about us

Focused on Results

The Nikols Company, Manager of Nikols Mortgage Fund, LLC, has an executive team with extensive experience in institutional commercial and residential real estate lending. This level of sophistication enables us to recognize changing market dynamics and deliver custom financing solutions. We have an unwavering commitment to the stewardship of our investors’ capital and the servicing of our borrowers’ loans.

By combining institutional training with entrepreneurial execution, The Nikols Company consistently delivers service and results that exceed expectations.

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-


Loan Services

The Nikols Company, Manager of Nikols Mortgage Fund, LLC specializes in making short-term real estate bridge loans on properties in California. We provide the borrowing community flexible alternatives to conventional lending institutions. Our loans serve a wide range of borrower needs such as:

  • Income property loans for:
    • Inexpensive alternative to equity (up to 100% loan to cost)
    • Ground up construction
    • Renovation and repositioning
    • Seasoning to long-term financing
    • Opportunistic fast close purchases
    • Entitled infill land

We are committed to providing our borrowers with rapid decisions from principals (no loan committee), market leading service and loan structures tailored to their individual needs. 69% of our borrowers are repeat borrowers.

Loan Terms

Rate: 6% to 10% fixed - interest is only charged on balances deployed.
Amount: Typically $2M to $20M
Term: 6-12 months with extension options
Origination Fees: 1-2 points
Loan to Cost: Up to 100% LTC
Loan to Value: Up to 75% LTV
Collateral: 1st trust deed
Location: California

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-

Noteworthy transactions

Representative Commercial Deals

$7,400,000 85% of total project costs

8 Unit Small Lot SFR Tract Construction Loan

Los Angeles, CA (Larchmont Village)

Sponsors have extensive experience in small lot home development in addition to other residential development.

$7,050,000 90% of total project costs

Non-Recourse Retail Center Construction

Menifee, CA

This loan provided for the acquisition and development of 4 parcels optioned within an under-construction neighborhood center shadow anchored by Stater Bros. All parcels were pre-leased to CVS (ground lease), Starbucks & Pacific Dental (construction), Del Taco (reverse build to suit), and McDonald’s (ground lease).

$5,600,000 63% of value

Cash Out Land Refinance

Carlsbad, CA

This loan refinanced an existing land loan and provided over $900,000 in cash proceeds towards the Sponsor’s equity contribution for the construction of two-multi-tenant industrial buildings in the same market (for which Nikols Mortgage Fund provided the loan).

$4,800,000 88% of total project costs

15 Unit Apartment/Student Housing / Acquisition & Renovation Loan

Los Angeles, CA

This loan provided for the acquisition and renovation of an apartment property into student housing.

The property is located within blocks of the USC campus, with high demand for newly renovated student housing.

$7,400,000 100% of current loan and remaining costs

Mixed-use, Apartment / Retail Lease-up

Camarillo, CA

A 23-unit apartment and 5-unit retail mixed-use property in Camarillo that was 95% complete with retail leases for 4 of the 5 units.

The loan provided funds for the completion of construction and lease-up of the apartments.

$7,500,000 94% of total project costs

Acquisition & Conversion to Self-Storage

San Diego, CA

This loan provided for the acquisition of a vacant industrial building and costs to convert to a 522-unit self-storage facility.

The borrower had a pre-sale agreement with a large national REIT.

$12,000,000 81% of total project costs

Industrial Condo-Conversion

Irvine, CA

This loan provided for the purchase of a vacant owner/user industrial building for conversion to multiple industrial condominium units for sale.

$6,260,000 94% of total project costs

Retail / Restaurant Development Loan

Sacramento, CA

A cash-out refinance / development loan providing funds for a lot line adjustment, demolition of two strip buildings and site work for delivery of pre-leased pads for Chili’s Bar & Grill and Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants adjoining an existing IHOP.

$7,300,000 67% of total project costs

Non-Recourse Acquisition & Renovation, Office Condo Conversion

San Jose, CA

This loan allowed for the conversion of individual suites to medical office condominiums with release clauses for the sale of separate units. Provided for the property purchase and significant interior and exterior improvements.

Solid, Safe, Consistent Returns


Since its founding in 2007 Nikols Mortgage Fund, LLC (the Fund) has attracted a loyal and sophisticated community of investors including prominent real estate executives, investment advisors, family trusts, family offices, self-directed IRAs, and investment LLCs. Many investors have previously made direct and active real estate investments, but value the passive and reliable investment opportunity that the Fund provides. The Fund has consistently added new investors and has a 97% average investor retention rate since its 2007 inception.

