How to Invest in Real Estate Investing with No Money Down

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How to Invest in Real Estate Investing with No Money Down

The idea of real estate investing with no money out of your own pocket is enough to pique anyone’s interest. The mere potential of making a good return without having to front the money yourself is too exciting to pass on. Meanwhile, investing in real estate with no money down is made possible by several unconventional alternatives. Therefore, if you are interested in investing in real estate, but would instead use other people’s money, try networking with some of the following sources:

Hard money lenders

  • Private money lenders
  • Homeowners are willing to entertain a rent-to-own strategy.
  • Homeowners are willing to finance the impending purchase with seller financing.
  • A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)
  • A partner



Hard money lenders are organized, semi-institutional lenders typically licensed to lend capital to real estate investors. More importantly, they represent the most profitable relationship an investor may establish in their respective field. Hard money lenders make it possible for investors to secure deals they may have had to pass on. By offering short-term, high-rate loans, Arizona hard money lenders are perhaps the best option for today’s investors to turn to when they need funding to purchase a deal quickly and efficiently.
Unlike their traditional counterparts, hard money loans offer short-term solutions for borrowers who need money to fund both the acquisition and construction costs. In return for their loan, however, investors will need to pay upwards of 11 to 15 percent in interest and perhaps even an additional three to five points (a subsequent upfront percentage fee based on the original loan amount).
Hard money lenders will ask to be named on the insurance policy to secure their investment. Likewise, hard money lenders will require borrowers to give them a promissory note and a mortgage or trust deed to the property. These safety measures are implemented to mitigate risk and allow them to lend money to otherwise unproven investors.
Hard money lenders in Arizona are asset-based lenders, which means they base their decisions to loan money almost entirely on the subject property’s potential. While they indeed consider borrowers’ track records, the potential of the property represents their highest priority. That said, the better the property, the more likely an investor will receive a loan.
In return for meeting all the criteria by Phoenix hard money lenders, borrowers will be given quick access to funds that will most likely cover acquisition and construction costs. While their capital comes at a high price, investors are often able to receive it within as little as a few hours. The speed of implementation awarded to investors from hard money is one of the primary reasons they can acquire deals and exercise an advantage over the rest of the field.


Private money lenders are like hard money lenders in that they too are often willing to offer high-interest, short-term loans to any investor who can bring them a good deal. As their name suggests, private money lenders are not institutionalized or licensed to lend money to real estate investors. Instead, private money lenders can be anyone with enough money and a penchant for investing. Private money lenders can be anyone from a friend or family member to a business acquaintance or an investor’s latest attempt at networking.
While private money lenders aren’t institutionalized, they still offer investors a great way to take up real estate investing with no money out of their pockets. However, their lack of a professional structure coincides with some notable differences from their hard-money counterparts. Like hard money lenders, private money lenders will request to be named on the subject property’s insurance to mitigate the risk of their investment. Private money lenders in Arizona will also want borrowers to give them a promissory note and a mortgage or trust deed to the property. That way, the faith they are placing in a borrower is secured by collateral.
The primary differences between hard money and private money are apparent in the interest rates and speed of implementation. Private money lenders in Phoenix are inclined to ask for anywhere between six to 12 percent interest. At that rate, private money lenders are usually cheaper to go through, but their capital comes at the expense of a less professional lending environment. Again, private money lenders aren’t licensed to lend money and are traditionally less experienced.


The “rent-to-own” financing strategy is yet another alternative to traditional financing. More importantly, it proposes another way to take up real estate investing with no money (at least in the traditional sense) out of your pocket. When buyers enter into a rent-to-own agreement, they effectively agree to rent a subject property for a predetermined amount of time until they can exercise an option to purchase the house from the original owner. This is also known as a lease agreement. As a result, buyers will be expected to pay “rent,” but it won’t coincide with the significant down payment that has prevented many people from buying a home.
Rent-to-own agreements will let prospective buyers pay rent for a predetermined amount of time (upwards of three years), after which they will be given the option to purchase the home. That’s an important distinction, as not all contracts require the renter to follow through with a purchase. As Investopedia so eloquently puts it, “some contracts (lease-option contracts) give the potential buyer the right but not the obligation to purchase when the lease expires. If he or she decides not to purchase the property at the end of the lease, the offer expires.”


