The Home Affordable Refinance Program is now available on investment properties. As many homeowners know, you can refinance your underwater mortgage or low equity mortgage through HARP, but until recently you couldn’t refinance your investment properties under the program. Now, through HARP 2.0 and the expanded guidelines for eligibility, you will have to opportunity to refinance your second home or investment property through HARP.
There are some stipulations on using HARP for refinancing a second home. Each home must be a single unit, so single family homes and condos can qualify. Many investment properties could qualify with one to four units and you don’t have to be living in one of them as your primary residence. However, you will still have to meet the HARP criteria.
One of HARP’s main requirements is that the mortgage must be backed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. You will also need to meet other income requirements like being able to prove you have at least two months reserves to refinance the home you occupy or six months reserves for your investment properties. It really doesn’t matter how much value your home has lost as long as you can make your current payments.
Now that this program expansion is available, many property investors want to know if they can refinance more than one home. Yes, you can; however, the mortgage must have originated before June 1, 2009. This will limit you to one HARP refinance per property you own.
You will also not be obligated to refinance with your current mortgage lender. You can refinance with any lender that participates in HARP. And the best news is that you no longer have to wait seven years after declaring bankruptcy or foreclosing. That requirement has been waived for the moment.
While there is no guarantee that you will get a HARP refinance, you can at least try if you are having financial trouble because of the downturn of the economy.