sky background
sky background

We had a private money mortgage division when I ran Charles Dunn Company, so I know how vital the underwriting process is and Carrie, Don and the staff are simply the best in that arena. Their whole operation is 1st class and I’ve felt comfortable investing for my children, grandchildren and recommending them to other Dunn family members.

Joe Dunn,
Dunn Property Group

on Results

About Us

The Nikols Company is manager of Nikols Mortgage Fund, LLC, a private commercial real estate construction & bridge lender providing $5-35 million loans on California properties. We exclusively look for opportunities that bring value to both our borrowers and our investors.

Experience Counts

The Nikols Company is led by Carrie and Don Nikols, who have over 4 decades each of California-based real estate experience. Their expertise allows us to deliver lending opportunities with solid investor returns and minimal risk.

As CEO, Carrie Nikols leads loan origination, underwriting and servicing. Carrie has over 40 years of commercial real estate experience and is in her 15th year leading Nikols Mortgage Fund, closing over $1 billion of loan commitments.

Don Nikols is Chairman of The Nikols Company and leads the investor side of Nikols Mortgage Fund, LLC, which he founded in 2007. Don has maintained a 95+ percent investor retention rate and is pleased to provide investment returns well in excess of publicly traded and bank interest bearing investments.

The rest of our small, nimble team ensures we make good on our track record of zero loan losses ever. You can meet everyone HERE

Loan Services

The Nikols Company, Manager of Nikols Mortgage Fund, LLC makes short-term real estate bridge loans on properties in California. We focus on $5-35 million loans that are frequently below the radar of institutional lenders, which allows us to provide our borrowers with flexible alternatives to conventional lending institutions. We’ve closed over $1 billion in new loan commitments since our inception and we’ve had zero loan losses ever.



Our loans serve a wide range of borrower needs including acquisition/renovation, ground-up construction, opportunistic fast-close purchases, quick cash-out and infill entitled land. We lend against solid commercial real estate properties including industrial, apartment, triple-net single-credit retail, medical office, self-storage, small infill residential development and infill entitled land.


Our loan approval process is practical instead of rules-based. There are no minimum Sponsor credit guidelines or maximum loan-to-cost rules. Our appraisals are performed by experts we know in the relevant asset class and location, and we can close on a verbal valuation.


Our small team is experienced and agile, which enables us to make decisions rapidly and stick to them. Our “yes” is “yes”, which is why our loan portfolio is mostly comprised of repeat borrowers.


We are dedicated to working with our borrowers to accomplish project completion. We have never foreclosed on a property, even land and development loans we made before the market collapse of 2008.



Floating 2-4% over Wall Street Journal Prime - interest is only charged on balances deployed.


Typically $5M to $35M


6-24 months with extension options

Origination Fees:

1-3 points

Loan to Cost:

Up to 100% LTC

Loan to Value:

Up to 75% LTV


1st trust deeds



Representative Deals

94% of total project costs


94% of total project costs

Apartment Construction

National City, CA

This loan provided for the construction of an 87-unit multi-family project on a 2.41-acre infill site in National City. We successfully competed against a much less expensive money-center bank with a joint-venture partner in the capital stack.


Stabilized Retail

Moreno Valley, CA

This 1031 acquisition loan provided for the purchase of an 82,340 square foot shopping center on 9.15 acres of land anchored by LA Fitness and Pottery Barn. Pottery Barn is vacating once a new lease with Sportsman’s Warehouse is signed.

94% of total project costs


94% of total project costs

Industrial Portfolio Purchase & Sell-Off

Van Nuys, CA

This loan facilitated the acquisition of 7 individual industrial warehouse/distribution buildings totaling 99,906 square feet located at the Van Nuys airport in the city of Los Angeles. NMF closed this complicated loan in 28 days.

81% of total project costs


81% of total project costs

6 Loans, Industrial Acquisition & Condo Conversion

Southern California, CA

Our loans provided for the mapping, renovation, and ultimate sell-off of individual units. Repeat borrower who specializes in this type of redevelopment.

