EstateGuru – a happy review after 2 years
EstateGuru is a p2p lending/real estate investment platform that offers short-term property-backed loans from Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Spain and UK.
280 million €
Property-Backed Loans, Business Loans
Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Spain, and Portugal
up to 2 years
8% – 14%
EstateGuru was one of the first platforms I’ve invested in when I started investing in p2p lending 2 years ago.
It had a great management team, asset-backed loans, and promised a decent 11% annual return for investors. Even more, the platform was steadily growing, and all reviews and opinions I could find were very positive.
I didn’t know much about investing in real estate backed loans, but the low number of defaults and the recovery rate on the defaulted loans convinced me to invest here.
In the past 2 years, I learned a bit more about property-backed loans and EstateGuru. I’ll share here my findings with you.
EstateGuru is proud of the fact that through its careful loan selection and debt recovery procedures it didn’t lose any investors' funds. Out of more than 1000 issued loans, 44.5% have been already repaid and 2.8% are currently in default.
How does EstateGuru work
Currently, EstateGuru offers loans to companies from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Germany, Spain, and Portugal. They allow investors from all over the world (even US residents).
As an investor, you can invest in a loan part starting with 50 EUR. The borrower will pay interest periodically (if it’s a bullet loan) or at the end of the loan term (if it’s a full bullet loan). The invested principal will only be paid back at the end of the loan term.
These are the types of loans available:
- development (to be used for the construction of a property)
- bridge (short-term loan before securing another one)
- generic business loan (used to finance day-to-day operations)
If the borrower is late with their payments, EstateGuru handles communication with the borrower. If they’re unable to repay their loan, EstateGuru uses a law firm to start the debt recovery procedures.
In case EstateGuru goes bankrupt, the investors’ funds are safe. They’re kept in a separate account and are protected. All loan contracts are between the investor and the borrowing company, so the borrower is still required to pay their loan. If you’re worried about EstateGuru’s financial health, you can check their annual financial reports here.
The investors pay no fees during the investment process. EstateGuru makes money by charging the borrower a fee of 3-4% out of the loan amount.
If investors want to sell their loans before the loan matures, they can use the secondary market in order to do so. There’s a fee of 2% paid by the seller. I think it’s because EstateGuru wants to discourage investors from using the secondary market for trading purposes, buying big chunks of high-interest loans from the primary market, and then selling them with a premium on the secondary one.
As with all other Baltics p2p lending platforms, signing up was very easy. The KYC (know your customer) was automated, and my account became active in minutes.
All of the loans available on the platform are short to medium-term property-backed loans. The average loan term is at around 14 months.
You can see more details about each specific loan on the loan page and there you can decide if you want to invest or not.
Important things to look at are LTV ratio, payment frequency (monthly, at the end of the loan term), interest rate, loan term, first rank, or second rank mortgage.
The loans also have an appraisal report attached. The reports are not in English, but I can use any online translator (like this one) to convert the document to English.
You can see your investment portfolio displayed beautifully based on multiple criteria, such as country, loan type, or collateral type.
If you plan to invest more than 250 EUR in a single loan, the auto-invest tool is very useful. You can set the security charge (first or second rank), LTV ratio, minimum interest rate, and lots of other parameters.
If you only want to invest 50 EUR in each loan through auto-invest, you can only choose the loan term and repayment schedule.
The seller needs to pay a 2% fee when the sale is complete. While not ideal, it’s good to have liquidity in case of an emergency.
Once you put a loan for sale, it will stay on the market for 14 days, unless you cancel the sale or the loan is bought by another investor.
The good thing for the buyers is that they can find some good deals available for sale for various reasons: delayed payments, emergency needs, etc.
Some of the rules in place prevent investors from abusing the secondary market. For example, you can’t resell an investment for 30 days after you purchased it from the secondary market.
Things that could go wrong
While I like EstateGuru and I trust them enough with my money, investing here still has some risks I need to be aware of.
EstateGuru is a fast-growing platform managed by a competent team and which I believe will be very successful in the future.
However, like all current-day startups, EstateGuru still has a few years until it becomes profitable. In case it goes bankrupt, how long would it take until I recover my invested funds?
Although EstateGuru is currently working on this, building a partnership with Lemonway, my funds are not yet kept in a wallet under my name, but into a generic company account along with all investors' funds.
Investing in property-backed loans offers a safety-net, but not a foolproof one. Property prices go down during recessions, and even though the average loan-to-value ratio of EstateGuru’s loans is under 60%, I could still suffer a loss.
When a borrower bankrupts, some of the assets backing the loan might be hard to sell at all, even at lower prices. Unfinished constructions might be valued at a price, but if there are no buyers, they’re not worth much.
Conclusions on EstateGuru
EstateGuru is a peer to peer lending platform easy to use. The loans available here have decent return rates at around 10% – 12%. The default rate is very low, and all loans are property-backed and come with decent LTV ratios.
EstateGuru is maybe the safest property lending platform in the Baltics. It has lots of features that make me like it:
- the platform owners are transparent with their operations, making public their financials
- all available loans have all the details needed to decide if I want to invest in a loan or not
- the returns are far from the ones offered by the likes of Crowdestor, but the loans come with much better securities, and investing here is a lot safer
- there’s a decent amount of loans available, and I can diversify my portfolio here and reduce the risk
- it has a secondary market, so I can exit my investments if I need to before the loans mature
- EstateGuru has a good track record, with less than 1% defaults and all funds recovered
- not last, it uses 2-factor authentication to secure any important operation done on the platform
Want to learn more?
Check EstateGuru's website and learn more about them and their available investment opportunities.Visit EstateGuru
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