Say Hello While We’re at SXSW in Austin, TX

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SXSW, the annual music, film, and interactive festival, is two weeks away, and we’d love to meet you while we’re in Austin for it.

We’re going because GROUNDFLOOR has been named as a finalist in the Innovative World Technologies category for the SXSW Accelerator, a startup pitch competition where leading startups from around the world will showcase their technology innovations to a panel of judges and a live audience.

The two-day event takes place Saturday, March 14 and Sunday, March 15. Our category begins pitching at 3:30PM on the 14th. The pitch competition culminates with the Awards Ceremony on Sunday evening on the 6th floor of the Downtown Austin Hilton.

Did you know “Texas” comes from the Caddo word tejas meaning friends? We’re always happy to make new friends. To meet us while we’re in Texas, reachout via email to press@groundfloor.us See you there!


Loan #17: 31 Stratford Drive NW

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Today marks day 17 of our #17loans17days blog retrospective. It would have been the most recently funded GROUNDFLOOR loan. But in the days since we started the series, hundreds of you have funded four more (and, very soon, will have funded fifth one!). Funding is accelerating. We’ll have more to say about that in a future post.

But first, to wrap it all up, allow us to introduce borrower Wilford Vales and his project in west Atlanta at 31 Stratford Drive NW. Wilford is a native Atlantan and has more than 15 years experience in real estate investment in the Atlanta market.  His company, WillBuySell is both a rehab-renovation and hard money lending company working all aspects of the in-town market. He came to GROUNDFLOOR with the Stratford project in the fall of last year. Another investor had purchased the property with plans to flip it. That investor lost the property to foreclosure. Wilford and his team acquired it for $15,000 and now plan to rehab and flip it quickly.

The $25,000 loan offered GROUNDFLOOR lenders an annual rate of 13.2% over 12 months. It was used in part to acquire the property and also to support rehab efforts. 60 lenders fully funded this loan in January of this year within one month after it went live. The rehab work, mostly cosmetic, has already begun. Where traditional financing options aren’t available or viable on their own for properties like Stratford; the scope and scale of the Internet bring borrowers like Wilford and microlenders together to restore blighted properties more quickly than they would be otherwise.

When you invest with GROUNDFLOOR, you become a part of our growing community of borrowers and lenders; and can invest in real estate like never before. From the moment you invest, your money starts earning. And when you invest $500 or more before midnight tonight, we’ll add $100 to your investment for a total of $600 as part of our Cheers to 2 Years! promotion.

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Loan #16: 146 Ericson Street

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In the next to last installment of #17loans17days, we head to Atlanta’s historic Edgewood neighborhood for a special project with the Atlanta Police Foundation.

You may have already read about our partnership with Atlanta Police Foundation from an earlier post by Nicole, our VP of Marketing or in another post when the loan funded in January of this year.

And if not, here’s your chance. We met with Jenna from the Atlanta Police Foundation last Fall. She was excited about the prospect of a partnership. After telling us about the APF’s Secure Neighborhoods Program, we all agreed that GROUNDFLOOR was a great fit to help bring the program to life.

The Secure Neighborhood initiative empowers sworn police officers to become homeowners by making housing affordable in communities where officers serve and protect. Through our partnership with APF, our growing community of lenders has the opportunity to earn big on their investments and make a big impact on the community.

The property in Edgewood at 146 Ericson Street was acquired by the Fulton County City of Atlanta Land Bank for just $10. The FCCA Lank Bank supplies properties to the APF for the Secure Neighborhood initiative. And that’s where GROUNDFLOOR and its community of lenders step in.

We took the Ericson loan live on November 23rd of last year; and many of you were quick to lend. The $75,000 loan at 7% over 12 months was funded by 101 of you. With the loan funded, renovation has begun; the home should be ready for a house warming this spring.

