The Global Financial Crisis: We Partner With a Veteran Investor 

The Fox Pointe Story

We purchased Fox Pointe in a short sale in the midst of the global financial crisis with almost no competition. Over $1 million in upgrades and capital improvements were completed within the first 12 months of  ownership. Since then, we have more than doubled the property's NOI.

After six years, we refinaced the mortgage, and the proceeds were sufficient to return 100% of initial equity capital  along with a substantial tax-deferred profit. From closing through December 31, 2022, Fox Pointe  has generated an annualized net return to investors of 18.29%* vs. a 9.01% return from  the FTSE NAREIT Equity REIT Index over the same period.

The Opportunity

It's difficult to  add to what's already known about  the  global financial crisis other than to emphasize the complete lack of liquidity in the equity and debt markets. As a result, the owners of Fox Pointe  were unable to refinance their mortgage at maturity, even though they were the original developers with over 3,000 units owned and managed throughout the Midwest.

Given the difficult credit environment and the forced sale, we were able to put the property under contract at a very attractive price with almost no competition. We liked the property because it was located in the Columbus/Bartholomew MSA,  which  is a smaller Indiana MSA, but the  MSA has exceptionally strong demographics. In addition, a unique opportunity was developing in multifamily housing due to the elimination of the subprime mortgage market, which would ultimately increase demand for rental housing. However, we had the same issue as the seller: the capital markets were virtually frozen, and we did not know how we were going to finance the acquisition.

The Problem

The Columbus  MSA is very small, the local economy is heavily  reliant on automobile manufacturing, and GM and Chrysler were both heading into bankruptcy.  In addition, the property began life in 1990  under the Low Income Housing Tax Credit  ("LIHTC") program, and it  had just completed the Qualified Contract Process. This meant that it could be removed from the LIHTC pool and converted to market-rate housing, but it also meant that it suffered from  deferred maintenance after almost 20 years of rent restrictions. Fox Pointe would need a lot  of capital to successfully convert to market-rate housing.

No Agency DUS lender would even provide a soft quote. Numerous banks were  experiencing severe liquidity issues of their own, and the leading local bank in Columbus was going into receivership. Accordingly, banks were not providing quotes either. Given the economic and credit environment,  our strategy from the start was to de-risk the purchase by financing it with non-recourse, fully-amortizing debt under HUD's 223(f) loan program. In normal, healthy market conditions, closing a 223(f) loan can be a 9-12 month process. However, this was not a normal market, and we did not have 9-12 months.

What We Did

We were introduced to an investor who saw the same opportunity developing in multifamily housing that we saw.  She was COO (now CEO) of an NYSE-listed asset management firm with $1.5 trillion under management, and she had influence over a healthy bank that could provide debt financing.  We reviewed the opportunity with her and explained that we were looking for a bridge debt product that could allow us to close but  also be prepaid at low cost within 9-12 months. Ultimately, she offered to (i) provide the debt through the bank, (ii) provide a personal guarantee to the bank and (iii) provide 60% of the equity personally.  In return, we offered her control rights via Major Decisions, as well as a share of the general partnership profits.

Prior to closing, she was able to fully optimize the debt  even futher  in order to de-risk the acquisition as much as possible: the bank provided us with 10-year fixed rate, amortizing debt that was fully prepayable at any time without cost. In addition,  the debt was priced on par with 10-year Agency debt.  The 10-year term and Agency-equivalent pricing would protect us from any further economic shocks, including the possibility that HUD might  stop lending under the 223(f) program. But unlike Agency debt, we could prepay at any time without any penalty whatsoever.   We closed on December 21st, 2010, and refinanced without issue into the new HUD 223(f) debt the following September.  Afterward, we continued an extensive exterior and interior upgrade program.


Our original business plan was to use the 223(f) debt as permanent financing and hold long term for cash flow, but NOI continued to grow due to the  upgrade program.  Within six years of closing, we had far exceeded our NOI targets. Ultimately, we discovered that Columbus was an even stronger market than  we thought.  This led us to refinance into brand new HUD 223(f) debt yet again, and the refinancing proceeds were sufficient to return 100% of initial equity capital plus a significant tax-deferred profit. We still own the property today, it's still cash flowing, and we did not need to execute a 1031 exchange with the refinancing proceeds because unlike sales proceeds, income from refinancing proceeds is not immediately taxable.

Clubhouse Prior to  Closing

Clubhouse Prior To Closing

Clubhouse After Remodel


Kitchen Prior to Remodel


Kitchen After Remodel


*Unaudited. Past performance is no guarantee.