Refinance Your Home to Buy Investment Property – A Good Idea?

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Would-be investors often ask whether or not it’s a good strategy to refinance their home in order to purchase investment property. The answer is a definite: maybe, but it depends upon a variety of factors.RiskWhenever you take on an investment property by borrowing the money to get it, you’re assuming a risk that the cost of borrowing that money will outpace the property’s income, which can cause severe negative consequences over time.HELOCSometimes it makes more sense to take out a home equity line of credit (HELOC) rather than to refinance the first mortgage. This money can be used over and over without paying new loan costs. In other words, the investor can purchase one house, sell it, pay the money back and then have immediate access when another bargain property comes along, without paying more loan fees.So investigate both options before you make any decision to borrow, and make sure you’re comfortable with the risks that are inherent in any investment opportunity, because things can and do go wrong–and when they do, your home may be in jeopardy.Income Tax DeductionSince you can claim the interest on your principal residence on your taxes, you many realize some tax benefits to refinancing, especially if you’re planning to use the money to pay off other debts that aren’t deductible. Check out IRS Publication 936, “Home Mortgage Interest Deduction,” before you make any decision. It discusses how to approach the interest involved with owning and financing your home.Consider Investing OptionsRefinancing of your home is a serious step, and shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you’re like most Americans, your home is the single largest asset you own. Make certain that you know all the ins and outs involved with the purchase of the investment property you’re considering before you commit to a refinance. If, after long and careful consideration, you determine that the investment is sound and won’t adversely affect your home and family (always think in terms of the absolute worst case scenario; that way, even if the sky falls, you know that you’ll be able to survive financially), you can begin talking seriously with your lender about the advantages and disadvantages of refinancing or a home equity loan. Investors tend to be an optimist lot, but never let a rosy-looking profit potential blind you to the possible pitfalls if thing go awry. A little caution at the beginning of the process can save lots of both financial and emotional heartache and frustration later on. If you feel insecure about risking your home, look into 100 percent financing options for investment properties. With good credit, you open the way to buying property without jeopardizing your home.Educate YourselfThe best way for you to get started investing in real estate is to do your research first. Understand your local market trends, your local employment outlook, and your capabilities. When you know how to make a wise investment, you can make money and secure your future.Copyright © 2006 Jeanette J. Fisher