When you invest with GROUNDFLOOR, it’s more than just yield, it’s making an impact on the communities right in your back yard. Lending with GROUNDFLOOR is simple and transparent. You, the lender, browse our loans, select one (or more) that interest you, examine the accompanying details, and decide to invest with just a few clicks. We make it easy to earn high yields while doing some good.

Invest today before you miss our Cheers to 2 Years! promotion. We’ll add $100 to any investment of $500 or more today and tomorrow.

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Loan #15: 1949 Sosebee Drive NE

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In today’s installment of our #17loans17days blog retrospective, we meet with borrower Dustin Cole again. This time for a project in Dalton, GA.

Did you know…? Dalton is the “Carpet Capital of the World”. More than 150 carpet manufacturers call Dalton home. In fact, more than 90% of the functional carpet in the world today is produced within a 65-mile radius of the city.

Producing nearly all of the world’s carpet is no small feat. And you might be interested to know that it all started with a wedding gift given in the late 1800s by a young woman who lived in Dalton, Catherine Evans Whitener. Her gift, a tufted bedspread, sparked an entire tufting industry which later morphed into the carpet industry. A mechanized carpet making process entered the marketplace after WWII and Dalton’s residents proved the perfect fit with all of their specialized tufting skills; and the “Carpet Capital of the World” was born.

Much like Catherine, we hope our idea for a new kind of finance can play a part in changing our industry forever. Borrowers like Dustin play an important role in that process. For his 4th project with us, he used GROUNDFLOOR to acquire a distressed property, 1949 Sosebee Drive NE, and flip it quickly for cash. Our lenders saw that vision, too; and fully funded the $8,000 loan at 13.5% for 12 months in just 1 day! Everything about this project was quick.

That’s just one way GROUNDFLOOR makes real estate finance and investing different. We offer borrowers an alternative to banks and traditional hard money lenders using a streamlined process that makes borrowing simple, reliable, fast, and efficient. In return, lenders find an increasingly large variety of loans to choose from–from different borrowers, in different places, with different loan letter grades, terms and interest rates.

Our platform opens real estate investing to everyone, not just accredited investors (financially sophisticated investors with high net worth). With just $10, you can become a GROUNDFLOOR lender. When you invest, you earn. And when you invest $500 or more, we’ll add $100 to your investment for a total of $600 as part of our Cheers to 2 Years! promotion until February 22nd.

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Loan #14: 51 Warren Street NE

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Loan #14 of our #17loans17days blog retrospective introduces a new borrower, Dee Giarratano, who has nearly 2 decades of experience building and remodeling homes in metro Atlanta.

Dee was referred to us and has since become one of our biggest advocates referring other builders and borrowers to us. He found GROUNDFLOOR when he was pulling together financing for one of his teardown and rebuild properties in historic Kirkwood.

Atlanta’s historic Kirkwood neighborhood was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2009 after a successful nomination by neighborhood residents, business owners, the state’s historic preservation office, and the Georgia State Heritage Preservation program. The neighborhood has a long history of residential development. As early as the 1870s it had a reputation as the streetcar suburb of Atlanta and was even described in an early tour book as an “area of beautiful suburban villas”. Even today, it’s often described as “the small town in the big city” boasting 5 of Atlanta’s city parks, its very own post office and fire station.

After he applied online and then documented his plans for 51 Warren Street NE, it wasn’t long before we took the loan live. 104 lenders fully funded the $50,000 12 month loan at 20% on December 10th of last year. Attractive for lenders; and attractive for the community, too. Dee’s plans for 51 Warren Street NE included acquiring the property, tearing down the existing house, and rebuilding a beautiful new craftsman style 5 bedroom 4 bath home.

Financing through GROUNDFLOOR helped Dee avoid unfavorable profit sharing arrangements sometimes required by hard money lenders. The GROUNDFLOOR platform makes it possible for everyone to earn. Borrowers secure financing, complete projects, earn profit, and pay back lenders. Lenders browse projects, fund loans, get repaid, and earn interest.

