I would like to take the opportunity to let everyone know that may be interested in doing business with M2REST that I had a very simple and successful experience selling my home to these people. More specifically, Malhar Bhagat did an amazing job making it very simple and cost efficient to close the deal. He did everything he said that he would do. Save some money and headache dealing with a Real Estate Agent and follow this path. No closing costs is a nice way to go.
– Kent B.
I am a Certified Financial Planner ® practitioner. I have held the designation for 10 years, and have been working in the financial planning profession since 2000. During that time, as an individual, I made use of a private lender myself in order to purchase a home before my divorce was finalized. As a person who had both an adequate income stream, and access to capital, I was frustrated that I couldn’t qualify for my own individual financing. At the time no traditional lender would provide my with a loan until after my divorce, and even then, would require me to submit a copy of my divorce settlement. The timely access to a loan through a private lender allowed me to purchase a home.
The above experience was so agreeable to me that I understood both the need for and the virtue of private lending. When I was first approached by Meghna Bhagat of M2REST, I felt very comfortable with the idea of acting as a private lender myself. I have had the pleasure of working with M2REST since the summer of 2008. The entire experience has been one of utmost professionalism. The payment terms have been clearly defined in the beginning and payment schedule has been scrupulously followed. There have never been any missed or late payments. All communications and documents have also arrived promptly and been prepared with both accuracy and professionalism.
Meghna and Malhar Bhagat of M2REST shared with me the business model and their process of building a team to help renovate a property and eventually to manage it either as a rental or list it for sale. They do extensive research regarding the prospects of each area where they are investing in properties. Both Meghna and Malhar have a solid grasp of the economics of the situation, including what it takes to make each property profitable enough for themselves as well as make each payment on time.
The entire process is very easy on me as an investor. Most months, when there are no transactions, I spend none of my time managing the relationship or the process of acting as a private lender. In months where there is a sale transaction I spend between 30 minutes to 1 hour, including driving time, to have a lien release document notarized, and then express mailed to the title and escrow company. In a month where there is only a purchase, I spend less time, filling out a wire transfer form to provide funding for a new property. After the new property is purchased I receive in the mail a lien, plus a notification that property and casualty insurance has been taken out and naming me as the insured. After each transaction I am provided with an updated spreadsheet showing a loan payback summary which combines together all properties for which I am the lender. It allows me to see what cash flows I can expect in the future. In addition, annually there is a Form 1099 provided in early February to me for income tax reporting. It accurately reflects the amount of interest I have received each year.
My personal arrangement was to have a specific amount of credit available at all times. This helped me to know what percentage of my total portfolio was engaged in private lending, and helped Malhar and Meghna Bhagat to know how much total capital they had to work with. They were able to plan for and deploy the available funding to the best advantage for their business model.
I consider the percentage of my portfolio allocated to M2REST as a specific asset class. From my point of view it provides exposure to real estate and yet it pays out like a callable bond. At a time when I am not personally inclined to invest directly in rental property, I still have exposure to this asset class. Residential rental real estate has been an undervalued asset class ever since the real estate bubble burst in 2007-2008.
Simultaneously, traditional lending sources, having been burned due to their own lack of proper screening and adherence to sensible underwriting requirements, tightened credit until the real estate market was in a strangle hold. In the ensuing recession short term interest rates were plunged to a level insignificantly different from zero. This had the expected effect on both banking and CD interest rates, and also on bond yields, of bringing them to levels unseen in fifty years. The near zero short term yields have lasted far longer than anyone ever expected. M2REST has provided me with a very nice ongoing yield and return on investment from the beginning. Effectively paying out like a bond, the rate of return continues to be higher than any bonds available anywhere else. The “call” provision, happens when a property sells, and the principle is returned. I personally leave the principal available to be loaned out again, as M2REST needs it.
I would strongly recommend working with M2REST to anyone considering acting as a private lender. I have enjoyed a fun and profitable relationship with M2REST for four years now, and am looking forward to many more to come. It has been a relationship marked with professionalism, prompt payouts, and minimal time commitment on my part. As with any investment there is an element of risk. I feel that the risk has been minimized by the integrity and professionalism of Malhar and Meghna. In any lending situation you have to know to whom you are lending and have a sense of whether or not they have the ability and intention to repay what was borrowed. I have one hundred percent confidence that M2REST will continue to perform in the exemplary way they have shown me for four years. Plus there is also a safety net. In a worst case scenario, there is an actual piece of property, purchased at a very low price, in a real estate market currently selling at unsustainably low levels. Within a few months of making the initial loan, the property has been renovated and rented out with a property manager already in place. This is the collateral M2REST has as a backup. In my opinion they represent a risk worth taking, for rewards that are plentiful and painless to harvest.
– Martha A.
Almost a year ago, I walked into a coffee shop in East Atlanta where my fiancé, Patrick, and I had planned to meet with Malhar and Danielle of M2REST. As a teacher and a brewer who had spent nearly half a year losing the highest-and-best game and having to withdraw offers on properties with abysmal inspection results, we were looking for a different approach in the real estate market that might lead us to our first home. We couldn’t have known then what an incredible turn of events would follow through their partnership.
A few weeks before this initial coffee shop meeting, we were in danger of falling short on another property that would be sold to someone who could inflate their offer above the asking price more than we could. Realizing our imminent loss as potential buyers streamed in and out of this property, Patrick took a walk down the street and stopped at a house around the corner that was being renovated. He went inside and spoke with some of the workers. Having seen his fair share of bad inspections, it was easy for Patrick to see that this particular property was being built with care and attention that cut no corners. This was our first glimpse at M2REST’s work, and we were impressed enough to seek out Malhar and Danielle’s contact information in the hopes that they would discuss the potential for renovating a future property with specific buyers – us – in mind.
The coffee shop meeting proved to be as pleasant as it was fruitful. Malhar’s background in education was immediately apparent as he adeptly explained the real estate dynamic, the trends of the market, the neighborhoods with the greatest potential, and the most ideal places for us to search based on our budget and desires. Danielle’s passion for crafting beautifully inviting, intuitively functional homes spoke for itself in the pictures of their completed properties, but was evident to us by simply walking through a home in the middle of the construction process. Everything intentional, space never wasted.
Months down the road, M2REST came upon a property in the West End that met the criteria Patrick and I had suggested to Malhar and Danielle in our initial conversation. We all agreed to proceed. Throughout the entire process, they were transparent and clear about what we could expect, while also being incredibly receptive to suggestions or inquiries that we had. Not only did they make us feel like we were important clients to them, but they made sure that we felt as comfortable as friends every step of the way.
To say that M2REST went above and beyond is an understatement. You will not find another partnership that will spend several after-business hours going through a contract with first time buyers just to make sure you are comfortable. You will not find another partnership that calculates and recalculates in order to craft the built-in bookshelves you had said you wanted in your home’s library. You will not find another partnership that lives by the integrity of its mission statement as closely as M2REST does.
In a business that often seems shifty and heartless, the personal touch of M2REST offers an incredibly refreshing approach to real estate for which we are abundantly grateful.
– Celeste M.