Private Lending for Residential Rental Properties

Long-term rental financing has become a popular offering by many private and hard money lenders that have historically focused on short-term lending. Also known as LTR loans or DSCR loans, these private mortgages are a great solution for investors that buy and hold properties for cash flow.

Although the pricing is higher than banks and conventional lenders, there are several reasons why an investor or broker would seek private financing for these investments.

Speed
Private lending is typically much faster than dealing with banks. If you’re on a tight timeline, chances are the loan will fund faster with the non-conventional lender. Most long-term rental loans close in 1 to 3 weeks.

Easier Qualification
The primary qualification for long-term rental loans is the rental income, and more specifically the DSCR, which stands for debt service coverage ratio. Basically, the lender wants to make sure the property’s rental income will cover the monthly mortgage payments. The lender likely won’t ask for tax returns but they do require a decent credit score, typically no less than 680.

No Seasoning Requirements
Most long-term rental lenders do not require the property to be tenant-occupied for a certain number of months before you can get the loan. In fact, the property doesn’t even need to have a signed lease. It just needs to be move-in ready so that the lender can estimate the market rental rate. Some lenders will require a signed lease agreement, but most private/hard money lenders will fund the loan if the property is vacant and listed on the rental market.

No Portfolio Limits
Many conventional lenders won’t lend if you own more than 4 properties, and some will have a limit of 10. In private lending, there are no limits to how many properties the investor can own. However, the lender may require that title be held as an entity (LLC or Corp) and not as an individual.

Typical Terms & Guidelines for Long-Term Rental Loans

Below are some of the general guidelines for most of the LTR lenders listed on our platform.

  • Loan Amounts: $75,000 to $2,000,000
  • Loan-to-Value: Up to 80%
  • Loan-to-Purchase: Up to 80% for value-add projects
    • Must have 20%+ cash for the purchase
    • No lender on our site provides 100% financing for rentals
  • Lien Position: 1st only
  • Loan Term: Up to 30 years (some lenders offer 5, 7, or 10 year terms)
  • Payment Structure: Interest Only
  • Interest Rate Range: 5% to 8%
  • Origination Fee: 1 to 4 points
  • Minimum Credit Score: 680

Credit Score Requirement
Almost all lenders offering long-term rental loans will require the borrower to have a decent FICO score, typically no less than 680. The lender may not care as much about credit scores for short-term loans, but the long-term loans are typically sold on the secondary market, and that is where the credit requirement comes from.


Long-Term Rental Loan Scenarios

Below are a few scenarios of when a real estate investor may consider getting a long-term loan for their residential rental property.

Purchase, Rehab and Rent

Many real estate investors will buy a house in poor condition, renovate it, and then locate a tenant with a plan of holding on to it as a cash flowing investment. These projects are typically financed with a short-term hard money loan. Once the tenant has signed a lease, the hard money loan can be refinanced and replaced with a 30-year rental loan at a lower interest rate. The maximum loan-to-value is typically 75%, but it could be as high as 80%.

This strategy is commonly known in the real estate investment industry as “BRRRR” which stands for Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat.

Purchase a Turn-Key Rental

Investors that don’t have any interest in rehabbing a house can purchase a home that is already rented and cash-flowing, commonly known in the real estate investment industry as “turn-key rentals.” There are many real estate investment firms that will do all the dirty work to rehab a property, locate a tenant and manage the property before selling it.

An investor can use a long-term rental loan to acquire the cash-flowing rental property and hold on to it for many years. Most LTR lenders will require a downpayment of at least 25%.

Cash Out Equity

Real estate investors can tap the equity in one rental home to purchase another house or invest in something else. So long as there is a sufficient amount of equity, the investor can use a private long-term rental loan to get the cash needed.

LTR lenders only offer 1st mortgages, so if there is an existing mortgage, it would have to be refinanced. There is no such thing as a long-term rental 2nd mortgage in private lending. While an investor may be able to get a 2nd mortgage on their rental property, it’s likely not going to have a long term. And the interest rate may be high, so it’s worth exploring a refinance to get the cash out.

Blanket Loan for Multiple Rental Properties

Some private lending firms offer a “blanket loan” secured by multiple rental homes. Also known as rental portfolio loans, this can help investors simplify their financing by consolidating multiple mortgages into one private long-term rental loan. If one property in the portfolio needs to be sold, the lender can do a partial release, and the total loan amount will be reduced.

These blanket loans can be difficult to structure and manage, so it’s not a common offering by private lending companies. Most long-term rental lenders only consider one property. Some will consider up to 10 properties on one loan, and only a few lenders offer blanket loans for a portfolio of  more than 10 properties.

Convert Primary Residence to Rental Home

Many homeowners become real estate investors when they are ready to upgrade to a new house. As soon as the previous residence has been rented, a private long-term rental loan can be used to refinance and/or cash out equity.

If the previous residence is used as a 2nd home by the investor, a private lender will not consider it. Even if the home is rented out short-term from time-to-time, it’s still considered a consumer purpose, and private/hard money lenders only offer mortgages for investment purposes.

Short-Term Rental

Investors that operate a short-term rental business on their property may have fewer financing options in private lending. Most lenders that offer long-term rental loans will want there to be an active lease agreement in place. Short-term / vacation rentals may have inconsistent rental income, and this is seen as a higher risk for lenders. If the property is located in a ski resort town or beach city, there may be slow seasons with lower revenue that cannot support the mortgage payment.

That being said, there are some private lenders that will gladly provide a long-term rental loan on a property that is used to operate a short-term rental business. It’s just not very common.