Bulkestate real estate investing platform review
Bulkestate is one of the newer players on the real estate crowdfunding landscape in the Baltics. If you’re interested in real estate investments in Riga, Latvia, Bulkestate might be what you’re looking for.
For almost a year I’ve only had 1 investment on Bulkestate. When it matured, I had to decide if I want to invest more or if I should just leave the platform.
There was nothing that I didn’t like about the platform, except maybe the speed by which the available projects are funded, so I decided to slowly add more funds to the platform.
Investing with Bulkestate
Bulkestate does an evaluation of the investments and then makes them available on the website. All loans on the platform are secured by real estate properties.
Besides basing this evaluation on their experience, they also only allow loans where loan-to-value is less than 70%.
Bulkestate takes a commission of 2-3% of the loan amount (paid by the borrower), and that’s the only fee they take. I like that they’re transparent with their pricing model, and they have a separate page for it here.
The details available for a specific loan vary from project to project. Some of them have extensive details, regarding the use of funds, business details, market outlook, financials. Some of them have just a few lines with a description of the property and the purpose of the loan.
However, there’s always a short document named “project x valuation” with more details on the loan security. Too bad the document is written in Estonian (I think since it’s an Estonian company) and that’s a language I don’t know, so I always have to use a google translate tool and get a distorted document in order to understand what it says.
There is no secondary market or a buyback policy, so once you invest in a project your funds are locked until the loan is repaid.
One way to increase the chances to invest in the projects you like is to use the auto-invest tool.
You can only set the maximum investment per project, the minimum interest rate, and the maximum loan term. It would be more useful if it also had maximum loan-to-value in its settings.
You’ll also need to fund your account with a minimum of 50 EUR in order to enable the auto-invest tool.
When a project becomes available, Bulkestate collects investments chronologically. This means that if you set your auto-invest profile a month in advance and the project matches your settings, it will collect your investment first, ahead of other users that invest manually on the platform.
Bulkestate is regulated only by general commercial legislation of Estonia. This means they’re not regulated by the Estonian Financial Supervision Authority. That also means they’re subject to fewer regulations that should protect the investors.
They are still a small company, so I assume that’s why they don’t need yet to apply for more legal approvals.
I like the loans on the platform and their return rates are really good. The fact that all of them are secured by mortgages adds a good level of protection to investors.
The auto invest tool is there but it’s useless from my point of view. I’m not going to fund my account and then wait for weeks for my funds to get invested.
The number of projects available is low, usually only one is available. And that’s only for a day or two because it gets funded fast.
You can’t exit your investment before the loan term, so your funds are locked for the entire loan period. A secondary market would be a nice addition to the platform.
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