Tag Archive for: refinance

How to Refinance a Rental Property Into a DSCR Loan

100% leverage for BRRRRs will be back on the table soon. Here’s how to refinance a rental property into a DSCR loan.

“Can I use a DSCR loan for a BRRRR?”


A DSCR loan is one of the many products you can use to refinance your BRRRR rental property. 

Using the BRRRR method, you could buy a house with a hard money loan, fix it up, then refinance with the DSCR.

Let’s go through an example of what it would look like to refinance a rental property into a DSCR loan.

What Is a BRRRR and a DSCR Loan?

To get started, let’s review what these two real estate investment terms are.

What Is a DSCR Loan?

A DSCR loan (which stands for debt coverage service ratio) is a long-term rental loan with minimal qualification requirements. Your ability to get a DSCR loan is based on the property’s debt ratio, not your income, history, or experience. As long as the rent from the property covers all its expenses (mortgage, taxes, insurance, and HOA fees), you can qualify for a DSCR loan.

DSCR loans rely on cash flow. There are some DSCR products out there designed for negative cash flow properties. But these loans have higher interest rates, lower loan-to-values, and more cash out-of-pocket.

What Is a BRRRR?

BRRRR stands for Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat. It’s a time-tested real estate strategy for acquiring cash-flowing rental properties.

In BRRRR, there are two loans involved:

  • The buy loan. The loan you use to close the house, do the rehab, and handle carry costs until you get a tenant. Real estate investors often use hard money for this, since it’s a short-term loan.
  • The refinance loan. The loan that gets you out of the hard money and captures the equity you put in the house with your repairs.

A DSCR loan can be a perfect fit for many BRRRRs’ second, long-term, refinance loan.

Appraised Value vs Purchase Price for a BRRRR’s DSCR Refinance

DSCR loans come in many different products (interest-only, 30-year fixed, etc.). You can use any type of DSCR loan as a refinance for a BRRRR.

There is just one question you need to ask your lender: For the LTV on a DSCR refi, do you need to use the appraised value or the purchase price?

When you do a rate-and-term refinance with a conventional loan, the guidelines often allow you to use the appraised value. For DSCR loans, however, lenders write their own guidelines. The number used for the LTV varies from lender-to-lender, so it’s always important to ask.

A Fast Refi

You don’t want to be stuck in the hard money loan for very long at all. The ideal BRRRR reaches the refinance stage within 90 days. The interest rate on hard money adds up quickly. It’s important to figure out all the details of your refinance ahead of time so you can get through the process fast.

We’ve been doing BRRRR long before it was named that. Back in the day, we called it “Quick to Buy, Quick to Refi.” The old name emphasizes a part of the process that many current BRRRR investors miss.

To be quick to refi:

  • Make sure you’re pre-qualified for the refinance loan, before you even close on the property.
  • Understand when you can use the appraised value of the house. This will tell you how much money you’d have to bring into the refinance.
  • Plan out whether you can get this BRRRR done with 100% leverage

Refinance a Rental Property into a DSCR Loan with 100% Leverage

100% leverage means you don’t put any of your own money in – not for purchase, closing, rehab, or even carry costs. In 2010, we helped many clients do BRRRRs with zero money out-of-pocket. Those opportunities will be available again soon.

For a successful 100% leverage BRRRR, the property you buy has to be at least 25% undermarket. In a down market (like the one quickly approaching us now), you can find many properties for 25-40% below market value.

Example of a 100% Leverage BRRRR

What numbers do you need in order to figure out a zero down option for BRRRR? Let’s go over a couple examples.

The 75% Rule

As we’ve covered, the short-term hard money loan comes first, and the long-term refinance loan comes second. But you have to know what LTV you’re qualified for before you close on the loan.

For most cases with a rate-and-term refinance, you can qualify for an LTV of 75% of the current appraised value.

To get 100% leverage for your BRRRR, all of your costs have to stay under 75% of the after-repair value.. For example, if you had a property with a projected ARV of $400,000, a 75% LTV would leave you with a $300,000 loan (aka, 75% of $400k).

Now, the difference between the ARV and the LTV is the amount you get to budget for all your costs (purchase, closing, carry, and construction). In this case, that would be $100,000. Any costs above $100,000 end up coming out of your pocket.

Budget for Costs

Let’s continue with our previous example.

Let’s say the purchase price for this home was $250,000.

We’ve looked over the property, and we could do the full rehab for $35,000. Also, closing and carry costs will be at $15,000.

So, what does all this mean? If you can get a hard money loan for $300,000, then your whole project is covered. You can refinance the whole amount into a long-term DSCR loan and pay off the hard money, with nothing out-of-pocket for you.

Going Over-Budget

No money down is the ideal for BRRRR. There will be more opportunities upcoming for zero down properties.

But for the sake of example, let’s say your costs on a property can’t stay under 75% of the ARV. If the purchase and carry costs are the same, but the rehab will actually cost $65,000, that brings our all-in costs up to $330,000.

