$8,600,000 Cash-Out Refinance of a 2-Property Multifamily Portfolio During the COVID Pandemic; Los Angeles, CA
July 8, 2020
George Smith Partners was retained to develop and implement a strategy to refinance a 5-Property $50,000,000 multifamily portfolio. GSP divided the properties between two capital providers in order to provide maximum flexibility to the Sponsor. The second part of the portfolio involved obtaining a 70% LTV permanent loan of $8,600,000 to provide the Sponsor with over $1,500,000 in cash-out capital to purchase additional properties during a changing market and maintain a strong cash position. GSP obtained a fixed interest only rate of 3.95% for the first 5 years.
With the COVID-19 global pandemic and uncertainty in the market, it was critical to select a capital provider who could successfully close. Borrowing costs are on the rise as lenders ratchet up their credit standards. The proceeds for this transaction were targeted for the acquisition of an additional asset which had a firm closing date and a large non-refundable deposit. Any delays would have been very costly. With the current crisis, lenders were 100% focused on rent collections and overwhelmed with new financing requests as several other lenders pulled out of the market as well as forbearance requests from their current borrowers. In addition to the usual due diligence requirements, the Lender required much more information. There were complex issues around appraisals and inspections that required lots of hand-holding.
GSP selected a capital provider that we have a strong relationship with and has closed numerous loans for us. We knew the loan officer would stay focused on the need to close on time and keep the agreed to rate and proceeds throughout the loan process. Because GSP is in the debt market every day, we were able to ensure that the capital provider was truly closing deals and meeting deadlines. Because of the market disruption, borrowing rates jumped by over 100 basis points overnight. We were able to lock the 5-year interest only rate at 3.95%, the following day, rates jumped to 4.75%. It was clear that the Lender was mindful of their reputation with GSP and didn’t want to get a reputation of crazy rate increases or abandoning their customers when they are needed the most. GSP’s experience working with appraisers, inspectors and title/escrow during the COVID period was critical to getting this transaction completed. The loan closed on time and the Sponsor was able to utilize the cash-out to purchase another project. As is now common during the COVID crisis, the Capital Provider required a 12-month interest reserve. We were able to convince the Capital Provider to apply those funds to the first 12 months of the loan payments.
$24,300,000 Cash-Out Refinance of a 3-Property Multifamily Portfolio During the COVID Pandemic; Los Angeles, CA
July 1, 2020
George Smith Partners successfully refinanced a 3-Property stabilized multifamily portfolio with cash-out during the COVID stay at home order in Los Angeles.
The new capitalization provided the Sponsor with over $3,000,000 in cash-out to purchase additional properties during a changing market and maintain a strong cash position. GSP was able to obtain of 70% LTV with a starting fixed interest rate of 3.4% for the first 5 years. The loan is for 30 years with indexed changes every 5 years.
As the world entered into a global pandemic, capital providers were unsure about the future of the real estate market in general and specifically the multifamily market. Within two weeks of application over half of the multifamily lenders canceled all their deals and exited the market. Because of this uncertainty, many capital providers pulled back. When the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates they are impacting the index part of the rates, but the risk spread is determined by factors like supply and demand as well as overall risk. Even when the Federal Reserve cuts treasury rates the overall rate to a borrower can increase on assets like commercial real estate. At GSP our role is to manage the entire financing process including managing the expectations of both the Sponsor and Capital Provider. When our clients hear the Federal Reserve is cutting rates, they naturally expect rates to fall However, because of the huge amount of new risk caused by the COVID-19 crisis, rates for commercial real estate actually went up over 1%.