100% of total project costs


100% of total project costs

Industrial Land/Truck Parking

Fullerton, CA

This loan provided for the acquisition of a 2.9-acre industrial site with three buildings that had known historical environmental issues in a strong industrial area of Fullerton. Our loan was 52% of value but 100% of cost due to market increases during the five years it was in escrow.

71% of total project costs


71% of total project costs

6 Retail Pads, Acquisition & Construction Loan

Palm Desert, CA

The loan provided for the construction of 6 separate retail pads which were a combination of ground-leased, build-to-suit, and to-be-leased. Repeat borrower who specializes in this product type.

86% of total project costs


86% of total project costs

5 Loans, Spec. Owner/User Industrial Construction

Southern California, CA

Speculative construction for owner/user industrial buildings in 5 separate loans to the same Sponsor. High demand product with an experienced developer.

86% of total project costs


86% of total project costs

Residential Condominium Construction

Carlsbad, CA

This loan financed the construction and sell-off of 17 single-level residential condominiums with ocean or lagoon views. Located within walking distance to the coastal village area of Carlsbad.

80% of total project costs


80% of total project costs

Stabilized Industrial & Retail

Tustin, CA

This loan facilitated the separate acquisitions of the leasehold improvements as well as the leased fee land for a 69,930 square foot multi-tenant industrial building and retail pad. The Sponsor plans to re-tenant the retail pad with a new tenant at a much higher rental rate.


Thanks to Nikols, we have been able to successfully compete for several acquisition opportunities by being able to commit to a quick, reliable close. In a couple of instances, the Nikols team has been able to move toward closing quicker than the sellers. It is a great benefit to have a lender that understands the big picture dynamics of the entire real estate process.

Brian Burke,
Burke Real Estate Group
image description


Nikols Mortgage Fund, LLC ( “the Fund”) was formed in 2007 to make conservative commercial real estate bridge loans that provide investors with returns well in excess of publicly traded and bank interest bearing investments. Since its inception 15 years ago, the fund has enjoyed a 95+% retention rate while still adding new investors to the pool. We consider it a great compliment when someone chooses to entrust us with their savings, and stewardship of our investors’ capital is always our first concern.

As of May 2023

  • 10%
  • 9%
  • 8%
  • 7%
  • 6%
  • 5%
  • 4%
  • 3%
  • 2%
  • 1%
2-YR US Treasury
10 -YR US Treasury
30 -YR US Treasury
Fidelity Money Market Fund (SPRXX)
Average 1-YR CD Rates
U.S. Corp. AAA Bond
U.S. Corp. AA Bond
Nikols Mortgage Fund, LLC


Our community of investors includes real estate executives, investment advisors, family trusts, family offices, self-directed IRAs and investment LLCs. Many of our investors have previously made active real estate investments but value the passive and reliable investment opportunity that the Fund provides.



With healthy markets, disciplined underwriting, and a diversified portfolio of conservative loans on California real estate, the Fund is built for capital preservation. We only lend on deals we understand, in markets we know, with exit strategies we believe in. We’ve made over $1 billion of loans and never lost a penny on any one.



Our investors can count on a monthly return that has averaged 6.6% since 2014. There’s no commission, so 100% of investment capital earns interest.

Nikols Mortgage Fund, LLC Summary

100% owned by its investors Monthly income distributions
Conservative loans with 1st trust deed collateral Short-term loans limit market exposure
Diversified portfolio of commercial loans across California

Track Record


2014-2022 Fund
Average Return

Property Fundings
and Commitments


Loan Losses

Meet The Nikols Company

Environmental Consultant

Don Nikols

Chairman of the Board & Founder

Don Nikols leads the investor side of Nikols Mortgage Fund, LLC, which he founded in 2007. In his role as chairman of the board, he oversees aggregation of capital and investor relations. His 45-year real estate career spans institutional and private money lending, entrepreneurial real estate development and brokerage of all types of capital from loans to project equity. Since 2005, his sole focus has been private money lending including over $1 billion in fundings primarily in Southern California.

