3 Real Estate Financing Tips to Get the Best Rate on a Loan

real estate financing

3 Real Estate Financing Tips to Get the Best Rate on a Loan

You make money in real estate when you buy, not when you sell. That’s why the type of loan product you choose for your real estate financing is so important. In this blog post, you’ll learn three key tips to get the best rate on a loan for investment properties and personal homes. Read until the end for some valuable dos and don’ts during the loan process!


Tip #1: Know What Loan Products are Available

There are multiple types of loan products available, and the key to real estate financing is knowing how to pick the best one for you. If you’re an investor, it’s important to know what type of loan is best for an investment property. If you’re a homeowner, the best option for you might look a little different. Generally, your options come in the form of fixed-rate, adjustable rate, or government loans.



The interest rate of a fixed-rate loan won’t change over time, and they typically come in 15-year and 30-year intervals. This makes it a safe option for homeowners. If you do a fixed-rate mortgage as a real estate investor, I strongly encourage you to do a 30-year rate.



Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) change their interest rate over time. This may sound risky, but it can be a great solution for you depending on your time frame. For instance, if you know that you will only keep a property for five years or so, ARMs have something called a 5-1 product. Your interest rate is locked in for five years then it changes every year after that in accordance with a particular index. There several other types of ARMs, such as 3-1 and 10-1 products, as well.


Government Loans

Government loans (such as FHA loans) are great for people like first-time home buyers. They only require borrowers to put down 3 percent of the purchase price. As an investor, government programs tend to have a difficult qualification process. It’s certainly not impossible, but it does help to have an experienced broker or loan officer on your team!

[Related: How to Save for a Down Payment]


Tip #2: Negotiate the Cost of a Loan

You can always try to compromise on the terms of your loan. A good rule of thumb is that your closing costs should be well less than 1% of your loan. You should also look at your good faith estimate (also called the settlement statement.) This is the list of costs to the buyer and the seller. Scan this document for junk fees such as administrative costs, doc prep fees, etc.

Many loans have an origination fee that goes directly to the broker shop. A mortgage broker may make 1% of the loan and, in my opinion, you should never pay more than that unless the broker isn’t making anything else on the backside of the loan. (That’s called a yield spread.)


Tip #3: Purchase Mortgage vs. Refinance Mortgage

A key aspect of real estate financing is to know the difference between a purchase mortgage and a refinance mortgage. When you do a purchase mortgage, you purchase a property that you need to have a down payment for. On a refinance mortgage, the property must have already been in your name for six to twelve months.

You can get cash out because refinancing replaces the debt of one loan with another that’s under possibly better terms. If you refinance, you might be able to get a better interest rate. It’s something to consider whether you are about to buy a property or you have been in one for the necessary amount of time. Be careful, though—when you refinance, your credit can take a hit.

[Related: How to Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage]

Bonus: Dos and Don’ts During a Loan Process:

  • Don’t apply for new credit anywhere else.
  • Don’t close any credit accounts (you can pay them off, though.)
  • Don’t max out or overcharge your cards. Never spend more than 50% of your credit limit.
  • Don’t consolidate debt
  • Don’t cosign on another loan or change your address. This raises red flags to underwriters.
  • Do join a credit watch program.
  • Do stay current on your credit payments.
  • Do continue to use your credit responsibly.


[Related (Podcast): Real Estate Financing: The Credit Score]


If this blog benefitted you, you might enjoy our WealthBuilders Real Estate Workshop. It’s coming up October 15-17, 2021, and you can join us in Denver, Colorado or via livestream. There will be over two dozen sessions on real estate financing and strategies to help you build wealth. Click here to learn more!

Billy Epperhart
Billy Epperhart
  • Ellen 3
    Posted at 19:21h, 04 October Reply

    Thank you so much for the tips. I’m not clear on Tip 2. Negotiating the Cost of the Loan. What other costs or admin costs are considered junk and what can I say to convince the lender I’m not paying these junk costs? Thanks again.

    Ellen Bader

    • Hannah Grieser
      Hannah Grieser
      Posted at 15:08h, 05 October Reply

      Dear Ellen-

      Thank you for connecting with Billy and Becky, and for being part of the WealthBuilders community! We appreciate your question!

      When getting a mortgage loan, there are closing costs associated with the loan and many of the fees are paid to providers (like the appraiser, title insurance company, prepaids like taxes and insurance, etc. ) which are not generally negotiable, but there are also fees that are paid to the lender to originate the loan that may be negotiable as the lender is setting those fees and they can vary greatly by company.

      You can locate the fees on your Good Faith Estimate, and the ones that may be negotiable are origination fees, processing fees and documentation fees. Here are a few examples:

      – loan origination fee
      -underwriting fee
      -application fee
      -mortgage rate lock fee
      -loan processing fee
      -documentation fee

      These fees are usually in the top section of the Good Faith Estimate, and according to RESPA requirements these fees are calculated into your APR, which is the annual cost of a loan to a borrower. The difference between your actual interest rate and the APR will help you understand what you are effectively paying for the loan.

      I hope this is helpful for you! Thank you again for connecting with WealthBuilders! Have a blessed day.

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