You need additional financing. Do you prepay your existing loan? In our previous post on Commercial Mortgage Prepayment, we reminded readers that commercial mortgage borrowers do not enjoy the privileges afforded personal borrowers. Section 10 of the Interest Act, allowing borrowers to repay loans after 5 years, with a 3 month interest penalty, does not apply.
In fact, for the most part commercial mortgage borrowers who’ve secured fixed rate mortgages, do not enjoy any prepayment privileges. Commercial mortgages are typically closed for repayment for the duration of the term.
Mortgage Term Selection
In our post regarding mortgage term preferences, we discussed the importance of being strategic when selecting your mortgage term. Important considerations include what your investment strategy is. If you are a buy and hold investor, a longer term loan may be preferable. On the other hand, if you are adding value with the intent of selling over the near term horizon, then perhaps a shorter mortgage term is appropriate.
What are Your Options?
What does a borrower do if additional funding is required mid term? Several obvious options are available:
- Refinance your present mortgage and secure a new loan for the higher required amount.
- Secure a 2nd mortgage for the required amount of additional funds.
- Refinance other real estate within your portfolio.
Any of these strategies are viable, but all come with costs. A refinancing mid term necessitates negotiating a prepayment privilege. Your lender may simply not entertain the request, or if they do, the prepayment privilege may be costly. The 2nd mortgage option is certainly viable. However interest rates will be higher than the 1st mortgage, and additional loan processing fees, legal fees, and likely 3rd party reporting will be required. Refinancing other assets may be an option, if you have a portfolio of properties, however similar additional costs will be incurred.
Additional Financing with a Blend and Extend Mortgage.
The most straightforward approach to securing additional funding, may simply be to approach your existing lender and request a “blend and extend “ mortgage. In simple terms, you are asking your lender for new money, to layer over the existing mortgage. What they will do is structure a new loan with the old (i.e. existing mortgage amount) at the contract rate, and blend it with the new money at the new contractual rate.
What are the Benefits?
1. No Breakage Fees. You are essentially keeping your existing loan, so no prepayment penalties/breakage fees are required.
2. Lower loan processing costs. Your existing lender already has a Mortgage/Charge on your property. They could quite possibly could re-advance funds with the existing security documentation in place. As well, the lender’s lawyer may be able to realize savings inasmuch as they would be familiar with your title situation.
3. Competitive borrowing costs. While you are not likely to secure funding at today’s market rates, depending upon the relative amount of new funding required, you will likely be able to realize a weighted average interest rate lower than your present rate.
4. A Longer Term can be secured. Most lenders are quite receptive to granting a new longer term with the requested additional funding. Extending the term, when market rates are lower than your contract rate, will further decrease the blended rate. The option to blend the new money for the remaining term (known as Blend to Term), while less common, will still result in a lower interest rate payable.
Securing additional funding mid term shouldn’t be difficult. Your personal situation will dictate the approach most beneficial for you. While refinancing and secondary financing are viable options, they can be costly solutions. Consider approaching your existing lender for a Blend and Extend loan. Its an underutilized but nevertheless effective tool to secure your required additional funding.