As a principal he has formed numerous profitable development partnerships for apartments, condominiums, planned unit developments, single-family residences and retail shopping. As a broker he has arranged equity capital, preferred equity capital, equity-participating mezzanine debt, equity-participating 2nd trust deeds, structured finance transactions, construction loans and adjustable and fixed rate loans for development, renovation, purchase and refinance of individual project capitalizations ranging from $500,000 to in excess of $50 million.

Carrie & Don Nikols are benefactors of St. Michaels Abbey in Silverado, CA and have served as Chairs of the Stewardship Committee at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Costa Mesa. Don is on the consultive board of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church Parish School and is a regular Sunday lector at St. John the Baptist. Don has also served as Chaplain for Boy Scout Troop 911 in Huntington Beach, CA.

Don is a licensed California Real Estate Broker and licensed California General Contractor (B-1). He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration-Accounting from California State University Northridge and holds a Certificate in Investment Real Estate from University of California Irvine.

Chairman of the Board & Founder

Carrie Nikols

Chief Executive Officer

Carrie Nikols leads loan origination, underwriting and servicing for the Fund. She has 40 years of commercial real estate experience and is in her 15th year leading Nikols Mortgage Fund, closing over $1 billion of loan commitments.

Carrie’s commercial real estate experience ranges from institutional permanent lending and large balance bridge loans to smaller bank and private money construction and tailored transactions. As the top producing Region Manager for DaimlerChrysler Capital Services, Carrie originated and was responsible for a portfolio of $10 to $75 million highly leveraged commercial property bridge loans, all handled as agreed with no defaults. She has also pioneered various loan structures and product types including mezzanine loans, tax-exempt bond letter of credit enhancements with taxable tails, assisted living facilities, self-storage facilities and single-tenant biotech properties. Carrie has also written approximately 50 income property and residential subdivision appraisals as a state certified appraiser and MAI candidate.

Carrie serves on the board of the UCI Center for Real Estate. Carrie & Don Nikols are also benefactors of St. Michaels Abbey in Silverado, CA and have served as Chairs of the Stewardship Committee at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Costa Mesa. Carrie is on the consultive board of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church Parish School and is a regular Sunday lector at St. John the Baptist.

She holds a California Real Estate Sales license and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration-Real Estate Finance.

Chief Executive Officer

Josh Stude

Executive Vice President, Chief Underwriter

Josh Stude joined The Nikols Company in 2019 and is responsible for loan underwriting in conjunction with Carrie Nikols’ loan originating efforts. Prior to joining Nikols, Josh worked closely with Carrie from 2014 through 2019 as the primary contact within the CBRE appraisal division responsible for the valuation of nearly all properties financed by the fund over those 5 years.

Josh was a Senior Vice President with CBRE where he served 17 years and was recognized as a national top producer for 6 straight years running from 2013-2018 for his valuation expertise. He began his career at CBRE in the brokerage research division working on industrial research in Southern California and then moved to the Valuation & Advisory group. His clients at CBRE included an expansive list ranging from local developers to REITs.

He holds the prestigious MAI designation from the Appraisal Institute as well as a Certified General Appraisal License in California. He has experience in valuation of all product types of commercial real estate including multi-family, industrial, office, retail, land and mixed-use developments.

Josh graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management and Organizational Communication.

Executive Vice President, Chief Underwriter

Morgan Rommel

CPA, Chief Financial Officer

Morgan Rommel is responsible for investor distributions, investor relations, financial reporting and tax/regulatory compliance as it relates to the Fund. Her eleven years in public accounting and private industry contribute to high levels of accuracy and accountability in the management of the Fund.

Her first career position was with PriceWaterhouseCoopers, LLP where she gathered the experience needed to earn her CPA licensing in California.

As Senior Accountant for the global enterprise Fike Corporation, Morgan compiled data from international subsidiaries and completed monthly consolidated financial statements while tracking impacts of foreign exchange rates and reconciling all foreign cash accounts. She worked with executives and managers across all subsidiaries budgeting department expenses, calculating projected sales and providing accurate financial forecasts for coming years. In addition to compiling and completing documentation for both profit plan and year-end audits, she processed personnel entries for payroll, health insurance, 401k and ESOP.