Seller financing, also known as owner financing, is precisely what its title suggests: the impending buyer will finance the purchase through the person who currently owns the home. The current owner will act as the lender, effectively removing the need for any third-party lenders. As a result, borrowers (the buyers) will proceed to make payments to the seller for the duration of the loan. To that end, seller financing isn’t all that different from a traditional bank loan. The owner will determine the cost, down payment, amortization, loan amount, interest, and everything else that has become synonymous with traditional underwriting.
The lack of a third party lends itself to both buyers and sellers. Selling financing is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to finance a deal. However, the benefits of seller financing can’t be realized unless the seller owns the property “free and clear.” For the seller to exercise the “seller financing” option, they must be able to carry a first mortgage, which would require them to have paid off the property already. Only once the owner has paid off their mortgage and remains in a 100 percent equity position can they act as the bank for a subsequent transaction.
Seller financing can benefit everyone involved in a deal. The owner, for example, can simultaneously sell the house, profit from interest, and limit their tax liability by taking the proceeds from the sale in incremental installments. On the other hand, buyers may negotiate more favorable terms, like zero money down.


In addition to everything above, real estate investing with no money down is made even more possible for those who have already built-up equity in an existing home. Thanks to the home equity line of credit (HELOC), those who have already been paying down a mortgage may be able to use existing equity to facilitate an additional purchase. In its simplest form, a HELOC allows homeowners to take the first position on a loan and put their equity to work. It should be noted, however, that most banks won’t let homeowners use 100 percent of their equity. To mitigate risk, it’s more common for banks to lend about 70 to 75 percent of the equity one has in a home. While technically borrowing against the equity in your home, a HELOC will promote real estate investing with no money out of your pocket.


No money down real estate investing” takes on a new meaning when a partner is introduced into the equation. Investors can practice real estate investing without money if they align their services with the right partner. If for nothing else, there’s no reason one partner can’t fund an entire deal. That said, investors who don’t bring any money to the table must compensate for their financial shortcomings. In the event a partner can’t help fund the deal, they should be able to bring something of equal value to the table. Perhaps they are great at networking or are expert marketers. After all, money isn’t the only thing with value in the real estate investing industry.


The concept of real estate investing with no money is lost on many people. Purchasing an asset as large as a piece of real estate without any of your own money seems downright impossible. However, several alternative forms of financing, not the least of which rely on other people’s money to complete a deal. The more options an investor must fund a deal, the more likely they will acquire it.
Dennis Dahlberg
Level 4 Funding LLC
Hard Money Lender
Hard Money Loans
Hard Money Loan
Arizona Tel: (623) 582-4444
Texas Tel: (512) 516-1177
Dennis Dahlberg Broker/RI/CEO

NMLS 1057378 | AZMB 0923961 | MLO 1057378
22601 N 19th Ave Suite 112 | Phoenix | AZ | 85027
111 Congress Ave | Austin | Texas | 78701

Equal Housing Opportunity. This is not a Good Faith Estimate and this is not a Guarantee to lend and should not be considered as such. Costs, rates, estimates and terms can only be determined after completion of a full application. Actual payments will vary based on your individual situation and current rates. APR for loans vary from 7.99 – 29.5% and is based on Credit Score, Down Payment, LTV, Income. Mortgage rates could change daily. To get more accurate and personalized results, please call 623 582 4444 to talk to one of our licensed mortgage experts. Terms and conditions of all loan programs are subject to change without notice. Level 4 Funding LLC, 22601 N 19th Ave Suite 112, Phoenix AZ 85027, 623-582-4444 NMLS 1018071 AZMB 0923961 This e-mail is for the exclusive use of the intended recipients, and may contain privileged and confidential information. If you are not an intended recipient, please notify the sender, delete the e-mail from your computer and do not copy or disclose it to anyone else. Your receipt of this message is not intended to waive any applicable privilege. Neither this e-mail nor any attachment’s establish a client relationship, constitute an electronic signature or provide consent to contract electronically, unless expressly so stated by Dennis Dahlberg RI/CEO, Level 4 Funding LLC, in the body of this e-mail or an attachment. To the extent this message includes any tax or legal advice this message is not intended or written by the sender to be used, and cannot be used, for legal or tax purposes or advice.

About the Author: Dennis has been working in the real estate industry in some capacity for the last 40 years. He purchased his first property when he was just 18 years old. He quickly learned about the amazing investment opportunities provided by trust deed investing and hard money loans. His desire to help others make money in real estate investing led him to specialize in alternative funding for real estate investors who may have trouble getting a traditional bank loan. Dennis is passionate about alternative funding sources and sharing his knowledge with others to help make their dreams come true. Dennis has been married to his wonderful wife for 43 years. They have 2 beautiful daughters 5 amazing grandchildren. Dennis has been an Arizona resident for the past 40 years.
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