Gap Equity Loans is specialized in providing consulting services to potential borrowers looking for equity…
So here we go. We received an application for a loan of $150,000 USD. The property is in Quepos, a nice area, and the pictures were quite good. The appraised value was $420,000 USD. As a result, everything looks great on the surface.
We were not able to get the exact location. The applicant was technically challenged and did not know how to send us coordinates (it happens). We told him about our site visit cost and evaluation fee. There was an agreement of $250 USD for the day trip (pretty much covers gas and lunch). The money was to be on hand upon our arrival. That is why we ask for the funds in advance.
Again, everything was moving along smoothly. Then it started, the directions given were a couple of kilometers down a dirt road! It was beginning to look quite a bit less attractive. But, we decided to go because of all of the above reasons.
With directions in hand via text message, we planned to leave at 8:30 am and be there by 11:30 am. We knew about the main bridge between Alajuela and San Jose but figured that everything should work out since we were going in the opposite direction. WRONG! Two hours to get from Escazú to La Guacima toll. The highway is like a parking lot! Pura Vida…
We are going towards Quepos, and the directions state to the Maxi Palí in Quepos. We are thinking about the one close to the downtown core. Wrong again. It is the big one on the “Costanera” highway.
We stop and call for clarification. “Oh, only a few kilometers further, and hang a left on the dirt road by the gas station.” Hmm. Left takes us further away from Quepos and towards the mountains. Quepos is the other way. Even though it was already about 100+ degrees outside, temperatures started rising dramatically in the car.
Ten kilometers later, down a bumpy, dusty road, we find this little town with a name we had never heard of. You know the kind, where the mayor is the store owner, the “diputado” (congressman) owns the soda, etc. Well, we are here now.
The House – Or What’s Left of It!
We pull up to this walled house with a large black gate. It opens and let me tell you, he is quite the photographer because the house did not look anywhere near as lovely as the pictures he sent. The grounds were a mess; the Jacuzzi was nearly empty with that beautiful fluorescent green water on the bottom.
Our American friend was sitting at the rancho, which looked over the pool. We went over to him, rather upset, I might add, and began to gather the details. But first things first. Site visit fee. “I am sorry, I only have $100 USD on me.” My associate was pretty much going Super Nova at this point.
The house tour started, and it was terrific, and not in a good way. The TVs were gone, the oven was gone, half the beds were missing, and all the toilets were used and not flushed. Not sure if the water was on or shut off. So, one of two things; this gentleman was going through a tough financial hardship, or he was trying to get us to “buy the house” with the loan.
Finally, the applicant provided his appraisal. If you have a review, it would be great to receive it before the site visit. In the appraisal he had, the land value was $100 USD per square meter!!!! We would never have bothered to pursue the loan had we seen that! We said that there were too many zeroes. Enough was enough. We left for Quepos, which was 30 minutes away, for a cold drink at the new marina.
The Point of the Site Visit
The entire point of the site visit is to determine the property’s value and validate that all the information on the application is accurate and true. Therefore, making the property as pristine as possible is a must. If you are asking for $150,000 USD of someone else’s hard-earned money, you can at least put the time and effort into making the property look its best, and if you are in a dire financial position, let us know first. We may be able to assist you in other areas because we have contacts in various fields.
Conclusion: Honesty works best!
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