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. 85% of our borrowers are repeat borrowers.

Loan Terms

Rate: Floating 2-4% over Wall Street Journal Prime - interest is only charged on balances deployed.
Amount: Typically $5M to $35M
Term: 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
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

$17,720,000 87% of total project costs

18 Unit Small Lot SFR Tract Construction Loan

Los Angeles, CA (Hollywood)

The purchase of the land closed with entitlements in place for the homes. Sponsor is experienced in residential construction and renovation in Los Angeles.

$16,500,000 65% of total project costs

16 Residential Condos & 1 Retail Condo, Sell-Off

San Diego, CA
(Banker’s Hill)

The loan provided for the sell-off of the remaining 16 residential units, and 1 ground floor retail unit. 25 of the 41 units were already sold and loan provided for return of equity to initial investors.

$20,530,000 90% of total project costs

3 Loans, Apartment/Student Housing Acquisition & Renovation

Los Angeles, CA

All three properties are located within blocks of the USC campus. Sponsor has extensive experience in this product type and location, maximizing renovation value into higher NOI.

$32,900,000 86% of total project costs

5 Loans, Spec. Owner/User Industrial Construction

Southern California

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

$11,355,000 74% of total budget

Entitled Land Acquisition Loan

Stanton, CA

Sponsor assembled and entitled 3 parcels for 321 apartment units during escrow period. Loan period will provide time to receive building permits for construction.

$12,900,000 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.

$52,440,000 81% of total project costs

5 Loans, Industrial Acquisition & Condo Conversion

Southern California

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

$5,750,000 75% of total project costs

Construction of Two Retail Pads

Stockton, CA

Loan provided for site work and construction of corporate Starbucks and corporate 7-Eleven.

$16,000,000 66% of total budget

Covered Land Acquisition & Entitlement Loan

Burbank, CA

Property had a current income stream from ice rink, bowling alley & banquet center at acquisition. Sponsor is entitling half of site through the expedited SB 35 program for 97 townhomes.

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

  • 6.61% 2014-2021 Fund Average Return
  • $852M 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 44-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 40-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.

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 her primary contact within the CBRE appraisal division that was responsible for the valuation of nearly all properties financed by the fund during those 5 years before he joined Nikols.

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 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 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.

Michael P. Simondi

Real Estate Attorney

Mike Simondi has documented nearly every loan that the Fund and all related entities 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.

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.

Contact Us

    License Number

    California Finance Lender License #603F152

    The Nikols Company, Manager
    4041 MacArthur Boulevard
    Suite 140
    Newport Beach, CA 92660

    Don Nikols, Chairman of the Board/Founder
    (949) 474-8488

    Carrie Nikols, Chief Executive Officer
    (949) 474-8666

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


    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