Yet even the best hard money lenders probably won’t be able to give you more than $300,000 for this property. That extra $30k comes out of your pocket.

This is why you need to know your BRRRR numbers ahead of time before buying a property. Too many people jump into a hard money loan, but can’t qualify for the amount they’ll need.

Help with Refinancing a BRRRR Into a DSCR Loan

Are you in a position to qualify for a 75% loan? Do you know what numbers your deal needs in order to get a good refinance? Have you found a property that could be a 100% leverage BRRRR?

If you need help answering these questions, send us an email at Info@HardMoneyMike.com. Let’s run the numbers on a hard money loan. We’d love to see you refinance your BRRRR into a DSCR loan.

Happy Investing.

What To Do When Your Flip Is Stuck on the Market

It’s all too common in times like these – your flip is stuck on the market. Here are your options to save your money.

You got a great deal on a property a couple months ago. You worked hard to fix up the house fast. And now… it’s not selling.

This problem is happening to investors daily. We’re getting a lot of calls from our clients (and other people’s clients!) asking for help.

So, what do you do with a sticky flip?

Your Options When Your Flip Is Stuck on the Market

Obviously, the ideal goal with a flip is to sell at a profit, quickly. That may not be possible under current conditions. If your flip is stuck on the market, you might need to strategize a different exit plan.

Your main options are to:

  1. Keep dropping the price until it sells. Cut your losses and just get rid of the property.
  2. Refinance your flip’s loan. Make your lender happy, but keep the house on the market to try to salvage some profit.
  3. Convert the flip into a rental. Refinance your flip, then hold onto the property for a couple more years, until a good market returns. You can keep a tenant and get some rent income in the meantime.

Which option is right for you? That depends on your goals, willingness to rent, and financial situation. Let’s go over some of these options in detail to help you decide.

First Step in Converting a Flip to a Rental

First of all, if you decide you’d rather turn the flip into a rental, stop lowering the market price immediately.

You can’t drag out this decision, lowering the price “just in case” while exploring rental options.

When you refinance your fix-and-flip, the appraiser looks at the market history. They see the last price the house was listed for. They have to base their appraisal off that number, regardless of whether the house sold or not.

If the last listed price is lower than what they would have appraised the house for… they still have to go with the listed number.

So every time you drop the price, it lowers your potential appraisal. This directly hurts your loan-to-value on a refinance.

Loan Options for Your Flip Stuck on the Market

Once you’ve made the (quick) decision to refinance the property, what are your options?

Typically, you’d go to a bank to get a conforming or traditional loan. But banks are slow, and this refinance needs to happen quickly. Also, with money tightening, bank loans are harder to get than ever.

Here are 3 other options we’d steer you toward:

1. DSCR Loans

The DSCR loan is the easiest, fastest way to get a longer-term rental loan. The core requirements for most DSCR loans are:

  • A good credit score – 680 minimum, with a higher score meaning the better the rates and terms.
  • Rent income – If your rent covers your monthly payments on the loan transaction, you’ll qualify. Some DSCR products will still take you if you lose up to 25% on the loan payment with rent.

If you decide you want to turn your flip into a rental, a DSCR loan should be the first option you consider.

Beware the Prepayment Penalty

All DSCR loans have a prepayment penalty. The standard timeframe is 3 or 5 years. The longer the term for your prepayment penalty, the better the rate.

Prepay penalties are like exit fees. For example, if your term is 5 years, and you decide to pay off the loan during year 3, they’ll charge you 3% of the loan as an exit fee.

2. Bridge Loans

If your flip is stuck on the market, but you want a short-term refinance, then bridge loans could be the better option.

Bridge loans typically last about 1 to 2 years. There are a couple directions you could go with a loan like this:

  • You can keep the house on the market and just use the bridge loan to get out of your original flip loan.
  • You can convert it to a short-term rental (think Airbnb) to bring in some cash flow.
  • You can turn it into a traditional rental while you wait out the market.

Bridge loans are good because they’re fast, interest-only, and have no prepay penalty. The downside of bridge loans is that they’re limited to 70% of the value of the home. Plus, they tend to have higher interest rates.

If your flip is stuck on the market for too long, your original lender will start asking for their money back – potentially raising rates or threatening foreclosure. A bridge loan is a great exit.

DSCR vs Bridge Loan to Refinance Out of a Fix-and-Flip

When deciding whether to go with a DSCR loan or bridge loan, you should consider the “tipping point.” Bridge loans have 2% – 4% higher annual rates. DSCR loans have a prepayment penalty.

Depending on how long you want to keep the loan on the house decides which type of loan will be cheaper for you. This tipping point usually lies somewhere between the 14th and 17th month of a DSCR loan. That’s when the pre-pay fee becomes cheaper than the rates on the bridge loan.

3. Real OPM

Lastly, real OPM is always the ideal funding source to get you out of difficult situations.

Real OPM is real people – family, friends, folks in local real estate groups – who want to put their money in a safe place with an easy return.

