My Perfect Mortgage
Funding Repairs for an Inherited Rental Property: HELOC and DSCR Cash-Out Refinance Options
3 minute read
May 12, 2024

Inheriting a rental property can be a boon for your real estate portfolio, but it often comes with the challenge of necessary repairs and upgrades. For property owners, understanding the most effective ways to fund these repairs is crucial. This guide delves into two popular financing options: Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) and DSCRcash-out refinance. By understanding these options, you can make informed decisions that align with your financial goals and the needs of your property.

What is a HELOC?

A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) is a revolving credit line that allows homeowners to borrow against the equity of their home. For rental property owners, a HELOC can be a flexible way to finance repairs as it enables you to draw funds as needed up to a certain limit. This flexibility makes it particularly appealing for ongoing renovations where costs may be uncertain or spread out over time.

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Advantages of using HELOC:

Flexibility in Borrowing: Draw money as needed during the "draw period" typically lasting 5 to 10 years.

Interest-Only Payments: During the draw period, you may have the option to make interest-only payments.

Potential Tax Deductions: Interest paid on a HELOC may be tax-deductible if the funds are used to "buy, build, or substantially improve" the taxpayer’s home that secures the loan.

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What is a DSCR Cash-Out Refinance?

A DSCR cash-out refinance involves replacing your existing mortgage with a new loan that is larger than your current mortgage. The difference is paid to you in cash, which can be used to fund property repairs. This method is well-suited for significant renovations or upgrades.

Advantages of DSCR Cash-Out Refinance:

  • Lower Interest Rates: Typically, refinancing can offer lower interest rates compared to other loan types.
  • One-Time Funding: Provides a lump sum, making it ideal for large-scale repairs that require substantial upfront payment.
  • Long-Term Repayment: Spreads out repayment over the life of the mortgage, usually 15 to 30 years.

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Choosing Between HELOC and DSCR Cash-Out Refinance

Deciding between a HELOC and a DSCR cash-out refinance depends largely on the scope and nature of the repairs. Here are some considerations:

  • Extent of Repairs: For extensive renovations, a cash-out refinance might be more appropriate as it provides a large lump sum. For smaller or phased repairs, a HELOC offers the flexibility to borrow only what you need.
  • Interest Rates Environment: If current mortgage rates are significantly lower than when you first financed the property, a DSCR cash-out refinance might make sense. Otherwise, a HELOC's flexibility might be more cost-effective.
  • Future Financial Plans: Consider your long-term financial goals and how tapping into your equity might impact them.

Key Financial Considerations

When planning to finance property repairs, several financial considerations are crucial:

  • Credit Impact: Both options require good credit for the best rates and terms, so know your credit score and how the choice might affect it.
  • Debt-to-Income Ratio: This will change with either option, potentially affecting future borrowing capacity.
  • Return on Investment: Evaluate the expected increase in property value or rental income post-repairs against the cost of borrowing.

Financing repairs on an inherited rental property using a HELOC or a DSCR cash-out refinance offers strategic benefits. Whether it's the flexibility of a HELOC or the lump sum of a DSCR cash-out refinance, choosing the right financing option depends on your specific financial situation and the property needs. It's wise to consult with financial advisors to discuss the best strategy tailored to your circumstances.

Explore more detailed information about financing options at and delve deeper into managing rental properties by reading our related blog post on managing cash flow for rental properties.

Our advise is based on experience in the mortgage industry and we are dedicated to helping you achieve your goal of owning a home. We may receive compensation from partner banks when you view mortgage rates listed on our website.