Morgan’s an Orange County native and a graduate of the Wallace E. Carrol School of Management at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Marketing.

CPA, Chief Financial Officer

Adam Deermount

Executive Vice President, Portfolio Manager

Adam Deermount is responsible for overseeing the Nikols Mortgage Fund loan portfolio, managing loan closings, construction draws, servicing and modifications.  He tracks construction and development progress, project timelines and budgets, and works with borrowers to address potential problems before they arise.

Prior to joining Nikols, Adam served as Chief Investment Officer at Ramser Development Company where he led the acquisition and asset management teams focused on building a nationwide vehicle storage platform. Deermount was a cofounder of RanchHarbor where he focused on acquisitions and capital raising activities for value-add multifamily, industrial and self storage properties. Deermount also co-founded Landmark Real Estate, a real estate capital advisory firm disciplined in finance and private equity, where he successfully advised clients on over $1.3 billion of capital transactions across all asset classes.

Deermount was an advisor to State Street Bank on the restructuring of a $550 million land and development loan. He also served as a bankruptcy consultant to Hogan-Webb, LLC, the chief restructuring officer of LandSource Holding Company, a $2.6 billion land development company owned by Lennar Homes, LNR Partners, and CalPERS. Deermount’s experience also includes roles with California National Bank, TA Associates Realty and Merrill Lynch Capital in the Commercial Real Estate Finance Group. He has also been an adjunct professor in the MBA Real Estate Finance program at the UCI Paul Merage School of Business since 2021.

Deermount graduated from Tufts University in Boston where he was a 2001 collegiate All-American and national collegiate sailing champion. He is an active member of Newport Harbor Yacht Club and has held numerous leadership roles. He was Fleet Captain in 2018 and 2019 and is a member of the 2024 Board of Directors. Deermount resides in Newport Beach with his wife and two daughters

Executive Vice President, Portfolio Manager

Chris Geletka

Executive Vice President, Portfolio Manager

Chris contributes to the oversight of the Nikols Mortgage Fund loan portfolio, helping manage loan closings, construction draws, servicing and loan modifications. He tracks construction progress, project timelines and budgets.

Prior to joining Nikols, Chris served as Vice President, Loan Originations in the Los Angeles office of Centennial Property Finance (owned by Centennial Bank based in Arkansas). Prior to that he was Senior Associate at Pilot Real Estate Group, a $100M family office based in Greenwich, CT seeking high risk-adjusted returns from lower middle-market credit, transitional assets and development opportunities on both the debt and equity side. While at Pilot Chris identified, structured, underwrote and asset managed bridge loans as well as equity investments.

Chris holds a Master of Science in Real Estate Finance & Investment from NYU’s Schack Institute of Real Estate and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from USC.

Executive Vice President, Portfolio Manager

Penny Long

Senior Vice President, Loan Administrator

Penny is responsible for processing, coordinating and closing new loans as well as modifying and monitoring existing ones. She liaisons with title and escrow, borrower and lender counsel, brokers, third-party vendors and F&M bank, the Fund’s credit line lender.

Before joining Nikols, Penny spent 15 years at KBS Realty Advisors, a publicly traded REIT based in Newport Beach, as a senior closing associate. She also worked as a real estate and corporate paralegal at The Steak n Shake Company and spent years working at title and escrow companies, including First American Title Company and Chicago Title Company.

Penny holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Arts History from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Senior Vice President, Loan Administrator

Ana Quiroz

Construction Draw Administrator

Ana Quiroz is responsible for handling all construction draws, including reviewing, processing and obtaining necessary backup, including mechanic lien releases. She also requests and reviews construction draw progress inspections and title reports. Additionally, she sets up property account wires and checks, reconciles property accounts, compiles and prepares reports for our annual audit and supports the company with administrative tasks.

Before joining Nikols, Ana spent 20 years as Accounts Payable Supervisor at Taylor Morrison, a public home builder based in Scottsdale, AZ. During her time there she executed payments, handled a high volume of invoices and expense reports, resolved issues with invoices and lien releases from subcontractors, and compiled monthly, quarterly and annual reports.