An OPM lender can get a 6% to 7% rate of return lending to you over a 2% or 3% rate keeping their money in a bank. You can use OPM to pay back your original lender  and free you up to make the best decision for your flip stuck on the market.

OPM is win-win.

More Help for a Flip Stuck on the Market

We’d be glad to help you find the best loan for your needs.

Reach out now! Rates are only going to rise, and now is the perfect time to get prepared for a market with more opportunities.

Email us at Mike@HardMoneyMike.com.

Happy Investing.

What is BRRRR?

What is BRRRR?

What is BRRRR?

Did you know you can buy properties with as little as zero down? It just takes an easy investment strategy many investors call BRRRR.

Although the term “BRRRR” was coined by Bigger Pockets in recent years, the investment strategy has existed for decades. Some call it zero down, some call it Quick to Buy, Quick to Refi. Whatever you want to call it, it’s all based on buying properties with as little as zero down.

So, what is BRRRR?

Well, let’s break it down piece by piece so you understand how to approach each step. That way you can generate the highest cash flow possible.

The B in BRRRR stands for “Buy.”

Now, how do you buy properties correctly when using the BRRRR method?

First, you need to buy under market properties with a short-term loan, like hard money. You shouldn’t buy retail properties that are already fixed up and ready for tenants. These are supposed to be value-add properties, meaning you add value to them. That way you immediately create equity in the project.

Second, you need to be able to buy properties FAST. The faster you can buy, the better the deals. Because sellers want to sell fast. Even if you bid lower than three other investors, you can still get the property if you can close quickly. Because speed nearly always wins.

The first R in BRRRR stands for “Rehab.”

The properties you buy using the BRRRR method will need rehab to bring them up to rental grade. That means simple, but durable renovations. You don’t need to aim for high end finishes like granite countertops or new, expensive cabinets.

Even so, the work you do should add value to the property. That way when an appraiser shows up, they can see you’ve improved it and now it’s worth more than what you bought it for. Again, think about creating equity. Equity is key!

The second R in BRRRR stands for “Rent.”

The moment you decide you want to try the BRRRR method, you should start researching rental numbers immediately. Go onto Zillow, Craigslist, or Rents.com and find out what other people in your target neighborhoods are charging for rent. That way you’ll know if a property will produce good cash flow BEFORE you buy it.

And once you know what your numbers are, go ahead and start accepting applications for tenants. It’s okay to look for quality, trustworthy people to live in your home even before you have the home ready for them.

The third R in BRRRR stands for Refinance.

Refinancing into a cheaper, long-term loan is the next step in the BRRRR method…and it’s where you get to capture the equity you created in the “Buy” and “Rehab” steps.


Well, if you did those first two steps right, then you bought an under market property and then renovated it to add value. The gap between the buy and the rehab is your equity. And you can use that equity (rather than the money in your own pocket) to pay for your new loan’s down payment. That’s how the zero down portion of this strategy works.

Finally, the fourth R in BRRRR stands for Repeat.

The whole benefit of BRRRR is that you can repeat the process over and over…and over. As long as you find good, under-market properties and create good equity, you don’t need to wait to save up for a 20% down payment. You can complete this process whenever you want and however often you want.

And, at the end of the day, always remember your lender matters. When it comes to BRRRR, you want a lender who can help you maximize your hard money loan, and help you refinance into a traditional loan FAST.

So, if you’re ready to jump in and try out the BRRRR method, our team is always here to help.

Happy investing!

The Real Deal: Colorado Springs 2-Step Process

The Real Deal: Colorado Springs 2-Step Process

The Real Deal: Colorado Springs 2-Step Process

In today’s Real Deal spotlight, we’d like to share a project that one of our clients in Colorado Springs completed. He used the 2-Step Process to add a rental property to his real estate portfolio.

And boost his cash flow.

The Real Deal: Colorado Springs 2-Step Process

But, first, let’s chat about the 2-Step Process. What is it? And why is it so important to use when it comes to funding your deals?

Well, essentially, the 2-Step Process is how investors interested in BRRRR (Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat) buy their houses. It allows them to quickly buy a value-add property with a hard money loan, and then quickly refinance into a cheaper long-term loan.

The Real Deal: Colorado Springs 2-Step Process

By using this funding method for his short-term and short-term loan, our client was able to:

  • Save money
  • Invest more by using ARV equity
  • And boost his cash flow.

Furthermore, if our client hadn’t used the 2-Step Process, he might’ve missed out on this great deal. Because he might’ve had to wait weeks or months to close, and when it comes to discounted properties, waiting isn’t an option. If you want to buy, then  you have to buy FAST!

Hard money loans allow you to do that. And we can help you get a hard money loan.

Better yet, our sister company, The Cash Flow Mortgage Company, can help you quickly refinance. Because nobody wants to keep paying high interest rates, right? The faster you can get a long-term loan, the better!

Ready to chat about funding your next rental property? Great! Our team is here for you at any time.

Happy investing!