Obtaining a Second Mortgage on Rental Property Assets

Kate Morova
May 11, 2021
second mortage on rental

A second mortgage, like a first mortgage, can be a fantastic source of financing for those who understand how to manage the process. Second mortgages will cover a wide range of costs. These costs would otherwise be out of reach for most homeowners. Think about debt consolidation to the purchase of additional investment properties. Many people are unaware that a second mortgage does not have to come from a primary residence. A second mortgage on investment properties is entirely possible. Although the mechanism and qualifications vary significantly. Using a second mortgage on rental property properties may be an excellent source of alternative financing.

What Exactly Is A Second Mortgage?

A second mortgage is just what it sounds like. Another mortgage taken out on a property while the first mortgage remains in place. The second mortgage, on the other hand, is backed by the same asset as the first. As a result, most lenders regard second mortgages as riskier ventures and will raise the stakes as required. Second mortgages usually have a higher interest rate in addition to tougher underwriting.

Some investors would consider the additional costs to be well worth the price of entry. Homeowners who are fortunate enough to have equity in their first home will borrow against it with a second mortgage. The more equity a borrower has, the more he or she will borrow. But the second mortgage comes with a big catch. The first house would act as leverage for the second mortgage. Which ensures there is a lot at stake for those trying to take out a second mortgage.


How to Obtain a Second Mortgage for a Rental Property

A second mortgage on investment property is entirely conceivable. In reality, these additional mortgages may be used for a variety of purposes. Not the least of which are personal expenses. According to MortgageCalculater.org, “There may be a variety of reasons to take out a second mortgage, such as debt consolidation, funding home renovations, or paying a part of the down payment on the first mortgage to avoid the need for property mortgage insurance (PMI).” Furthermore, it is entirely possible to use a second mortgage to purchase a subsequent rental home. Or at the very least to pay a portion of the down payment. Here’s how to get a second mortgage on your rental property assets:

1. Complete Your Homework

A second mortgage can be a fantastic source of financing for a subsequent offer. Only if you are secure in your ability to repay the loan. However, there are some disadvantages of using a second mortgage, the most significant of which is the increased risk. If you’re thinking about getting a second, make sure you’re familiar with everything, good and bad. It is especially important to note that a second mortgage has higher monthly payments. Also a higher interest rate, and can use your primary residence as collateral. With that in mind, you’ll want to make sure you can afford the extra monthly debt that comes with a second mortgage. Rent, mortgage payments, electricity, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and all other community fees are all included.

2. Decide What Kind of Second Mortgage You Want

Borrowers are given the option of a home equity line of credit (HELOC) or a basic home equity loan. Each has advantages and disadvantages, so choose the one that works best for you. A HELOC, for example, functions similarly to a credit card in that borrowers are only required to repay the amount borrowed. Home equity loans, on the other hand, are ideal for borrowers who need a significant amount of money up front, such as when purchasing a rental property.

3. Check Your Credit Score

Since traditional lenders tend to minimize risk as much as possible, those with higher credit scores are more likely to be lent to. As a result, if you plan to take out a second mortgage on your house, make sure your credit score allows it. Going forward, your credit report will decide many factors. Not the least of which is whether or not banks will lend you more money.

4. Determine Your Equity

Since a second mortgage is made possible by borrowing money against the equity in your home, you must first determine how much equity you have. Of course, you’ll need to get your home appraised in order to get an accurate home value. The amount of equity you have in a property will influence the amount of money banks will lend you for a second mortgage. The greater your equity in your existing home, the more likely you are to be accepted for a larger second mortgage.

5. Shop Around

Once everything seems to be in order, it is time to look for the best lender. If you have a strong relationship with your current lender, your local bank could be the best choice for obtaining a second mortgage. If their terms and interest rates do not appeal to you, you can look elsewhere. When looking for a second mortgage, the worst thing you can do is choose the first choice you come across. Seek for lenders who have worked with other investors in the past, as they might be willing to offer you better terms. Inquire about rate quotes and whether or not they own rental assets. You can help prevent surprises during the underwriting process by looking for investor-friendly lenders. Again, don’t be afraid to explore all of your options in order to obtain the best loan terms.

Sign The Documents Prepare to sign the papers once you’ve found a second mortgage you want and the rates are fair. However, do not sign them until you have read the fine print. Read the lending disclosures as thoroughly as possible, as some will have secret fines.

