Direct portfolio lender Velocity Mortgage Capital recently announced an initiative to engage more women in real estate by incentivizing their participation.

Based in Westlake, California, Velocity launched the WIRE initiative to “qualify self-employed real estate investors and small business owners who don’t fit the criteria for a traditional bank loan,” the company said.

WIRE — which stands for Women in Real Estate — features special incentives for participants, including a free appraisal, discounts on underwriting fees and a credit on closing costs for first-time Velocity borrowers that can reduce closing costs by as much as $5,000.

Velocity announced the new program with the host of HGTV’s ‘Rehab Addict,’ Nicole Curtis, at the National Association of Mortgage Brokers Conference in Las Vegas.

“I’ve made more money in real estate than I have from being a TV star,” Curtis told the crowd. “Women aren’t going to risk their farm to get ahead and that’s why I don’t they think they get into real estate. I often hear things like ‘My kids are still in school’ and I tell them to start small – don’t buy a Gucci purse, set money aside for real estate investing. Real estate is a business, and being in business involves risk.”

Women-owned businesses in the U.S. generate over $1.7 trillion in revenues and employ millions of workers, Velocity said. Despite that, studies show many women face difficulties in securing traditional bank loans for residential investment and small commercial properties, including less favorable terms and higher interest rates than their male counterparts, which is why Velocity launched WIRE, said Velocity CEO Chris Farrar.

“At Velocity, we believe every borrower deserves the opportunity to invest in real estate – especially women, who often have higher credit scores and lower default rates,” Farrar said “We’re offering special incentives for female investors and women-owned businesses that include a free appraisal, discounts on underwriting fees, and a credit on closing costs on their first loan with Velocity.”

Since 2004, Velocity Mortgage Capital has funded over $2.5 billion in investment and commercial property loans. Velocity’s financing programs range from temporary, short-term, credit repair and fix-and-flip programs to 30-year, fully amortizing mortgages with flexible terms.

Velocity is a nationwide, direct portfolio lender which works with brokers to provide mortgage programs for 1 to 4 residential investment properties, as well as multi-family, mixed-use and other small commercial properties.

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