LLC-financed rental homes won’t prevent use of Fannie loan

 Investment, Loan Guidelines, Residential Mortgage  Comments Off on LLC-financed rental homes won’t prevent use of Fannie loan
Apr 172017
 

For more information, please contact me at (512) 261-1542 or steve@LoneStarLending.com.

By G. Steven Bray

One of the more frustrating loan guidelines encountered by rental property owners is the limit on the number of financed properties. Fannie Mae limits the number to 10 – 4 for best-rate financing. While Fannie hasn’t changed that guideline, it has changed which properties count towards it. Previously, properties financed through an LLC counted towards the limit. Now, if the borrower financed the property through an LLC so that the borrower is not personally liable on the mortgage, Fannie excludes the property from the total.

This should be a nice change for investors who use multiple financing tools to manage their properties. Investors often use shorter-term bank loans to finance the initial acquisition of a property, and bank portfolio loans often will allow a seasoned LLC to sign the note. Now, if the investor wants to roll a property into long-term, lower-rate, conventional financing, those short-term loans won’t get in the way.

Keep in mind that financed primary residences and vacation homes still count towards the total. Also keep in mind that some lenders will count a spouse’s financed properties towards the total even if the spouse isn’t on the new loan. Finally, remember that the limit only includes one-to-four-unit residential properties. Anything else, including land, commercial properties, and timeshares, do not count towards the total.

More leverage for investment properties

 Investment, Loan Guidelines  Comments Off on More leverage for investment properties
Oct 312016
 

For more information, please contact me at (512) 261-1542 or steve@LoneStarLending.com.

By G. Steven Bray

Since the financial collapse almost a decade ago, rental property buyers have been stuck with a minimum 20% down payment for conventional financing. Not only had Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac not forgotten about all the high-leverage loans they purchased that went bust, but the mortgage insurance companies also got burned. And for conventional financing, you need mortgage insurance to go higher than 80% leverage.

That has changed. Mortgage insurance companies have an appetite for rentals again. At this time for buyers with 680 or better credit, we’re able to accept a 15% down payment.

Of course, you’ll pay a premium for the mortgage insurance. Your MI rate would be roughly 50% higher than what one would pay when buying a primary residence. On a $200k loan, that equates to a monthly MI payment of about $102 assuming good credit. However, it only takes about 5 years to pay the loan down to 78% of the purchase price, at which point the mortgage insurance gets cancelled.

One way to cash out an LLC-held rental property

 Investment, Loan Guidelines, Residential Mortgage  Comments Off on One way to cash out an LLC-held rental property
Apr 162016
 

For more information, please contact me at (512) 261-1542 or steve@LoneStarLending.com.

By G. Steven Bray

Yesterday, we discussed how Fannie Mae has rescinded a portion of its loan guidelines concerning investors’ ownership of properties in LLCs. Specifically, according to conversations with Fannie, the change means an investor must move a property into his or her name 6 months prior to being eligible to take cash out of the property.

However, Fannie left open one avenue for cashing out a property in an LLC. It’s called the Delayed Financing program. If an investor purchases a property using cash, and holds the property in an LLC, the investor may pull out up to 75% of the equity within the first 6 months of ownership as long as all the members of the LLC will be on the cash out loan.

Note the two important conditions: It must be a cash purchase, and the cash-out refinancing must close within 6 months of purchase.

I suspect Fannie may eventually realize how silly the conflicting guidelines are, but the inertia that must be overcome to correct them is pretty grand.

In the meantime, please don’t forget that neither Fannie nor Freddie allow you to close a loan with an LLC holding title to the property. You must close in your name. Many investors move properties to their LLCs after closing, but be aware that doing so could trigger the loan’s “Due on Sale” clause.

Fannie makes it harder to cash out rental properties

 Investment, Loan Guidelines, Residential Mortgage  Comments Off on Fannie makes it harder to cash out rental properties
Apr 152016
 

For more information, please contact me at (512) 261-1542 or steve@LoneStarLending.com.

By G. Steven Bray

Investors who choose to hold their properties through LLCs need to be aware of a recent change Fannie Mae made to its loan guidelines. The guideline in question was called Continuity of Obligation, and Fannie enacted it in response to the financial crisis to combat fraud. The guideline established a timeframe a party must have owned a home prior to being eligible for refinancing.

For investors, the guideline specifically identified a property held by the investor in an LLC as meeting the requirement as long as that same investor was refinancing the property in his or her own name.

Earlier this year, Fannie rescinded the guideline in whole. The problem for investors is that means Fannie also rescinded the specific carve out for LLCs. Based on recent conversations with Fannie, without the carve out, an investor must first move the property into his or her own name prior to refinancing.

This becomes a big deal if the investor is trying to cash out the equity in the property. Fannie Mae still has a 6-month “seasoning” requirement for cash out loans. Without the LLC carve out, the investor now must move the property into his or her name 6 months prior to being eligible to take cash out of the property using a Fannie loan.