Construction Draw Administrator

Sydney Nikols O’Toole

Director Of Communications

Sydney Nikols O’Toole directs a wide variety of communications for the company, including designing and executing marketing campaigns, editing and distributing investor reports, liasoning with vendors and consultants, and working with the CMBA and wider community on industry-relevant political concerns like affordable housing. Sydney also assists with scheduling, organizing and executing day-to-day company tasks.

Sydney holds a BFA in Writing, Literature & Publishing from Emerson College in Boston, which specializes in communications and the arts. She is also a graduate of the improv and sketch comedy programs at Upright Citizens Brigade and has a background in comedy and TV writing.

Director Of Communications

Michael P. Simondi

Real Estate Attorney

Mike Simondi has documented almost every loan that the Fund and all related Funds have closed since the Fund’s 2007 inception.

Prior to forming Michael P. Simondi & Associates in 1996, he was Partner-In-Charge for Real Estate for the Orange County Office of Morgan Lewis & Bockius; Partner for Real Estate for the Orange County Office of Memel, Jacobs & Ellsworth; and Associate for Real Estate and Tax for the Orange County Office of Meserve, Mumper & Hughes. He was also Tax Accountant for Price Waterhouse & Co. and Arthur Young & Co.

Mike holds a J. D. from University of California, Hastings College of Law; an M.B.A. from University of California Berkeley, Accounting Emphasis; and a B.S. from University of California Berkeley, Accounting Emphasis. He and his wife, Stacy Simondi, CPA, have been investors of the Fund since 2008.

Real Estate Attorney

Dennis Carpenter

Construction Progress Inspector Project Cost Analyst

Dennis and his team at Financial Construction Inspections, Inc. (FCI) began conducting all Fund construction progress inspections and project cost analyses in 2019 when Robert Lascelles who had done the Fund’s construction progress inspections since 2014 moved to Washington State.

Dennis founded FCI in 1992 after 9 years with Security Pacific National Bank as VP/Construction Inspector for the Southern California, Arizona, Colorado & New Mexico areas. His experience includes large shopping malls, master planned residential developments, a hangar / training facility for a major air carrier, a $115,000,000 apartment project in Marina del Rey and a $75,000,000 high rise apartment complex in downtown San Diego. Prior to his construction progress and cost analysis work Dennis put in 12 years of direct construction experience for residential, commercial and industrial projects.

Construction Progress Inspector Project Cost Analyst

Robert C. Lascelles

Environmental Consultant

Robert has provided environmental reviews and reports and construction inspections for The Fund and all related Funds since 2008 through his firm, Technical Advisory Group, Inc.

Robert was Vice President, Technical Services, of Citicorp Real Estate, Inc. from 1984 to 1997. There he was a construction disbursement inspector for projects throughout California and adjoining states, and participated in development of the lender’s response to environmental risks. Robert then headed the environmental review department from 1997 to 1999 as Vice President, Technical Advisory Services, of Franchise Mortgage Acceptance Company and from 1999 to 2002 was Senior Vice President, Technical Advisory Services, of Bay View FMAC.

Robert holds a B.S. in both Construction and Architecture from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Robert has been an investor of the Fund since 2013.

Our Location

4675 MacArthur Court, Suite 500
Newport Beach, CA 92660

License Number

California Finance Lender
License #603F152

Contact Us

    Send a message

    The Nikols Company, Manager

    4675 MacArthur Court
    Suite 500
    Newport Beach, CA 92660

    Don Nikols, Chairman of the Board/Founder

    (949) 474-8488

    Email Don Nikols

    Carrie Nikols, Chief Executive Officer

    (949) 474-8666

    Email Carrie Nikols

    Josh Stude, Executive Vice President, Chief Underwriter

    (949) 996-3702

    Email Josh Stude

    Adam Deermount, Executive Vice President, Portfolio Manager

    (949) 996-4674

    Email Adam Deermount

    THINK Together
    The Nikols Company is pleased to make a contribution from the proceeds of each loan to THINK Together, providing high quality academically-oriented after school programs for K-12 students regardless of race, creed, or socioeconomic status.

    Think Together California MBA UCI Paul Merage School of Business