What’s wrong with just going to the bank I have been with for years?
Just this week I received a frantic phone call from a client to whom I was introduced to 4 weeks ago and who asked me this very question.
Now four weeks ago when I met this client Andrew* we explained to him that not all banks are the same, they all have different credit policies and lending criteria.
Andrew though was convinced his personal banker at his local branch would be able to help him.
So why was Andrew calling me?
Well it seems that Andrew had decided to really dive in at the deep end and purchase a block of 6 units for just over $1.5 million, with plans to renovate and strata each individual unit. This sounded great, based on Andrews numbers by spending around $180,000 he would be increasing the value of his asset by somewhere between $50,000 to $100,000 per unit. And since they could now be sold off individually in the future he had an asset that was much easier to sell if he needed to.
When I met with Andrew originally though his plan was simply to rent out the newly renovated properties and based on fixing his interest rate of 5% for 5 years and with a rental return of just over 5% he was hoping to be in an almost cash flow neutral position. In addition with the new equity, which he could access he would be able to purchase another investment and would be well on his way to having a great property portfolio.
Well Andrew had just received his loan offers from his Bank. And what his personal banker had failed to tell him was that his Bank was treating the application as a commercial application. That meant a valuation fee that was closer to $3,000 than the $900 he was expecting and legal and application fees that totaled almost $12,000. Worst of all his interest rate would jump to nearly 7%. Oh and the lender would only lend at a loan to value ratio (LVR) of 70%.
All of a sudden Andrew’s investment looked like requiring over $33,000 a year in extra income to support the loan, and this property had gone from looking like a great opportunity to a drain on his finances. So now I was getting the call.
What could be done?
Firstly we found a lender who was happy to treat the loan as a standard residential lend. That meant more modest valuation costs. There was some bad news though, to protect their interest the lender would only lend 70% while the 6 units where not strata registered but the good news was they would offer him a one year fixed interest rate of 4.79%. This year would give him the opportunity to arrange the strata and renovations, and the lender was willing to offer to revalue the property at the end of the year to capture any equity and take the loan up to an 80% lend.
Andrews* story is typical of many of the clients we meet and who call us. Often the last thing thought about is what effect the lending will have on the investment.
Disclaimer: This article contains general information. Before you make any financial or investment decision you should seek professional advice to take into account your individual objectives, financial situation and individual needs.