Commercial Lending…What Not to Do!

I have been practicing residential financing for over 30 years and commercial financing for over 20 years and have provided commercial financing on Multifamily (Apartments), Office, Retail, Medical (Dental and Doctor Offices) and Light Industrial properties (data storage units and auto dealerships).

During that time, I have witnessed that residential interest rates were always lower than commercial rates until the Federal Reserve started raising rates in January of 2022.  In looking at the current interest rate market, residential rates are varying between 6.5% to 7.5% depending on the loan amount, ltv, fico’s, property type and points paid, etc.  Commercial lending on the other hand has ranged recently from 5.5% to 6.5% depending on loan term, property types and points paid.

Most Important…

Commercial loans all have prepayment penalties (where residential loans do not) and they usually follow the term of the loan so they tend to not only be costly (if one breaks them) but they also tend to be very long in duration!

For Example…

  • 5 Year Fixed Loan (on a commercial loans) have a 5 year prepayment penalty that works like this with a 5-4-3-2-1 Prepay.  Year 1 of loan, the loan has a prepayment of 5% of the loan amount if the loan is paid down or paid off.  Year 2 is 4%.  Year 3 is 3%.  Year 4 is 2% and year 5 is 1%.  After the 5th year of 61 months out, the prepayment penalty drops off.
  • 7 year fixed with 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 Prepay…Year 1 of loan, the loan has a prepayment of 7% of the loan amount if the loan is paid down or paid off.  Year 2 is 6%.  Year 3 is 5% and so on like the 5 year fixed.  There’s also 10 and 15 year fixed loans.

So…Here’s the Million Dollar Question…Why is it so Important in This Market to Not Have a Prepayment Penalty on a Commercial Loan?

AnswerIf you have a prepayment penalty on your commercial loan and rates drop, then how is one able to refi without breaking the terms of the loan and paying the prepayment penalty?  There Isn’t.  All you can do is a get a loan with a shorter prepay if one exists.

“Voila”We have that option and banks like Chase, First Republic, Heritage to name of few don’t!

Last week we had a client with $2m dollar commercial loan that was comparing us to another lender and our rate was .5% higher in rate than the other lender or $650 per month more, but our prepayment on 5 year fixed was a 2-1 and theirs was a 5-4-3-2-1.  On $2 million in loan amount, year 2 (let’s say 18 months out after closing, rates drop) and the client wants to refi.  The client then pays $80k for the prepayment penalty with the other lender.  Our lender charges $20k plus the spread of the monthly payment equal to $650 or $11,700 at the 18th month or $31,700 in total.  The other lender charges the client $80k.  Hmm…$31,700 from our lender or $80,000 from the other lender with the lower rate.  Our option would save the client $48,300.  Again, which option is better?  Which lender should the client use??  Us or them???

See the logic of going with a lesser prepayment even if the rate is higher by a tad?  Having the lesser term or prepay is the logical way to go.  Unfortunately, this client was fixed on one thing…the rate where I was focused on the long term solution…Flexibility and the probability of lower rates and payments in the future, per this report from Morning Star, a publication that definitely is the closest to a crystal ball!

In Closing…

In the world of commercial lending just like residential lending there is more to just making a decision solely on the rate as illustrated above.  If you want our help and sage experience in making the best decision when it comes to choosing a loan product or making a financial decision, please contact us.

Below is a List of What we Do:

BTW...if you’d like to review my current market report, please go here.

All the Best,

Rob McCarthy

Senior Mortgage Advisor

650-465-8957 c  408-377-4123 o  408-608-1921 f

CA DRE #01165697  NMLS #121019

101 Loan – 6090 Hellyer Ave #100, San Jose, CA 95138

Note: Interest rates and loan programs quoted are subject to change without notice or until locked and approved by lender.

Low Housing Inventory and High Interest Rates – If Your a Buyer, What Does this all Mean?

Housing inventory remains very low in the Bay Area.  Even though interest rates remain high due to inflationary fears from the Fed’s, the higher cost of financing isn’t slowing the market down. 

In Santa Clara County, there are approximately 930 properties for sale (consisting of homes, town house and condos (as of July 2023)) with a median days on the market of 10 days.

In Santa Cruz County, there are approximately 305 properties for sale with a median days on the market of 22 days per Charles Holcomb with Compass Real Estate with the Dawn Thomas Team.  Its still very much a seller’s market with sellers demanding and getting prices well over list prices.

Last year I sold my home in Saratoga to downsize, thinking prices would go lower due to higher rates allowing to scoop up a great deal…Was I wrong!  In searching for property, I have seen multiple offers and listings going well above the list price.  In fact, I have seen accepted offers well above what comps support.  It feels a little like 2018 again.  Jen Beehler with the Elevate Group states as inventory remains lows, expect more of this.  She then went on to explain that when making an offer where financing is involved, its very important to be fully preapproved with the ability to close quickly.

At 101 Loan, we take pride in that, our preapprovals are fully underwritten (with DU run) allowing our buyers the ability to make offers without a loan contingency and close in a timely manner, sometimes in 3 weeks or less.  This helps our buyers make the strongest offer possible often times resulting in accepted offer.

For more on what we do for our buyers, please see below:

  • We get the buyer completely pre-approved before they make an offer, so they won’t need a loan contingency (unless we recommend having one), something seller’s require.
  • We strategize with the buyer and Realtor, to close in the quickest amount of time with the least amount of contingencies while keeping the buyers risk as low as possible.
  • At the time of an offer, we call the listing agent on behalf of the buyer and their Realtor to differentiate the offer over someone else’s. (This makes a huge difference in the eyes of the listing agent and seller and conveys strength in the preapproval)
  • We can close purchases in 21 to 25 days (as needed) depending on the loan program the buyer chooses. Faster is better in the eyes of the seller!
  • We provide a timeline to the buyer, the listing agent and the buyers agent, once the loan is locked; detailing each step of the transaction to ensure a smooth closing.  We ensure the buyer knows exactly what the loan will cost once locked and then update them immediately if there are any changes to the loan structure, as a result due to a change of circumstance.  We then re-summarize the costs before the buyer signs the loan docs.
  • We coordinate the buyer’s signoff with escrow and their Realtor, to ensure the purchase closes on time, as scheduled.

We basically “micro-manage” the purchase from start to finish to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible, something crucial in this market, to ensure all parties have a smooth and stress-free closing.

If you’d like to get preapproved or determine your purchase power, please contact us.

Best Regards,

Rob McCarthy

Senior Mortgage Advisor

650-465-8957 c  408-377-4123 o  408-608-1921 f

CA DRE – License # 01205444  NMLS #326829

6090 Hellyer Ave #100, San Jose, CA 95138


  1. Residential Financing for Purchases and Refinances on 1 to 4 unit properties.
  2. Reverse Mortgage Financing to include Conforming, Jumbo, HELOC Jumbo’s.
  3. Commercial & SBA Financing to include Multifamily, Office, Retail and Light Industrial.
  4. Access to over 50 banks with over 300 “Five Star” Reviews on Yelp, Google, Facebook and Linkedin.

Note: Interest rates and loan programs quoted are subject to change without notice or until locked and approved by lender.