How to Nail That Multifamily Loan

Multifamily financing is a mortgage intended for someone who wants to buy or refinance smaller multifamily properties having no less than four units and big apartment buildings with at least five units. Multifamily loans are a wonderful option for all kinds of real estate investors and professionals, old hands and novices alike. Rates are usually around 4.5 percent to 12 percent and terms usually go up to 35 years.

If you’re searching for permanent multifamily financing for a rental units, these are five helpful tips you can keep in mind:

1. Apply as early as you can.

Any good loan officer and underwriting team will do what they can to fast-track the process, starting from the inquiry all the way to actual funding. It isn’t always true, but sometimes there are issues that cause delays. For example, underwriter backlogs or incomplete information from the borrower. Hence, it always makes sense to begin the process as early as possible.

2. There are lots of options.

We just want to make it clear that you have options – banks, life insurance companies, private investors, and so on and so forth. Knowing you have options widens your perspective as you decide which one is the best for you.

3. As soon as your loan is approved, lock your interest rate.

While this may sound too easy or obvious, it’s worth the emphasis: lock your interest rate once your application is approved. We all have our impressions as to how the rates will move, but does anybody actually know for sure? If you’ve reached this point of getting approved for financing, your best step is to lock your rate and say goodbye to stress. This way, you can rule out any rate movement risks and proceed knowing what to expect.

4. Know what differentiates market rate from affordable rent.

Affordable or government-subsidized housing programs can be substantially unique compared to market rate projects. Make sure you know the type of tenant who will occupy the property you plan to finance. Practiced investors will find this easy, but less experienced ones could be confused with all the nuances of operating affordable and market rate multifamily properties.

5. Know your debt service coverage ratio.

It is important for multifamily lenders to be sure that funds adequate to take care of the debt payments for the loans they finance. They want proof that the borrower will still have an income outside of what must be paid for the owed money. They need evidence that the borrower still has an income apart from the amount that should be paid for the money owed. The minimum requirement for low debt-service coverage ratio requirements is 1.25 and may grow from there. To know your low debt-service coverage ratio, simply divide your NOI (net operating income) by the annual debt service obligation.

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