There still is one option available to investors using LLCs, and we’ll look at that tomorrow.

Could fewer cash sales be good 1st-time homebuyers?

 Investment, Real Estate Market, Residential Mortgage  Comments Off on Could fewer cash sales be good 1st-time homebuyers?
Sep 162015
 

For more information, please contact me at (512) 261-1542 or steve@LoneStarLending.com.

By G. Steven Bray

Based on the most recent data from Corelogic, cash sales of homes fell for the 29th consecutive month in May to 31.9% of total sales, which represents the lowest share since 2008. The percentage of cash sales peaked in Jan 2011 at 46.5%. Prior to the housing crisis, cash sales averaged about 25% of the market.

While this statistic may reflect a healing housing market on a national level, it’s interesting to view the data on a more local level. Cash sales still represent almost half of all sales in FL, GA, NY, and NJ. Given that the strengthening dollar is dissuading cash sales to foreign buyers, it’s likely these elevated percentages still indicate distress in these markets. In TX, the share of cash sales has dropped to 28%.

One positive takeaway from declining cash sales is it may indicate less competition from investors for a tight housing inventory. Given that investors tend to purchase lower-priced homes, this may open up more inventory for first-time homebuyers.

Fannie Mae changes make it easier to qualify for a mortgage

 Investment, Loan Guidelines, Residential Mortgage  Comments Off on Fannie Mae changes make it easier to qualify for a mortgage
Aug 262015
 

For more information, please contact me at (512) 261-1542 or steve@LoneStarLending.com.

By G. Steven Bray

Let’s look at some recent changes to loan guidelines that make it easier to qualify for a mortgage. These changes apply to Fannie Mae conventional loans.

– First, many folks, especially those employed in sales, have been penalized when applying for a mortgage if they write off business expenses on their tax return. Underwriting rules said we had to deduct the written-off amount from qualifying income. Fannie has changed that. For salaried borrowers or those with commission income that’s less than 25% of total income, the new rules say we can ignore the expenses.

– Second, with recent home price appreciation, some homebuyers are choosing to keep their current homes and rent them. Previous underwriting rules required that the current home have at least 30% equity in order for us to count the rental income and required the homebuyer to have extra cash or reserves to cover up to 6 months of housing payments on the current home. The new rules eliminate the 30% requirement, but the homebuyer still may need reserves depending on the financial strength of the borrower.

– And, finally, if reserves are required, a borrower now can use 100% of vested retirement account balances to satisfy the requirement. The previous rules required that we use a discounting factor of 60%.

Investors: Freddie raising number of homes you can own

 Investment, Loan Guidelines, Residential Mortgage  Comments Off on Investors: Freddie raising number of homes you can own
Aug 122015
 

For more information, please contact me at (512) 261-1542 or steve@LoneStarLending.com.

By G. Steven Bray

After the financial meltdown, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac decided they would limit their loan programs to folks who had no more than 4 mortgaged properties. Freddie finally is raising its limit to 6. The change becomes effective 10/26.

Over at Fannie Mae, it has created a special loan program that allows up to 10 mortgaged properties, but not all lenders offer the program, and it comes with slightly higher interest rates. Freddie’s change is to its conventional loan program, so a borrower who uses the program won’t face higher rates or other hurdles.

Freddie also is removing its requirement that an investment homebuyer have a two-year history of managing investment properties and is removing the requirement that the homebuyer maintain rent loss insurance in order to qualify.

These are huge changes that should make it easier for investment property buyers to qualify for conventional financing.

Fewer financing options for flipped houses

 Investment, Loan Guidelines, Loan Programs, Residential Mortgage  Comments Off on Fewer financing options for flipped houses
Jan 192015
 

For more information, please contact me at (512) 261-1542 or steve@LoneStarLending.com.

By G. Steven Bray

If you rehab homes, your pool of potential buyers decreased at the beginning of the year. Buyers using FHA financing now cannot contract to buy your rehab until you’ve owned it for at least 90 days. FHA has never been a big fan of house flipping due to fraudulent flips that saddled it with big losses in years past. During the housing recession, FHA waived its rule against property flips allowing rehabbers to flip properties in 30 days.

But, the waiver expired on Dec 31st. For any purchase contract signed after that date, the old 90-day rule applies. FHA says the dangers of house flipping outweigh the benefits for first-time and minority homebuyers – those dangers being that flippers will sell poorly renovated homes at inflated prices to unsuspecting buyers. Of course, FHA ignores the fact that it doesn’t take 90 days to rehab most homes, and the rule reduces the number of quality, affordable homes available for these same homebuyers.

On a positive note, you still can sell to buyers using conventional financing as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac only require a seller to own a home for 30 days.