Get in on the earnings. With just $10, you can become a new kind of hard money lender in real estate, powered by the scale and scope of the Internet. And when you invest $500 or more in any of our loans, we’ll add $100 to your investment for a total of $600 as part of our Cheers to 2 Years! promotion.

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Loan #13: 186 Birch Road

186 Birch Road by borrower Dustin Cole

Today in our #17loans17days blog retrospective, we revisit borrower Dustin Cole for a project in Franklin, GA. You’ll remember Dustin from our first two projects with him in Rome and Carrollton respectively.

Dustin has become a good friend of GROUNDFLOOR. He shares in our excitement about changing the finance landscape and is eager to build a following of GROUNDFLOOR lenders.

His “quick fix and flip” strategy spans nationwide though today’s project at 186 Birch Road takes us just 50 miles or so southwest of Atlanta. This project with Dustin was our first acquisition loan – a loan given to purchase a specific asset –  and also one of the first loans to launch with our $10 minimum investment announcement.

Investing made affordable proved to be popular with you, our growing community of lenders. In just 16 days, 60 of you fully funded this $22,000 12 month loan at 13.5%.

You can be a part of that growing community and fund loans from borrowers like Dustin. When you lend; you earn. It’s that simple. GROUNDFLOOR’s platform makes it possible for borrowers to secure financing options that might not otherwise be available for their projects and pay interest to the community of lenders who invest. As a lender, you invest in only the projects you choose.

Right now, as part of our Cheers to 2 Years! promotion, you can earn $100 when you invest $500 or more in any of our loans. That’s right! We’ll add $100 to your investment for a total of $600 – and you earn interest, too.

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Loan #12: 1784 Grand Oaks Drive

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This past weekend, we introduced borrower Steve Brock and his project in Oakhurst subdivision. Today, we walk next door to 1784 Grand Oaks Drive for our second project with Steve of Brock Built homes.

Steve is a celebrated builder in metro Atlanta and the southeast. Having built nearly 2,000 homes with a combined total value of $950 million, it’s easy to see why. He has also won dozens of awards in the real estate and building communities.

After his first loan fully funded in just 30 hours, he didn’t hesitate to launch his second project with us on November 11th. 1784 Grand Oaks Drive was a $40,000 loan at 20% over 12 months. In just about a month, 89 lenders had fully funded this loan with investments ranging from $10 to $2,000.

$10? Yep, that’s right. The home on Grand Oaks Drive along with 3 others were the first loans to launch with our $10 minimum investment announcement. With internet access and your lunch money, you can now invest in real estate and earn big. GROUNDFLOOR is changing the savings and investment landscape forever by creating a growing community of lenders and borrowers, including the 89 of you who funded Steve’s project.

Change things with us. Turn your lunch money into steak dinner. When you create a lender account with GROUNDFLOOR, we’ll deposit lunch money – $10 – into your account for you to invest in any of our loans. And when you invest $500 or more through February 22, we’ll add $100 to your investment for a total of $600 as part of our Cheers to 2 Years! promotion.

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Loan #11: 1371 Avon Avenue

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We’ve discussed how the banks won’t like what we’re doing, but you will and how one of our borrowers, John Mangham, is revitalizing historic intown communities and how to build wealth by investing in projects on the GROUNDFLOOR platform and more. Today, in our #17loans17days retrospective, we highlight affordable housing and our first project with borrower Andy Luick, affectionately known as Handy Andy.

Handy Andy was referred to us by RealtorⓇ Mason Eldridge. Andy has pioneered the shared housing concept in metro Atlanta. His model is unique in that he seeks out blighted properties to renovate and transform into affordable multi-tenant homes. He then markets the property through his business, MyRentedRoom.com, which both sources and matches available rooms and those seeking affordable housing. Using his MyRentedRoom model, Andy is able to rent the renovated properties and sell to a 3rd party buyer at a premium. Unlike traditional income property, the shared housing models creates superior value for both Andy and the 3rd party buyer.

