Rental properties in Stockholm, Sweden
In a previous article, I discuss why it’s important to refinance your mortgage before leaving your job. No job = no recurring income = high risk = no mortgage refinance for you! You won’t even have the ability to compromise and pay a higher lower rate than if you did have a job. When you lose your W2 income, you turn invisible to the banks. Think, “You are dead to me.”
The other important refinancing situation to consider is when you are planning to turn your primary property into a rental or vacation property. You might have outgrown your existing property, but don’t want to sell given you believe real estate is a great long term wealth builder. Perhaps your company is relocating you for a better opportunity and you plan to return one day. Finally, maybe you’ve been forced to downsize and have no choice but to become an accidental landlord.
Whatever the case may be, always, always, always refinance your rental property before it becomes a rental property! If you don’t, you may miss an opportunity to save thousands of dollars in interest costs. This article will explain to you why rental property mortgages are higher than primary property mortgages by a common spread of 0.5% up to 1.5%.
The Difference Between Primary And Rental Mortgages By The Bank
Primary Mortgage: The primary mortgage is underwritten based on the assumption that your day job income + other alternative incomes will be around so that you can comfortably pay every month. Your W2 income viability is the ANCHOR that propels a bank to move forward and give you a new mortgage. After assessing your W2 income will the bank then account for your alternative income streams if needed.
The most important ratio your bank will look at is your debt to income ratio. They ratio they are generally looking for is roughly 33% or lower. That said, my recent loan modification required just a D/E ratio of 42% or less. Each bank is different. The number one goal for the bank is to earn a consistent spread over the life of the loan.
Rental Mortgage: Your rental property mortgage is underwritten based on the assumption of the feasibility in collecting rental income. The bank then looks at your W2 income to arrive at your total income. W2 income is preferred, however underwriters try to match income sources with the types of mortgages they are lending. The main issue is the viability of your income streams.
If you are refinancing an existing rental property, you’ve got to come up with a lease and rental history. No lease and a sketchy rental history full of missed payments will probably end your rental property mortgage refinance. Rental property mortgages often require a 30% or more downpayment compared with your typical 20% downpayment for a primary residence.
Risk Reward: It’s all about risk assessment for a bank. From the bank’s point of view, they are making a default assumption that you as the landlord require rental income to pay the mortgage. Even if you have a huge salary and lots of money saved in the bank with the existing institution, the mortgage underwriter does not put as much weight as the rental history of the property. For rental mortgages, they are essentially making a derivative bet.
Last Property Standing: In a housing downturn, the first properties to go are vacation homes followed by rental properties. A primary residence is the last mortgage a multi-property owner will default on since s/he has to live somewhere. The primary home mortgage is presumably more affordable once the multi-property homeowner gets rid of other debt. Banks know this and are more stringent in their rental mortgage lending practices. The last thing a bank wants is to repossess a property. Banks are not in the business of buying and selling properties!
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