Before the time of room-rental services, lenders could easily distinguish the difference between a primary residence and an investment property. With the introduction of Airbnb, Inc. and its rental counterparts, however, the distinguishing line between the two has been blurred. According to The Wall Street Journal, this has become a large problem for homeowners looking to refinance.
Today, Airbnb’s website lists 455,223 properties, most of which are the primary residence of the homeowner. In many cases, the rental income for the listed property provides a substantial sum of the borrower’s total income. Homeowners believe that applying this newfound income for a mortgage refinance will both improve their credit profile and score them a better interest rate on the loan—this is not necessarily true! In fact, it’s very important to discuss your circumstances with your local lender. In some cases, a lender may qualify your rental income as a return of an investment property, and, as a result could affect your interest rate.
Overall, it’s important to discuss your refinancing options with your mortgage lender. This is the best way to avoid any surprises on your mortgage applications!