Home Equity Loan vs Second Mortgage

A home equity loan (HEL) is a form of second mortgage. Second mortgages are classified into two types: home equity loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOC). While the two choices sound identical, there are subtle variations that distinguish them. While a HELOC functions similarly to a credit extension in that borrowers may use as much or as little of their own collateral as they choose, home equity loans offer a single, lump amount of money upfront.

A home equity loan is a loan provided by a lender based on a percentage of the amount of equity in a specific asset. Lenders seldom allow homeowners to borrow against all of their assets’ equity. As a result, owners with $100,000 in equity in their rental property may be able to borrow a percentage of their equity, up to which the lender considers appropriate for their specific situation. Since home equity loans are a one-time payment, their interest rates are fixed.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of a Second Mortgage on a Rental Property

Taking out a second mortgage on investment property properties has proven to be a fantastic alternative source of funding for investors. For nothing else, the more ways an investor knows how to secure capital, the more likely it is that an imminent transaction will be secured. However, it should be remembered that a second mortgage on rental property properties comes with a number of substantial caveats. Second mortgages, like almost any other tactic in the real estate investment world, must be weighed in terms of pros and cons. Only when an investor is certain that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks can they consider using a second mortgage on investment property properties. Here are some of the most popular pros and cons of taking out second mortgages on rental properties to help you shape your own opinion.


  • A second mortgage enables homeowners to access previously dormant, non-performing home equity and put it to work for them.
  • The additional mortgage allows homeowners to purchase additional investment properties. An investment property acquired with a second mortgage, also known as a second mortgage investment property, has the potential to return more gains than unused equity.
  • A second mortgage may be used to repay existing loans or debts.
  • Home improvements may be funded by a second mortgage.


  • Second mortgages are backed by the asset on which they are taken out. As a consequence, any late payments or failure to fulfill mortgage obligations can result in the loss of the original asset (the home used to borrow equity against).
  • Second mortgages are just another way to convert equity into debt when used incorrectly and without a profit-generating strategy.
  • Second mortgages decrease liquidity, making borrowers more vulnerable to a financial crisis.

Making a Profit from Your Second Mortgage for Rental Purposes

Second mortgages can be an excellent source of financing. The equity in one’s own home is a fantastic source to tap into, but I digress. Using the equity in your primary residence has certain risks. As previously stated, a second mortgage would use the original asset (your home) as security. If a double mortgage borrower fails to make their payments on time, the lender will foreclose on their house. Second mortgages must be taken seriously; do not take one out merely to buy material possessions. The consequences of late or missed payments are much too serious to gamble with such a minor purchase. Second mortgages, on the other hand, may be a great opportunity for those looking to profit. If you are sure that you will be able to transform a second mortgage into a profitable opportunity such as buying a rental home to rent out, it could be worthwhile.

Is the interest on a second mortgage deductible for tax purposes?

To this day, one of the most significant advantages of real estate investing is the ability to deduct taxes. Tax deductions, when used properly, will substantially reduce your taxable responsibilities per year, effectively contributing to your bottom line by, well, not deducting from it. For example, the mortgage interest deduction allows you to subtract the interest you pay on your primary mortgage.

Many people are unaware, though, that there is an opportunity to take similar deductions on a second mortgage as well. Of course, there are requirements you must follow if you want to claim deductions for a second mortgage; specifically, you must remain in the home the second mortgage protects for at least two weeks or more than 10% of the time it is rented out in a year (whichever is longer). Now, and only then, will you be able to subtract the second mortgage interest. However, before assuming you can exclude your own home, check with a tax professional.

Investment Properties vs Second Homes

The distinction between second homes and investment properties is that a second home is a house that you rent for a portion of the year, while an investment property is one that you do not live in and only own for income-generating purposes. Mortgage rates and down payment criteria for investment properties are higher than those for second homes. This is because lenders believe that if a homeowner gets into financial trouble, they are more likely to keep their second home than an investment property. The criteria for both types of properties are identical, but lenders may request that a borrower have property management experience before authorizing a loan for an investment property.

In Conclusion

Investors have repeatedly shown that obtaining a second mortgage on rental investment property or more properties can serve as a valuable source of financing for a subsequent transaction. They are, however, not without danger. The primary residence of the borrower would be used as collateral for the loan. That means that any failure to meet mortgage obligations may have serious consequences. With that in mind, do not underestimate the power of second mortgages: they are a strong financing option, but you must understand what you are getting into before borrowing against the equity you have already built in a house. Owning a second home, a good idea?

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