broad understanding. The max one was sold for $315,000. This guy’s thinking he can sell it for $600,000. Right off the bat to give you a good idea, Redfin is not too bad. The app on the phone, I don’t know about the website. I haven’t used that.
I remember years ago I was working on researching properties. Everyone was saying, “I went to Zillow and my house is worth $50,000 more than what my neighbor has sold it for.” Not to beat on Zillow, but they have reined it in with technology. I’ve used Redfin. I didn’t pull the trigger on the loan or buy the house, but I looked at some properties south of town in El Campo. Even though it’s still in the Houston MLS, I found Redfin informative. I was not willing to put the money on that property as an investor or a lender either way. It’s not all bad. Third party is not all bad.
If they plan on adding square footage or bedrooms, Redfin does help. You got to dig. You got to go in there and tear the deal apart at the end of the day.
How can people get in touch with you?
Email is the best. It’s direct to me. I’m sitting in front of it all day. That’s Kayla@FlipcoFinancial.com.
I wish you all the best. I hope to have you on here soon when you get so busy or you’ve got so many loans and so many affiliate offices around the country or whatever happens. I want to thank you for coming by and telling us about your underwriting and what it is that you do. Private lending is a business. It works. This is a case in point. Kayla, thank you so much for coming on.
Thank you. I appreciate it. It’s a lot of fun.
There you have it. I’d like to thank Kayla Wojcik from FlipCo Financial for stopping by and discussing their lending criteria and how she analyzes comparable local sales while underwriting loans. That’s going to do it for Episode 124. Thank you for your time. I don’t charge money to produce this show, but I would be extremely grateful if you would help me get the word out and increase awareness by leaving me an honest rating and review over at iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartRadio or whatever platform you are using to hear my voice. It’s a small but quick requests that will pay us both dividends. It earns a bigger following for the show and you get to erase some negative karma. It’s true. Try it.
Remember Lender Nation, if you would like to get started on your private lending journey but don’t know where to start, head on over to PrivateLenderPodcast.com/Ink to learn more about how you can begin private lending in the Houston area with my friend, Paul Lamnatos. Don’t forget to join the show’s Facebook Group. It doesn’t have a fancy name just one of those numbers after the group. Head on over for that. Join the community and contribute. Learn a lot from a lot of smart people. That’s going to do it for this episode. Thank you for reading. Thank you for your time. Besides self-awareness, I wish everyone safe and prosperous private lending. I’ll catch you on the next episode.
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About Kayla Wojcik
Kayla Wojcik is the founder and director of sales and operations for Flipco Financial a team of forward-thinking individuals in the real estate investing sector focused on bringing a better financing product to the Houston market and soon nationally.
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