In his first project with GROUNDFLOOR, Andy offered a property in Atlanta’s Venetian Hills neighborhood located at 1371 Avon Avenue. The $25,000 12 month loan at 10% allowed Andy to “transform this ugly duckling into a dollar producing swan.” He added that “it’s one of the few times that you can actually earn good by doing good!” in a comment thread with GROUNDFLOOR lenders.

For this project, 80 lenders fully funded the loan on November 23 of last year 38 days after it went live. Before renovations were complete, Andy had already received an offer to purchase the property and reservations for 2 of the 3 bedrooms, affirming the demand for shared housing.

GROUNDFLOOR’s platform in a non-traditional finance option for borrowers like Handy Andy and his non-traditional housing concept. Where big finance wouldn’t see the big picture of Andy’s model, the GROUNDFLOOR community can…and did.

You can too when you invest in any of our loans. In fact, our Cheers to 2 Years! promotion in celebration of our 2nd anniversary continues through February 22nd. When you invest $500 or more, we’ll add $100 to your investment automagically for a total of $600.

Invest in the Big Picture.

 


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Loan #10: 38 Highland Court

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In today’s installment of our #17loans17days blog retrospective, we travel to Carrollton, GA for another project by borrower Dustin Cole.

You’ll remember from Loan #6: 128 Morgan Drive that Ben, our VP of Customer Operations met Dustin at our favorite coffee shop on Piedmont Road. We already knew Dustin was a pro at real estate investing and flipping houses, so we were eager to partner on another project. When he told us about the project at 38 Highland Court, we both set to work.

It wasn’t long before the $67,000 loan went live with a rate of 11.6% over 12 months, on October 16. Dustin has plans for this project to be a quick flip requiring only minor repairs. The 5 bedroom, 3.75 bath home is in an established neighborhood in Carrollton only minutes from the University of West Georgia. Dustin hopes to have the home sold by Fall 2015 – just in time for a holiday gift of repayment to the 105 lenders who funded the loan.

Join our growing community of borrowers and lenders who believe in finance raised to the power of us. Using the power of the internet and the GROUNDFLOOR platform, microlenders and borrowers like Dustin are changing the real estate landscape forever.

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Loan #9: Oakhurst Single Family Development

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The 9th installment in our #17loans17days blog series was pretty sweet and not just because today is Valentine’s Day. Loan #9 takes us to Woodstock, GA for a project by borrower Steve Brock in the Oakhurst development.

First, a little perspective… Steve has more than 3 decades of building experience in Atlanta and across the Southeast. He founded his company, Brock Built, in 1984 on the principle of “enriching the lives they touch”. Since, he has constructed more than 1,900 homes in 55 neighborhoods with a combined worth of  $950 million.

When we met Steve, we were immediately thrilled at the prospect of a building a relationship with such a celebrated builder. Steve thought our concept was interesting, too. Though it took some time to find the right project to partner, ultimately, we settled on the Oakhurst project.

A single-family development in Woodstock, GA where Steve had big plans for a Brock Built community, Oakhurst was a great fit for our first project together.

Steve owned the entire plot of land comprised of 80+ lots for single-family homes. While it wasn’t Steve’s first new construction project, it was ours.Our community of lenders proved to be just as delighted as we were; perhaps even more so. The prospect of a 20% return over 12 months prompted 28 of you to fully fund this loan in just 2 days!

Steve continues to build in Oakhurst, now offering 157 homesites including the GROUNDFLOOR project. Our growing community of lenders is building big things – like this home in Oakhurst. Join them today!

And our Cheers to 2 Years! promotion continues through February 22. When you invest $500 or more in any of our loans, we’ll give you an additional $100 for a total of $600. Now, that’s sweeter than a box of chocolates.

Invest in a pretty sweet deal.


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