Moving mortgaged rental property to LLC is okay

 Investment, Loan Guidelines  Comments Off on Moving mortgaged rental property to LLC is okay
Jan 292018

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By G. Steven Bray

Investors in residential real estate have long been dogged by the “due on sale” clause in the standard promissory note. It states that the lender may call the note due upon the sale or transfer of ownership of the property. A preferred vehicle for ownership of investment properties is a limited liability company because it provides some legal separation between the property and the investor’s other assets.

Fannie Mae requires that a borrower be personally liable on a note, meaning the borrower must sign the note in his/her name. Fannie won’t allow the name on the property’s title to be different from the name on the note, so investors sometimes quit claim the property title to their LLC after closing. However, this could trigger the due on sale clause if the loan servicer chooses to enforce it.

I have great news! Late last year, Fannie changed its servicing guidelines so that a change of ownership to an LLC in which the borrower owns a majority interest is acceptable and does NOT violate the terms of the note.

A couple important caveats:

– The change applies only to loans purchased by Fannie after 6/1/16; and

– The title must revert to the borrower prior to refinancing.

Fannie still will not allow the LLC to sign the note, and it still requires the property’s title to match the borrower’s name. However, Fannie will allow the time the property was held in the LLC to count towards the 6-month seasoning period for a cash-out refinance.

I did check with Freddie Mac, and it has not followed Fannie’s lead on this issue.

More leverage for investment properties

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

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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.

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

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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.