Crypto Mortgages Test Home Buyers’ Appetite In Digital-Currency World
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Crypto Mortgages Test Home Buyers’ Appetite In Digital-Currency World

Miami firms now offer home loans in crypto, but many traditional lenders doubt such practice will gain scale.

By Deborah Acosta
Mon, Apr 11, 2022 11:15amGrey Clock 3 min

Some Miami developers have enabled buyers to purchase homes in cryptocurrency since at least 2021. Now a pair of Miami lenders is going one step further by offering home mortgages in digital currencies.

Milo, a fintech company in the lending business, made the first crypto home loan in March, when it provided a 30-year mortgage in bitcoin for a Miami duplex.

The firm says the early response among other crypto-oriented home buyers has been so enthusiastic that it is already looking to double the size of its Miami office to 100 employees to handle the anticipated demand.

XBTO, another cryptofinance company with offices in Miami, said it is also gearing up to offer crypto mortgages this year, in partnership with a traditional Miami-based mortgage lender.

“Between crypto millionaires who don’t want to sell their cryptocurrency and foreign buyers who have trouble entering the market, we see a huge demand,” says Joe Haggenmiller, head of markets for XBTO.

Kieran Gibbs is one of the newcomers to the city who has expressed interest. The professional soccer player from the U.K. moved to South Florida last year to play for the local Inter Miami CF. He said that he has been receiving half of his salary in bitcoin since January and that he is in talks with XBTO to secure a crypto mortgage.

“I’m renting my property at the moment and I’d like to buy,” Mr. Gibbs said. “The trouble is I haven’t been here for long enough to get enough credit, so it’s difficult for me at the moment to get a mortgage.”

Crypto mortgages are structured much like traditional mortgages and are lent out to home buyers in dollars but are meant to appeal to people who have large crypto holdings they don’t want to convert to dollars.

These mortgages require additional collateral in the form of a cryptocurrency, and the agreements allow the lender to take ownership of the home and the additional collateral in the event of default. If the value of crypto falls, the borrower may have to put up more crypto or other collateral.

Many traditional lenders are sceptical that loans in digital currency will ever gain scale, and analysts list numerous risks and complications when lending in crypto.

For one, they point to the legal pitfalls of engaging in a space that is still largely unregulated. Volatile fluctuations in the price of digital currencies could mean that lenders may require a borrower to put up additional collateral if the crypto price drops significantly.

“Anyone in the digital asset space should proceed with a great degree of caution,” says Richard Levin, an attorney and chair of the fintech and regulation practice at the law firm Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP.

Even proponents of these loans say that the new companies are already encountering logistical issues.

“Integrating the legacy mortgage system with the new crypto environment is an operational nightmare,” says Lorenzo Delzoppo, an attorney who specializes in disruptive technology and who is consulting XBTO as they finalize their mortgage product.

Still, he adds, “It’s all incredibly exciting.”

Crypto mortgages are only the latest way that Miami businesses have experimented with the nexus of real estate and digital currencies, a trend that is on display this week during Miami’s bitcoin conference and other crypto-related gatherings.

Propy, a property-tech company whose chief executive resides in Miami, made headlines in February for being the first to process a U.S. real-estate transaction as a nonfungible token, or NFT.

Real-estate developer PMG, in a partnership with the crypto-derivatives exchange FTX, said it has accepted more than $20 million in cryptocurrency payments toward preconstruction purchases of about 60 condo units at its E11even Hotel & Residences.

Lofty, a condo project in Miami’s Brickell district, is providing a digital NFT art piece as an amenity along with the purchase of a unit.

Milo, meanwhile, is offering interest rates for crypto mortgages between about 4% and 6%, which skew a bit higher than what banks tend to charge for dollar-based loans. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.67% last week, according to mortgage-finance company Freddie Mac.

The crypto lender allows borrowers to take out loans of up to 100% of the purchase price by pledging their bitcoin as collateral. XBTO will require purchasers to put down 10%.

Reprinted by permission of The Wall Street Journal, Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication: April 5, 2022.

 



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This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

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Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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On the Market for the First Time, This Hamptons Beach House Is Listed for Nearly $26 Million

The home in the village of Sagaponack has plenty of balconies to take in the surrounding water views

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A waterfront home in the Hamptons village of Sagaponack, New York, is on the market for the very first time.

Asking $25.95 million, the gray shingle-style home was built in 2008 by the seller and has since been available as a summer rental, but it’s never been up for sale.

Designed by architect Faruk Yorgancioglu, the “waterfront home offers privacy and panoramic beauty that cannot be duplicated under today’s zoning laws,” said co-listing agent Marilyn Clark of Sotheby’s International Realty – Bridgehampton Brokerage.

Jaime Lopez for Sotheby’s International Realty

The seller bought the property, which at the time had two small structures, at auction in 2005 for approximately $2 million, according to co-listing agent Deborah Pirro of Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty. Mansion Global could not contact the seller.

The home hit the market Thursday, and in addition to Clark and Pirro, it is co-listed by Raquel Lopez of Sotheby’s International Realty – Bridgehampton Brokerage and Diane Anderson of Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty.

Spanning 6,000 square feet, the home is filled with bright interiors, which were designed by New York-based interior designer Steven Gambrel. The open gourmet kitchen flows into a casual dining area and a living space with a fireplace, which is one of two double-sided fireplaces in the home, Pirro said.

A sunroom overlooks the water.
Jaime Lopez for Sotheby’s International Realty

“The placement and scale of fireplaces throughout the home is perfection,” she added.

A separate dining room has French doors that open onto a deck, listing photos show.

There are six en-suite bedrooms, including two primary bedrooms. The larger of the two is its own private retreat, outfitted with a fireplace, a sunroom and a large balcony, offering a space to watch the sun set over Sagaponack Pond, according to Sotheby’s.

Jaime Lopez for Sotheby’s International Realty

The home sits on a little more than an acre of waterfront land, bordering Sagaponack Pond, where there’s a private dock, and looking out at the Atlantic Ocean in the distance.

“The location on the pond with the view of the ocean waves breaking is spectacular and unique,” Clark said. “You are close to beaches and the Sagaponack General Store. It is a quick paddle to the famous Sagg Main Beach.”

Other outside amenities include a gunite swimming pool and a hot tub, which are surrounded by a spacious deck, as well as a pool cabana, which has a full bathroom, changing rooms and a sauna. There’s also multiple balconies, decks and a screened porch overlooking the pool, striking a balance between indoor and outdoor living.

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11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

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