>Banks abandoning niche market of trophy homes leaving some in dire straights
Calabasas Hills, CA (PRWEB) January 23, 2010 — As sales prices of homes across the United States have continued to decline, newspapers, radio, and television news outlets offer daily reminders of the great deals available, if an individual could only find financing. One story people probably won’t see is the effects of banks tightening lending guidelines on the luxury homeowner. Does this mean these individuals aren’t feeling the credit crunch? Do they exist in an economic bubble? The truth is, these individuals are discovering financing for these beautiful homes next to impossible to find.
California trophy home
“The last few trophy home deals we have taken to market have been oversubscribed in a matter of hours. Our investor base has a healthy appetite for first trust deeds collateralized by trophy homes “said Alim Kassam. “People have to understand, our business model is based on the partnerships we build with mortgage brokers and realtors. So we are acutely aware of the issues their clients are most concerned with. We are dealing with trophy homes and these homes represent the dreams the homeowners have worked so hard for,” said Brian O’Shaughnessy, CEO of Athas Capital Group, a leader in providing funding for the luxury home market. “Now, when they need to access capital they find the doors of the banks they have done business with for years closed to them” said O’Shaughnessy. A few years ago, these challenges were easily overcome with stated loans or alternate document loans. Today, those options don’t exist for most borrowers. “The steep decline in sales volume for luxury homes over the last year has caused many conventional lenders to exit the luxury home financing market.” Said Craig Grella, President of Cornerstone Funding Services in Seattle, WA, “The ones which remain have added many barriers to funding, including increased documentation requirements, longer underwriting periods, and a general unwillingness to finance properties over a certain dollar value.” added Grella.
O’Shaughnessy quickly recognized an underserved market and went to work finding a solution. One of the first things Mr. O’Shaughnessy did was enlist Alim Kassam, President of Athas Capital Group, to gauge investor interest in funding trophy homes. “Alim has been instrumental in the rapid growth we’ve experienced in this specialized segment of our market” O’Shaughnessy said. Finding investors has been an embarrassment of riches for the duo. “The last few trophy home deals we have taken to market have been oversubscribed in a matter of hours. Our investor base has a healthy appetite for first trust deeds collateralized by trophy homes “said Alim Kassam. What does the immediate future hold for this type of niche investment? Mr. Kassam states “These types of investments offer the same conservative LTV’s as our traditional bridge loans and the guarantors are borrowers with strong credit scores , pristine mortgage histories, and substantial net worth’s. We cannot source enough of this product to satiate the demands of our private capital base.”
A person could be excused for thinking funding these luxury homes is nothing more than a walk in the park. Mr. O’Shaughnessy belts out a boisterous laugh “I’ve been underwriting mortgages, residential and commercial, for more than 20 years. We are going to docs on two trophy homes this week, one for $4 million and another for $1.5 million. The time it took, from start to finish, to complete these loans could be measured with a calendar for one and a clock for the other. I defy anyone to look at these deals and say, with any certainty, which is which. I take a great deal of pride in knowing that we had both the expertise and persistence to fund both of these loans”.
Athas Capital Group, Inc. was founded on the basis of providing large scale product availability with a boutique style service platform to give our clients endless opportunity but at no expense for service. The company was founded by Brian O’Shaughnessy who brings with him nearly 20 years of experience in all facets of real estate lending. With him, Brian brings Officers, key Management, Operational staff, and a Sales team that in most cases have served with him for 5 years or more and in specific cases nearly 15 years. Athas Capital’s founder realizes, through over 15 years of operating as a Direct Lender, that relationships and service are the foundation of our continued success.
For more information or to schedule an interview with a company representative, please contact Kevin O’Shaughnessy at our office 877.877.1477 x777.