GSP opted for a Capital Provider with a slightly higher rate. We had a strong relationship with this Capital Provider and felt that we had a better chance of a successful closing. One week after going into application with our chosen capital provider, the Lender we had passed on pulled out of the market. GSP pushed forward with our client keeping focus on closing the transaction. As treasury rates fell sharply, our capital provider warned us to lock if we wanted to maintain our application rate. Following our advice, the Sponsor locked at 3.4%, our application rate. The following day, rates jumped over 1%, with rates going into the high 4% range. The closing process during COVID is more difficult with Capital Providers wanting to verify every dollar of collection and reduce risk as much as possible. As capital providers started seeing borrowers unable to pay their rent, almost every lender implemented upfront reserves. The overall due diligence process was tougher than we had seen in the past. The loan closed at the agreed rate and proceeds. The Lender required a 12-month interest reserve and we were able to convince the Lender to apply those funds to the first 12 months of the loan payments. This is becoming a common practice for almost all lenders since the COVID Crisis.
Cash Out Refinance for 14 Unit Renovated Multifamily Property; 3.5% Fixed; Bank Financing Closed During Covid-19 Pandemic; Los Angeles, CA
June 24, 2020
George Smith Partners secured a first trust deed on an unencumbered 14-unit Los Angeles multifamily property. The loan is fixed at a rate of 3.5% for seven years and has five years of Interest Only payments. The Sponsor acquired the Property in an all-cash transaction 12 months ago and completed a full gut renovation. Unit interiors were updated to a high level of finish with an investment of $27,600/per unit, and the Property was leased up to 100% occupancy. The loan was placed into application with a California based bank about one week before the stay-at-home order was implemented. Despite the resulting economic uncertainty, the Sponsor was able to maintain collections close to 100%. As a result, the Capital Provider made one small change to the original term sheet, adding a twelve-month payment reserve. The payment reserve is based off Interest Only payments and it will be used to make the interest payment on the loan. In order to cover this reserve, the Capital Provider was able to increase loan proceeds from the amount in the original application. As a result, our Sponsor received the same amount of cash out that was originally applied for.
Rate: 3.5% fixed for 7 years, then floating at 6M LIBOR + 2.35%
Term: 30 years
Amortization: 5 years Interest Only followed by 30-year amortization
Prepayment Penalty: 4,3,2,1,0
May 27, 2020
George Smith Partners placed $16,300,000 in cash out refinancing for a recently stabilized for-rent SFR development. The financing includes seven years of interest only, which will maximize cash flow for an asset located in one of the fastest growing markets in the United States. The Project is a key asset for the Sponsorship group which operates over 2,500 units throughout the mountain states and securing a low rate, higher leverage, take-out loan was an essential part of the long-term strategy of the company. GSP utilized our relationships to close the transaction in three weeks from a signed application.
During the COVID-19 era we have seen significant changes to underwriting standards in comparison to 2019. These new requirements presented an underwriting challenge for the recently stabilized project as collections were increasing throughout 2020. GSP was able to demonstrate the Sponsors overall portfolio performance and three months stabilized occupancy to achieve maximum proceeds.
May 20, 2020
George Smith Partners secured $1,690,000 in Freddie Mac permanent financing for the acquisition of a stabilized 72-unit multifamily property located in Killeen, Texas. The Property is located four miles southeast of Fort Hood, the largest active-duty armored post in the U.S. military, occupying more than 218,000 acres of land in Bell and Coryell Counties.
As GSP went into application, the world was entering into the COVID-19 pandemic. Most lenders had either stopped lending or become much more cautious. Most agency lenders require Borrowers to have a track record with multiple projects before they will be considered for a Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae loan. In this case, the Sponosr was a first-time agency borrower. To make it even more challenging, the Property was in a small market with a high concentration of military personnel and the Sponsor required the ability to have prepayment flexibility.
GSP used its relationship with a capital provider who closed multiple loans with our firm. GSP recently closed a loan in a similar small market and we were confident that they would understand the demographics and market characteristics. For this type of financing, the Lender’s typical structure is to offer a 10-year term with Yield Maintenance. Thanks to GSP’s long-standing relationship with this Lender, we were able to secure an attractive rate, high leverage, and a step-down prepayment of 3,1,0,0,0 on a 5-year term. The new capital allows the Sponsor to expand their Texas Multi-Family portfolio.
