Recently JTC, Formerly NES Financial, interviewed Gregory Sweeney and Andy Lewis, the two principals behind a new company called International Investors Mortgage (IIM).
IIM launched a new loan product structured specifically for EB-5 investors who struggle to qualify for mortgage loans from traditional lenders. IIM allows the investors to leverage the value of their EB-5 investments, long before the investors are eligible for the return of their capital contribution from their EB-5 project. Using the EB-5 investment as leverage via this opportunity not only decreases the required down payment, it also reduces the amount of additional funds someone without a substantial credit history would otherwise need to bring to the US to fund the purchase of real estate and qualify for a foreign national mortgage loan.
We spoke with Gregory and Andy again to better understand the opportunity, including who is eligible to apply, what the loan proceeds can be used for, and more.
Who is eligible to apply?
Gregory Sweeney: Any EB-5 Investor who has an approved I-526 petition is currently eligible to apply for a mortgage with International Investors Mortgage. In exceptional circumstances, the offer may even be extended to EB-5 investors still awaiting the adjudication of their I-526 petitions.
We understand that each investor’s situation is unique, and that the principal EB-5 applicant may not be the one to spend the most amount of time in the US as compared to other family members on the petition. To accommodate this, the loan can be taken out in the name of a family member, an LLC, or a trust associated with the primary applicant on the I-526 petition.
How does this impact an EB-5 application?
Gregory Sweeney: This product has been designed specifically for EB-5 investors and its unique structure will not negatively impact the EB-5 process or the timing of the return of the investment from the projects themselves. International Investors Mortgage consulted with senior immigration counsel from one of the most reputed immigration firms in the US prior to launching this new offering.
In fact, securing a mortgage may be positive for the investor’s immigration process as it demonstrates a commitment to the US. Having a mortgage helps an investor develop a credit history and establishes a clear intention to build a life in the United States. It may be helpful to consult with immigration counsel to further discuss these benefits.
What can the mortgage loan proceeds be used for?
Andy Lewis: Part of the American Dream is homeownership. It offers immigrants an opportunity to become part of the community, as well as the potential to save on rental expenses or purchase income-producing property. Furthermore, homeownership provides the added possibility of long-term appreciation of the property’s value.
International Investors Mortgage makes this American Dream a reality for immigrant investors who wish to purchase a primary residence, a vacation home, an income producing rental property, or even commercial real estate. This offering can even be used to refinance or renovate properties already owned by the applicants in the United States.
What is a non-conforming loan?
Andy Lewis: There are guidelines in the US that define the requirements for traditional lenders who offer mortgage loans, which include what credit history and documentation are necessary for foreign nationals. EB-5 investors generally do not meet these requirements and can only be offered non-conforming loans.
Traditional lenders tend to structure non-conforming loans with high down payment requirements and increased interest rates depending on the borrower’s circumstances. International Investors Mortgage, on the other hand, has the best interest of the EB-5 investor in mind and they set out to offer non-conforming loans without these penalties.
What are the terms of an International Investors Mortgage?
Andy Lewis: Qualified EB-5 investors are eligible for an all-in interest rate and down payments as little as 10% of the property value through International Investors Mortgage. Loans of up to $1,000,000 or more can be extended.
The exact loan amount, terms, and conditions are dependent upon several factors particular to each of the investor applicants, such as the status of their EB-5 applications, the project they chose to invest in, total family income, the appraised value of the property that would be purchased or refinanced, and so on.