How to Choose a Private Lender or Hard Money Loans

Hard money loans: Boston is a very competitive market for private money.  The high home values, limited land for new construction and strong economy make Boston an ideal location for Fix and Flip business and real estate investment in general.  It seems like every day new entrants into the Boston hard money business come and go.  So how do you, a real estate investor, find a Hard Money lender to not only solve your current lending challenges, but who also acts as a long term partner for your success?  

In addition to the best financial terms, there are three main criteria you should be looking for when choosing hard money loans in Boston.  Local expertise, experience/track record, and programs are the factors to consider to give you the best hard money experience for your bridge, fix and flip, or long-term loan Boston lending needs.

Local Expertise

National Lenders

There are a number of national lenders who are lending in the Greater Boston area.  These private lenders are headquartered outside of the area, often on the other side of the country.  Some of them even have sites/pages which make them look like they are Hard Money Lenders in Boston, but when you dig into their contact information, you’ll find them headquartered somewhere far away like Florida or California.   While these lenders may market some great rates and programs, they typically don’t have anyone on the team who truly understands the market.  In fact, they may only do a couple loans a year in Massachusetts.  As a result, they reduce risk by requiring more documentation like personal financials, multiple appraisals, architect opinion letters, and other things to project themselves when lending money.  This is not hard money! This costs you both money and time.  Sometimes, they may even take you far down the process and then deny you at the last minute.  

Regional Lenders

There are a number of regional lenders who lend in the Northeast, but may not be local to Boston. They offer many of the same pros and cons of a National Lender, though may not be as competitive in pricing.  As everyone knows, the first rule of real estate in Location, Location, Location.  Boston may be one of the trickiest cities in the country in how different real estate is as valuation can fluctuate significantly across just a block.  What this means for you is that a national or regional Hard Money lender may not understand the nuances of a market and may undervalue your property – sometimes weeks or months after you first applied.  Working with someone local in Boston, who understands the market well helps make sure you get an accurate valuation, sometimes without an appraisal because they know the local Boston market that well.

Boston Local Lenders

It’s probably best to work with a local Boston Hard money lender as they understand you and the market better resulting in better and faster service. They understand the nuances of valuations in the local market well.  Sometimes this means you can close a loan quickly – in days – without an appraisal, which takes a long time.  In fact, appraisers are really backed up right now.  A local lender will also be able to understand the high costs of renovations in Boston, again speeding up the process for you. Finally, a local lender will be able to partner with you to make sure you are successful.  They will often visit projects to offer advice on problems and challenges you face.  Also, if a local Boston lender has their own capital – if they’re lending their own money and holding it on their balance sheet vs selling  – they can have more flexibility.  Every loan has different needs and challenges and lending your own capital allows greater ability to solve your problems and meet your needs.  Some local Boston Hard Money lenders can be more expensive than some of the larger national Hard Money lenders who have greater leverage.  Funding is often from private individuals and can be more expensive than some of the lenders with national programs.  That said, some local lenders now partner with the national entities who can provide much better programs and rates for your projects.   The local Boston Hard Money lender evaluates the project, works closely with the borrower, and asks as a local expert for a larger national lender, resulting in the best of both worlds for you as a borrower.  Often local hard money lenders have very specific requirements for what they can or like to lend against.  By working with someone who partners with others, the lender is better set up to find the local program that will work best with your unique situation and needs, experience, loan type, location, and timeline.

Boston Local private money lenders

This last group of lenders consists of smaller, private money lenders in the local market. It’s important to understand the difference between private and hard money lenders.  Private money is exactly that – private individuals (or a group)  – who will lend you money for your project, but this often isn’t their core business.  Anyone can lend money, especially in MA where there are no licensing requirements.  This means that they may not have the process in place to be able to be responsive and provide the best service, and sometimes make big promises but can’t deliver.  Lenders offering hard money loans in Boston tend to be more “professional” and offer specific programs, rules, and criteria to both protect them and you as the borrower.   

The other thing to consider is a lender’s stance on how they handle a loan and borrower when problems arise.  It’s important to understand whether a lender has a reputation for foreclosing quickly or working out a solution to your challenges and helping you succeed.  Most of the larger, reputable, national, regional and local Boston hard money lenders are much more interested in seeing you succeed rather than quickly foreclosing on your project and making money quickly by buying your project cheap.  

In Summary, look for a hard Money lender who:

  • understands the local Boston market
  • has a track record of working with borrowers to drive success
  • lends their own capital resulting in more flexibility to you
  • has a variety of programs to meet your specific

Why Norfolk Capital for Hard Money loans

Boston Condo ConversionsMake Norfolk Capital your first call when shopping for your hard money loans needs in the greater Boston area.  While we lend throughout the country, Boston is our backyard, where we started lending in 2010.  We’ve design our company to offer Hard Money Borrowers the best combination of the best programs, the most flexibility and the best service: 


  • We have a combined 50+ years of real estate and lending experience in the Boston area. This means we understand the market and can evaluate a loan quickly, as well as help you succeed through our network.  
  • We’ve done over $100M of deals in Boston, and have a reputation for helping our borrowers succeed. We’re more interested in your success and have mentored many first time borrowers to build a career investing in real estate.  Your success is our success.  
  • We lend our own capital.  While we have a variety of sources of capital and lend throughout the country, we only lend our own capital in the local Boston market. This means we’re able to be more flexible to meet your unique needs as well as move quickly because we know the market. 
  • Because of our track record and partnerships, Norfolk Capital in Boston has the ability to lend across most loan and asset types.  We lend for fix-and flip, bridge loans, long term rental loans for commercial, residential, multi-family, mixed use, and new construction loans. See our programs page for more information. 
  • While we are in Boston, we lend throughout the Greater Boston area. From New Hampshire to Worcester down to Rhode Island, we’re the local market lender for you.  We also lend nationwide for any lending needs you may have.