May 13, 2020
George Smith Partners secured $1,400,000 to refinance a stabilized multifamily building in Silver Lake, CA. The Property, which was built by the Sponsor in 1991, is 100% occupied. The Sponsor has owned and managed the building for over 25 years, but this is currently the only asset in his portfolio. Refinancing provided the ability to achieve a lower interest rate and return equity to increase his liquidity position. The non-recourse financing carries a fixed interest rate of 4.05% for 5 years.
The Sponsor’s lack of real estate experience and non-third-party property management deterred some capital providers from offering non-recourse financing. The Sponsor also had limited pre-closing liquidity which made it difficult to qualify for the most attractive rates. Lastly, the eventual lender required a 6-month interest reserve due to recent uncertainty surrounding the multifamily market.
Even though the Sponsor has limited real estate exposure, GSP was able to highlight the strong historical occupancy that the Sponsor has been able to maintain while self-managing the subject property for over two decades. GSP identified a lender that only required liquidity equal to 5% of the loan amount to qualify for their non-recourse program. The interest reserve was structured as pre-paid interest that goes directly to pay the first six months of principal and interest payments. This avoids having a held-back reserve that would only release upon hitting certain covenants in the future.
Rate: 4.05% Fixed
Term: 5 Years
Amortization: 30 Years
Prepayment: 1.75% for Years 1-3, 1.00% for Years 4-5
Loan Fee: Par
- Advisors: Patrick O’Donnell
May 6, 2020
George Smith Partners placed a $5,575,000 acquisition loan for the purchase of a 38-unit multifamily unit located in the Los Angeles MSA. The loan has a rate of 3.6% for a 7-year term and includes three years of Interest Only payments. The term sheet was signed shortly before the COVID-19 crisis and ensuing economic volatility. Despite these conditions, the original rate and leverage was kept intact.
The Property has several vacant units which represented an opportunity for our Sponsor to add value. The Capital Provider was able to underwrite the income on these units to post-renovation market rents. Market comparable data was used to support the buyer’s conservative rent assumptions. Additionally, the Capital Provider used a market vacancy factor and proposed to withhold 12 months of Principal and Interest reserves at loan closing. GSP pointed out that the loan had IO payments during the first 3 years. After discussion, the reserve was changed to 12 months of interest payments only. The loan closed in less than 60 days.
$12,933,000 Permanent Loan to Refinance Existing Construction Debt for a Recently Completed 21-Unit Multifamily Property; 65% LTV; 2.92% Fixed, 1.35 DSCR; Los Angeles, CA
April 22, 2020
George Smith Partners secured $12,933,000 in proceeds for a recently stabilized 21-unit multifamily building located in the Pico Robertson neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA. The non-recourse, par, permanent Fannie Mae loan was utilized to refinance the existing bank construction debt in the amount of ~$9.45M and return equity to the ownership. The loan represented 88% of cost and carries a 10-year term with 10-years of interest only payments. The loan is secured by a Class A five-story mid-rise multifamily building comprised of four 2-bedroom units and seventeen 3-bedroom units. Amenities at the Subject Property include controlled access entry and parking, an elevator, rooftop deck, and private balconies. The loan was placed into application prior to major Covid-19 concerns thus no index floor was contemplated. GSP worked with the Lender to underwrite revenue to a trailing one month of actual collections carefully navigating the waiver process so as not to trigger new business which would have resulted in an index significantly wider than the actual 10-year Treasury rate. Lastly, a six-month reserve for principal, interest, taxes, insurance, and reserves was held back at closing in the event of a shortfall, enabling the Lender to fund during the global pandemic. The reserve will be released within one year if the Subject Property maintains the minimum 1.35x DSCR for the same period.
