Even with all its ups and downs, real estate has always been one of the safest investments. But as with any type of investment, you need to know your stuff to get the best deal. That means being familiar with some of the terms used in investment. Three important ones are hard money loan, net operating income or NOI, and debt-to-income ratio or DTI.
A hard money loan is any loan backed by real property. While this is the actual definition, there’s another aspect of most hard money loans that is what investors are most interested in. Usually, a hard money loan is an immediate, short term loan used for the purchase of commercial or investment property. However, they are typically offered only by private lenders, and often have a higher interest rate due to the shorter term length.
NOI is the net amount of revenue you gain from your investment, after deducting related expenses. These expenses could include such things as mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, and property management fees. At first, NOI may appear to be the same as return on investment or ROI. In common parlance, the terms may be synonymous. However, in investment real estate, ROI actually refers to the length of time it takes to get positive NOI.
DTI is a term you need to know if you are getting any loan, not only an investment loan. Fortunately, the name doesn’t hide what it is. It is simply the ratio of your total debt to your monthly gross income. Lenders use DTI to determine the loan’s interest rate. A lower DTI will give you a better rate on mortgage loans.