proving and/or establishing their credit, and connecting with mortgage and title experts. “We have so much success because we screen up front to identify renters who have the highest potential to be able to purchase. We have the luxury of matching buyers to the right home so that they can buy,” said Keith. “When we provide our tenant-buyers with that beautiful home, they can trust that the pricing is right and in a clear game plan about what they need to do during the rental phase so that they can exercise their option to buy,” Shannon added. It is this positive, proactive ap- proach to real estate that the couple be- lieves has kept them in business through thick and thin in the regional housing market. “We deal with the most posi- tive side of real estate investing there is because we deal with positive people all the way around,” explained Keith, noting that other real estate investing strategies tend to require a distressed seller and/ or a distressed property. “Ours requires neither,” he said. “We feel pleasantly insulated from doomsday-sayers because with this strategy, we are working with property owners and properties that are not desperate. We have our own unique housing economy that relies on two qualified parties working together independently from the local or national situation,” Shannon added. The Frenches’ investing strategy also provides insights into the Baltimore real estate market that may benefit Think Re- alty readers considering investing in the area. “We have been getting a lot of leads from rehabbers who say that they can- not convert them to deals within their business operations,” said Keith. “These rehabbers are very seasoned folks, and while they haven’t said anything crazy about a downturn, we are wondering why the volume of leads has risen from multiple sources.” •


Investor Spotlight: Keith and Shannon French Preparing for “The Punch” in Baltimore, Maryland.

• Fix and Flip • Bridge • Rentals

by Carole VanSickle Ellis

hen things get tough in Baltimore real estate, Keith and Shannon French, co-founders and -owners of, don’t even slow down. The Frenches, who have been in operation in the Baltimore area since 2005, offer W

desire to “ultimately position themselves and their families to realize their dream of homeownership,” and a “vast arsenal of proven and trusted resources” to help create mutually beneficial solutions for everyone involved. “On top of all that, we’re

CIVIC IS MOVING TO A NEW PLACE IN THE INDUSTRY With a reputation for competitive rates, best-in-class service and lightning-quick funding, CIVIC is on track to become the nation’s #1 private lender by year’s end. We’d like to be your #1 choice as well.

sellers in any temperature market the

largely econ- omy-proof!” Keith added. The French- es report that they typically help sellers get between 20 and 30 per- cent more for their homes than owners of comparable properties do using an agent or by selling their property


opportunity to sell their homes at and some- times above the preconceived market value using creative financing strat- egies, or rather, an innovative twist on a

• Funding in as few as 4 days • Non-owner occupied SFRs, 1-4 units, multi-family & condos • 1, 2, & 4 year terms • Line of credit financing • Loans up to 90% of the purchase price or 80% of as-is value

• Interest rates as low as 8.5% • Foreign National program

strategy that’s been around for ages. “We specialize in rent-to-own strategies,” explained Shannon, explaining that their company leverages sellers’ desire to get top dollar for their properties, renters’



“by owner.” 80 percent of tenant-buyers end up purchasing the home within their “rent-to-buy” contract period, during which the company assists them in im-

Keith and Shannon French operate in the Baltimore area in Maryland. Learn more about them at

©2017 All rights reserved. This is not a commitment to lend. Restrictions may apply. LTV limit is based on current, accurate appraised value. Civic Financial Services, LLC reserves the right to amend rates and guidelines. All loans are made in compliance with Federal, State, and Local laws. Civic Financial Services, Inc. is a California Finance Lender under NMLS 1099109 and the California Department of Business Oversight license #603L321, AZ Mortgage Broker license #092863, ID Mortgage Broker/Lender License #MBL-8288, OR Mortgage Broker License #ML-5282, and WA Consumer Loan Company License #CL-1099109. Civic Financial Services, LLC is an equal opportunity lender.

114 | think realty magazine july :: august 2017

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