$19,100,000 Construction Financing to 92.5% LTC on a 111-Unit, Class-A Apartment Community; St. Louis City, Missouri
April 8, 2020
George Smith Partners successfully placed $19,100,000 in construction financing, which funded 92.5% of the total project cost for the construction of a 111-unit second phase of a larger mixed-use multifamily and retail project located in the trendy St. Louis City neighborhood of The Grove. The financing structure included a senior loan to 85% LTC and a preferred equity investment with last-dollar exposure to 92.5% of total project cost. The preferred equity investment is non-recourse and the senior loan provides for only a 50% repayment guarantee that burns down to 25% upon certificate of occupancy. Additionally, the Lender and preferred equity investor gave credit for a lift in land value above the Borrower’s actual cost due to the Sponsor having owned the land since 2016 and it being the second phase of a larger project. GSP leveraged its expertise of the St. Louis market, long-standing lender relationships, and capital markets creativity to achieve the Sponsors goals of minimizing cash equity invested into the project due to how much value is being created in this phase of the project.
Term: Twenty-four-month initial term with one, 12-month extension option
Amortization: Interest only
Prepayment: Nine-months minimum interest
Guaranty: 50% repayment guarantee that burns down to 25% repayment guarantee upon certificate of occupancy (on senior loan only; does not apply to the non-recourse preferred equity investment)
$12,375,000 Construction Loan for the Development of a 34-Unit Multifamily Property; 75% LTC; LIBOR+2.45%; Los Angeles, CA
March 25, 2020
George Smith Partners secured $12,375,000 in proceeds for the development of a 34-unit multifamily property located in the Greater Wilshire/Hancock Park area of Los Angeles. The proposed development will consist of 31 market rate units and 3 affordable units for very low-income households that are to remain affordable for a period of 55 years. Building plans were approved prior to loan funding; construction is scheduled to commence in March 2020 with an estimated completion date of approximately August 2021, resulting in an 18-month construction period.
The loan has a term of 24 months from closing with two 6-month extension options. The recourse loan will be secured by the land and the to-be constructed building. The fully funded loan represents 75% of the total project capitalization. The loan will be interest only for the 24-month term floating at 30-Day LIBOR + 2.45%. Upon completion the development will represent excellent quality multifamily units in an in-fill Los Angeles neighborhood. There are several projects currently under-construction in immediate proximity that will be competitive with the Subject Property. GSP selected a capital provider that was knowledgeable about the project’s location and the Sponsor’s experience to mitigate the new supply concerns.
March 18, 2020
George Smith Partners placed a $3,200,000 cash-out refinance on a multifamily property in the trendy Larchmont submarket of Los Angeles, CA. The Property was a recent acquisition and still undergoing renovations as part of a value-added strategy. Despite this, GSP was able to source a bank lender offering a mini-permanent loan structure that met the Sponsor’s request for cash-out proceeds to re-invest in new development deals. Although the loan included a 12-month interest reserve a holdback for the remaining construction budget was not required. The financing was sized to 70% LTV and carries a rate of Prime + 0.5% (5.25% today). The loan carries a 5-year term and is interest only the first 18 months followed by a 30-year amortization.
Rate: Prime + 0.5% (5.25% today)
Term: 5 Years
Amortization: 18 months interest only followed by 30-year amortization
Prepayment Penalty: None
- Advisors: Zachary Streit
$27,270,000 Refinance of 11-Property Portfolio; Fixed For 10 Years at 3.61%; Full Term Interest Only; Los Angeles, CA
March 18, 2020
George Smith Partners placed the $27,270,000 refinance of eleven stabilized Los Angeles multifamily properties totaling 302 units. The interest rate is fixed at 3.61% for ten years with full term Interest Only payments.
Since acquisition several years ago, the Borrower has invested a considerable amount in capital expenditures across the whole portfolio. Invoices were used to separate capital expenditures from recurring R&M expenses. This information helped to provide support for the Lender’s underwritten cash flow and property values. The Lender had previously provided the acquisition loan for the portfolio and is refinancing its own loans. For the refinance, they initially requested a higher level of due diligence than that of the previous loans. GSP worked with the Lender to waive these requirements and provide the same diligence as the loans from acquisition.
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