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Financing Existing Student Rentals: Challenges That Can Be Overcome


Financing existing student rentals: Challenges that can be overcome

An area of mortgage expertise I focus on is financing and refinancing rental properties. As a rental property owner myself, most clients appreciate the first-hand knowledge on the pros and cons of owning real estate as an investment.  I have made some great decisions with real estate and also some bad ones.

Student rentals are popular in Guelph since it’s a university town. But they’re becoming more challenging to get good mortgage financing on because of the perceived risk lenders have. As a Mortgage Broker, we have access to many sources of financing. I’m finding that most mortgage-lenders are not offering competitive mortgage financing on student rentals.

Here are some things that you need to be aware of when buying a student rental or refinancing it to access the equity for future investments:

In most cases the finance company will approve the mortgage based on the borrower qualifications. Where I’ve seen problems arise is through the appraisal of the property.  Lenders are now conditioning appraisals on almost all conventional mortgage loans.  Although you may have been pre-approved or approved for the mortgage loan, the student rental property will be an issue with most traditional mortgage lenders.  If you’re buying a new student rental be sure to have the appraisal completed before the financing condition is up.  This can save you a lot of last minute problems on the closing day.
For those mortgage lenders who will finance a student rental, you may be required to put up to 35% as a down payment versus 20% which is typical on a regular residential rental property.
If your son or daughter will be living in the property while they are going to school, these properties are viewed differently than a student rental property purely for investment purposes. Your mortgage professional should be able to give you advice on how to structure the mortgage loan to benefit you financially. Also seek the advice of an accountant to discuss the capital gains implications once you sell the property.

I’ve rented to students and I find most are respectful of the property and make good tenants.  As an investor, student rentals typically have good cash flow. The rent is traditionally charged per student per month and in Guelph the rent per month per student is about $500 to $700 per month.

When you buy a student rental ensure you work with a mortgage professional that has experience financing them and can take you through the process so that you get a mortgage approval, with a competitively priced mortgage.

If you’d like to discuss your own mortgage situation, I would welcome your call or e-mail!

Sandra Lastovic
Senior Mortgage Agent

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