Investment Cash-Out Refinance

How a Cash-out Refinance Works

A cash-out refinance happens when investors refinance a home in order to extract equity from the property. They take out a new loan to pay off their existing mortgage and, if the new loan is larger than the previous loan, they can use the difference to use as a rehab budget or to invest in other properties. A cash-out refinance essentially lets you unlock the cash in an illiquid investment.

A cash-out refinance, also known as a “cash-out refi,” can finance up to 75 percent of a property’s current appraised value. This means you need at least 30 percent equity in a property for a cash-out refinance to make sense. For example, a house worth $150,000 can be refinanced with a loan up to $112,500, derived as:

($150,000 fair market value) x (0.75 LTV) = $112,500 maximum refinance amount

If your existing mortgage balance is at or higher than $112,500, then a cash-out refi would only make sense if you wanted to lock in a lower interest rate. Investors with existing mortgage balances below $112,500, however, can use the new loan to pay off the existing mortgage. For example, if your current loan’s principal balance is $100,000 and you refinance with a $112,500 loan, you would have $12,500 left over to invest elsewhere.

Therefore, the three important components of a cash-out refinance are:

  1. The existing mortgage balance
  2. The property’s fair market value
  3. The new loan amount

Typically, investors apply for a cash-out refi and, if accepted, the lender and the title company will handle paying off the existing loan via a wire transfer. The borrowers then receive their excess funds in “cash,” which is usually in the form of a wire to their bank or a certified check from the title company.

The People a Cash-out Refinance is Right For

A cash-out refinance is typically used by investors who have at least 30 percent to 40 percent equity in an existing investment property. These investors use a cash-out refinance to extract their equity and purchase either a new investment property or renovate an existing investment property. The new loan amount must be higher the old mortgage balance and the difference is pocketed in cash.

Specifically, a cash-out refinance is right for three types of investors:

  1. Short-term fix-and-flippers looking to purchase, renovate, and flip a new investment property.
  2. Long-term buy-and-hold investors looking to put a down payment on a new property or purchase it with all cash.
  3. Long-term buy-and-hold investors looking to renovate an existing rental property.

There are no restrictions on how investors use the cash from a cash-out refinance, so that’s why it’s right for different investors. Therefore, the money earned on a cash-out refi can be used to renovate an existing long-term rental property in an attempt to increase its value and its rental income.

It can also be used to finance a short-term fix n flip project as well as a long-term rental property. The funds can also make it easier to compete with all-cash buyers for foreclosures or properties sold at real estate auctions. Regardless of intention, investors need an existing property in order to execute a cash-out refi.