Real estate investing is a common strategy for accumulating money in the United States. Many people own houses, rent them out, and make money off the rent. According to the most recent Rental Housing Finance Survey, there are actually 14 million rental houses owned by individual investors. 1
The majority of investors use mortgage loans to buy rental homes. Depending on when you took out the loan and your credit score at the time, you can have a high interest rate if you own an investment property. You can refinance your mortgage to benefit from the reduced rates available right now. However, the procedure for refinancing an investment property differs slightly from the procedure for refinancing your personal dwelling, and it necessitates some extra paperwork. You should be aware of the following.
Justifications for Refinancing Investment Property
Refinancing an investment property makes sense in the following situations:
1. You Can Lower Your Mortgage’s Interest Rate
You might have had a quite high interest rate depending on when you obtained the mortgage for your investment property. As an illustration, rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages were about 5% in 2018. You can be paying an even higher rate if your mortgage is older than that.
Compare that to the rates that were made available in 2020. The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate loan in January 2021 was a record-low 2.65%, while the rate for a 15-year fixed-rate loan was 2.16%. The average rate for a fixed-rate 15-year loan was 3.01% as of March 2022, and the 30-year fixed rate was somewhat higher at 3.76%. If you refinance your mortgage and have decent credit, you might be eligible for a rate that is lower than the one you currently have and save thousands of dollars over the course of your loan.
2. You Can Modify the Terms of Your Loan
New loan terms are available when you refinance a mortgage. For instance, you could choose a longer repayment time to earn a lower monthly payment or a shorter one to sell the home more quickly. Alternately, you might convert your adjustable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate mortgage. That might be enough to justify refinancing.
3. It’s Possible to Get Money for Renovations or Other Uses
You can use a cash-out refinance loan to access that equity if the investment property is worth more than you owe on it in order to pay for repairs and renovations, to buy another investment property, or for any other reason.
By taking out a new loan for an amount greater than the remaining balance on your existing one, cash-out refinancing allows you to borrow money against the equity you’ve established in the real estate. The difference between the new and previous mortgages is then paid to you in one lump sum.
Prepare for rising mortgage rates
Your new rental mortgage rate will likely be greater than what you could acquire for your primary residence because lenders typically view rental homes as riskier investments than primary residences.
There isn’t a significant difference, but they’re not as good as you might be able to get for your personal stuff, according to Schneider. The typical rental mortgage rate at conventional lenders, he continued, is often approximately 50 basis points more than the rate for a primary mortgage.
However, Haye warned that you should anticipate much higher rates if you have to work with a more specialist lender like Velocity.
In contrast to rates on primary 30-year fixed mortgages, which are averaging around 3%, he noted, “On the investment side, you can do 4s.”
According to Haye, prices on loans for which Velocity demands less evidence could possibly be higher, at 6 or 7 percent. These loans, however, are less likely to be affected by the same delays as mortgages from conventional banks, which have a significant backlog.
Faster often means more expensive money, he noted.
Shop around and get your paperwork ready.
Before you proceed with a refinance, it’s a good idea to comparison shop and speak with a few lenders, just like you should with pretty much all financial products. It’s critical to evaluate terms and choose the offer that best suits your needs.
The two main factors in finding a lender are what is their origination cost, according to Schneider. “The vetting process of selecting your lender is incredibly crucial,” he said. He continued, “Lenders with greater origination costs occasionally have lower interest rates, and vice versa. Measure that tradeoff, I say.
It will be harder to find a lender. An expert in such loans, such as a mortgage broker, can be useful in this situation. It’s a good idea to prepare your papers well in advance after you’ve chosen a lender.
The amount of paperwork you’ll require can be a hassle, according to Schneider. It can greatly speed up the process to have that prepared in advance, especially if you have many properties.
In order to avoid having to fumble around for paperwork when the bank requests it, he noted, real estate investors should keep orderly files for each of their properties.