The buy refurbish refinance strategy, often referred to as the BRR method, is a popular approach to property investing. It combines buy-to-let benefits with increased returns by reducing the invested amount after refinancing and boosting rental income.
If you’re new to this strategy, it’s understandable. Understanding the buy refurb refinance method isn’t too complex, especially if you’re familiar with buy-to-let basics. If not, consider reviewing our beginner’s buy-to-let guides first.
In this article, we’ll explore what the BRR method involves, how it works, provide an example, and discuss variations like BRRR (Buy refurbish refinance rent) and BRRRR (Buy refurbish refinance rent repeat).
What is the BRRRR property method?
The BRRRR property method, which stands for Buy Refurbish Refinance Rent and Repeat, offers a clearer description of the commonly known BRR property investing method.
Usually, when property investors talk about BRR, they involve renting the property before or after refinancing and then repeating the process with another property. However, they often exclude the extra ‘Rs’ when naming the strategy.
Properties purchased through the BRRR strategy are typically acquired below market value and in need of refurbishment. After completing the project and adding value, the property is mortgaged based on the new valuation, allowing you to withdraw your initial investment and rent out the property.
The essence of BRRR is to use your initial investment to facilitate the deal and retrieve it after project completion. The beauty of this strategy? With careful deal selection, you can repeatedly recycle your cash, extracting your funds each time.
BRRR buyers often employ bridging finance for the purchase, repaying the bridging loan once the property is refinanced with a buy-to-let mortgage.
How The BRRRR Method Works
How BRRRR works: Method Of Real Estate Investment. The BRRRR Method, if executed correctly, offers a systematic approach to generating passive income and continually acquiring rental properties. It involves a series of steps:
- Purchase a distressed property: Begin by acquiring a property in need of renovation, typically available at a lower cost due to its condition.
- Rehabilitate the property: Undertake extensive renovations, addressing structural, safety, and aesthetic improvements to prepare the property for rental.
- Rent out the property: Determine the rental rate and secure tenants for the property.
- Perform a cash-out refinance: Opt for a cash-out refinance to convert your equity into cash. This involves obtaining a larger mortgage, exceeding your current loan amount, providing access to funds for various purposes, including property acquisitions.
- Utilize funds for another purchase: With the cash from the refinance, repeat the process. Acquire another distressed property, renovate, rent it out, and eventually refinance it, creating a continuous cycle.
How much money do you need to BRRRR?
Acquire your first home, utilize financing options mentioned earlier, and ensure you can finish renovations to avoid an uninhabitable property.
Can you BRRRR with a mortgage?
Certainly, you can employ the BRRRR strategy with a mortgage, but securing a conventional loan might pose challenges with a high debt-to-income ratio.
Buy, Refurbish, Rent, Refinance, Repeat (BRRRR): Tips For Each Step
Executing the BRRRR Method involves a specific sequence of steps, each with its considerations:
The initial step involves acquiring a distressed property requiring renovations. Securing traditional mortgage financing for such properties can be challenging due to difficulties in property valuation and meeting loan requirements. Alternative options like home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) or hard money loans may be explored but entail higher risks.
When buying a distressed property, it’s crucial to calculate the after-repair value (ARV). ARV estimates the property’s value post-renovation by comparing it to recently sold similar homes (comparables) in terms of size, bedrooms, bathrooms, age, build type, and condition. Adhering to the 70% rule is advisable—don’t invest more than 70% of the property’s ARV. For example, for a $300,000 ARV home, the purchase price should not exceed $210,000.
During the refurbishment phase, prioritize safety and code compliance improvements. Subsequently, focus on upgrades that genuinely enhance property value, such as kitchen and bathroom renovations, enhancing curb appeal, and installing energy-efficient features. It’s essential to establish a realistic budget and timeline before commencing the project.
Before proceeding to the next step of refinancing, it’s crucial to secure tenants for your property, as lenders typically require occupancy before refinancing.
When selecting tenants, prioritize qualities like a history of timely payments, stable employment with consistent income, a positive credit report, absence of criminal or eviction records, and positive references. Gathering this information involves meeting potential tenants, having them complete applications, checking their credit reports, seeking references, and conducting background checks while ensuring compliance with housing laws.
Determining the rent should strike a balance between being fair to tenants and generating positive cash flow for you. Calculate this by deducting total homeownership expenses from the monthly rent. For instance, if the rent is $1,500, and the mortgage payment is $800, the monthly cash flow is $700, barring additional costs. Consider rental rate comparisons to set the right price.
In the BRRRR method, a cash-out refinance on your investment property enables you to acquire funds for purchasing another distressed property to renovate and rent out. To proceed, find a lender offering cash-out refinancing and meet their loan requirements.
While specific lender criteria may apply, you generally need to meet minimum credit score (typically around 620), maximum debt-to-income ratio (usually around 50% or less), and have equity in the property. Some lenders may also require a minimum ownership duration before approving a cash-out refinance. Prepare for an appraisal and potential additional expenses, such as closing costs.
The final phase of the BRRRR Method involves repeating the previous steps in the same sequence. To maintain efficiency, document your experiences and learn from any past mistakes if you intend to continue applying this strategy.
BRRRR Pros and Cons
- Passive income: BRRRR offers the potential for passive income, which can serve as an additional revenue stream or a means of financial support.
- Equity growth: Holding multiple properties can steadily increase your equity over time.
- Repeatable: Unlike one-time house flipping, BRRRR can be repeated, allowing for exponential wealth building.
- Costly and time-consuming refurbishment: Quality renovations are often expensive and time-consuming. Managing the work can be stressful, and extensive repairs may require refurbish loans with higher interest rates.
- Delayed profits: BRRRR doesn’t provide quick cash; it’s a gradual strategy that demands time and effort before yielding returns.
- Landlord responsibilities: Finding and managing tenants can be challenging, and as you repeat the process, the workload of landlord responsibilities increases.
- Financial risk: BRRRR involves uncertainties, such as estimating post-refurbish property value, rental income, and renovation costs, posing financial risks that could result in losses.