Let’s say you buy a residential investment property for $150,000 using cash. You fully expect to get a renter, but first need to make some improvements to the property. So, being as smart as you are, you postpone financing the property because you should undoubtedly be able to get higher loan proceeds after you enhance value to $200,000 – right? Most lenders will not advance more than 75% of the original purchase price for the “Cash-Out Refinancing” of investment properties – until at least 12 months after the purchase. This means that you cannot get a loan based on value during that time frame, unless you obtain the loan from a “portfolio” lender (a lender who can maintain the loan on their own books without either selling it to FNMA or having it guaranteed by FHA). Nothing wrong with getting a portfolio loan, but they are oftentimes more expensive.
The government enforced this idea in order to prevent the flipping of homes. Before the housing crisis, investors were bidding up the price of homes via quick cash closings, only to turn around and either quickly selling for a higher price or financing virtually 100% of the price right after closing (there were several lending programs that made it easy for them to do so). Thus, the government wanted to prevent NON-owner occupant borrowers from continuing the same flipping practices – mainly in order to avoid purchasing or guaranteeing a loan secured by properties with inflated values.