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

  • 6.65% 2014-2020 Fund Average Return
  • $735M Property Fundings and Commitments
  • 0 Loan Losses
meet the nikols company – MANAGER

Our Team

Don Nikols

Board Chairman & Founder

Don Nikols is primarily responsible for aggregation of capital and investor relations. His forty-three 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 $880 million 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, CA. Don has been a member of the Orange Coast Chapter of Legatus and has 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.

Carrie Nikols

Chief Executive Officer

Carrie Nikols is primarily responsible for loan origination, underwriting, and servicing. Her thirty-nine year commercial real estate experience ranges from institutional permanent lending and large balance bridge loans to smaller bank and private money construction and tailored transactions.

Carrie has originated and underwritten or overseen underwriting of all but the first $3 million of the over $735 million of private money loans funded by The Nikols Company.

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 written approximately 50 income property and residential subdivision appraisals as a state certified appraiser and MAI candidate.

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. Carrie was Board Member and Program Chair of the Orange Coast Chapter of Legatus and has also served on the board of the Woman’s Guild at St. John Vianney Chapel on Balboa Island, CA.

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.

Loretta Schultz

Chief Operating Officer

Loretta Schultz coordinates all loan closings, supervises loan servicing and monitors the loan portfolio. With thirty years of commercial real estate lending experience, she brings a broad base of expertise in portfolio management and contract administration.

Loretta served as Vice President / Portfolio Manager for South Coast Commercial Bank and First California Bank wherein she hired, trained, and managed staff for all aspects of processing, underwriting and servicing a variety of commercial real estate loan programs in a $120 million portfolio.

As the Loan Servicing Manager for Clearinghouse CDFI, Loretta was responsible for coordinating and managing the start-up of an in-house servicing department for a $320 million loan portfolio. She implemented policies and procedures to ensure compliance on the community development focused loans and prevent losses for the institutional investors.

Loretta holds an Associate of Arts degree in Accounting from Orange Coast College.

Josh Stude

Senior 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. Josh has worked closely with Carrie since 2014 as the primary contact within the CBRE appraisal division responsible for the valuation of nearly all properties financed by the fund over the past 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.

Morgan Rommel

CPA, Chief Financial Officer

Morgan Rommel is responsible for investor distributions, investor relations, financial reporting and tax/regulatory compliance related 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 along with 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 earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Marketing.

Julia Hitomi

Loan Processor and Servicer

Julia Hitomi assists the Chief Operating Officer in the processing and closing of loans. She is also responsible for reviewing and funding draws for renovation and construction loans, billing and collection and general servicing functions.

Julia has fourteen years of experience as a commercial real estate loan processor and servicer. She held processing positions with both First California Bank and Vineyard Bank wherein she analyzed credit applications, title reports and tax returns. While assisting the underwriter, Julia reviewed and signed off pre-funding conditions and coordinated timely closings with title and escrow companies. Julia also served as an administrative assistant and billing clerk for a local manufacturing company where she gained experience in reconciling accounts and cash management.

Julia has a Bachelor of the Arts degree from California State University Fullerton.

Sydney Nikols O’Toole

Executive and Marketing Assistant

Sydney Nikols O’Toole assists the Chairman/Founder and CEO with administrative functions and supports the marketing efforts of the company through conceptual design, writing and editing content and organizing and executing email and direct mail campaigns.

Sydney is also a writer and actress living in Los Angeles. She has developed half-hour comedy pilots for MTV and Comedy Central and is a graduate of the improv and sketch programs at UCB. She holds a BFA in Writing, Literature and Publishing from Emerson College in Boston.

Michael P. Simondi

Real Estate Attorney

Mike Simondi has documented nearly 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 has been an investor in the Fund since 2008.

Contact Us

    Main Office

    Phone: (949) 474-7577

    Fax: (949) 261-6616

    License Number

    California Finance Lender License #603F152

    The Nikols Company, Manager
    4041 MacArthur Boulevard
    Suite 140
    Newport Beach, CA 92660
    Phone: (949) 474-7577
    Fax: (949) 261-6616

    Don Nikols, Principal, Investor Relations
    (949) 474-8488

    Carrie Nikols, Principal, Chief Lending Officer
    (949) 474-8666

    Josh Stude, Senior Vice President, Chief Underwriter
    (949) 625-6432

    Loretta Schultz, Chief Operating Officer
    (949) 474-7577

    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. www.thinktogether.org