Craig Hill with The Norris Group #102

Bruce Norris is joined this week by the loan officer for the Norris Group, Craig Hill, and the full-time property buyer for the Norris Group, Greg Norris.

Bruce asks Craig about how long he’s been in the hard money loan business and who the typical borrower was when he first started. Craig talks about buyers he used to work with and how it changed 20 years ago because of rule changes. Craig then talks about how he started working with Bruce and how it made much more sense to lend to investors. Craig says the investor has made not only more sense but are better at making payments.

Bruce then chats with Greg about his past year and a half as a property buyer. Greg talks about his early experience watching trustee sale buyers and what they liked to buy. Greg talks about loans available for investors and how conventional loans are currently at a liit of four.

Bruce asks Craig why lenders are hesitant to lend to investors. Craig says lenders have a false perception that investors are bad to lend to. An investor has more money down and has just as many reason to stay in a home as an owner occupant but lenders don’t want to be involved in that transaction.

Greg talks about how long ago he started making offers straight out of the MLS. Greg says making offers straight out of the MLS was not successful in early 2008 as the lenders wouldn’t budge. In the first six months of 2008, zero deals came out of the MLS, most were coming from auction. Now towards the end of the year, almost all came from the MLS that The Norris Group purchased. Now, The Norris Group is buying about 5% of the offers made.

Craig talks about last minute funding calls and why these investors are in a rush. Craig goes into detail why people with money make these investor loans. Craig says our main target market are seeing loans being made of $85,000 to $120,000 where last year those same homes were being bought for $200,000. There’s been a big change in price. Money sources have become a little nervous.

The perception right now is everyone wants a cookie cutter deal. Everyone wants a $100,000 loan and money sources do not want to be aggressive. Those that want larger loans or are buying in areas out of comfort zone areas will need more in money in the transaction. Money sources in Northern California are wanting to invest in smaller loan amounts and also invest in Southern California where they feel TNG performs best.

Most hard money loans have to have investors put more money into the deals right now. Different sources have gone out the window because of the market.

Bruce asks Greg what he is looking for now as he is making offers on things inside the MLS. Greg says he is looking for anything within a $30,000 range where he thinks he can buy it and make a profit. Sometimes these are short sales and sometimes his offers don’t get accepted for months. Sometimes he gets deals because other investors fall out and he’s the only one left.

At this point, Greg is not being able to talk with people directly often. Right now, banks seem to be dictating to REO agents where before there was much more relationship involved. Greg says he sometimes gets no reaction from REO agents when making offers. Every agent reacts different. Some email when we didn’t get a deal and some do.

Bruce says between 2000-2006 most of our hard money loans came from investors purchasing from people directly. Craig says it’s now changed almost completely where 100% are bought out of the MLS, through auctions, and occasionally from trustee sale and probate. The MLS at this point is creating the most real estate opportunities.

Out of the 40 properties Greg has purchased this year, 30% of the deals were auctions, the rest were from the MLS. Greg is not looking forward to attending auctions. It’s a lot of work for sometimes no results. REDC and Hudson and Marshall have been mixed this year.

Craig says the inventory he is making hard money loans on is different form the 90s. In the 90s there were more 30s and 40s built home located in San Bernardino and Moreno Valley. This time, the investors are being savvier. Investors are buying a little bigger homes and newer homes. The inventory is much better.

Craig talks about why some investors get frustrated because they can’t participate in our money program. Credit issues aren’t the biggest issue. Liquidity is just very important right now. Most people don’t mind hearing “no” because we’re trying to set them up for success. Some investors just don’t understand the process.

Bruce talks about deals Craig turns down and investors coming back later thanking him for now allowing them into the deal. Craig finds that very gratifying. More next week.

Craig Hill has been in the hard money loan business for over 25 years. Greg Norris has been working as the Norris Group’s full time property buyer for going on two years. More information about The Norris Group at and

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