How to underwrite a Multifamily Refinance?


Multifamily properties have turned out to be one of the most significant types of investment one can consider in commercial real estate. It offers people an opportunity to get great returns from their investments.

Of all apartments, indeed, they are the most accessible product type that one can understand and handle. Besides, it comes with great returns. But when it comes to the valuation during the purchase of a multifamily deal, you must consider the underwriting process and how it will determine the property’s worth.

The refinancing process surely will be helpful for you in multiple ways. But it is not the same with multifamily properties. The guide here will provide essential information to help you understand things.

Understanding the multifamily underwriting process

In simple terms, when multifamily real estate refinancing is tried, this will mean gathering all of the required information about the property and making assumptions about how it will bring returns in the future. It will create estimated cash flows on the investment and assign the property valuation based on the available information.

The process can be quite lengthy. In such situations having support from someone experienced in the industry will make a significant difference in easing things and giving a better chance of handling the deal. After all, it can be pretty overwhelming. The steps mentioned here will help to make things simple for you and analyze the details to evaluate them correctly and make the right decision.

Steps involved in the process

If you have been planning to go ahead with family real estate, then understanding the underwriting process will be helpful for you.

1. Analyzing the inflow

The primary step of the multifamily underwriting process is to analyze what one can expect in the future. You need to put down the list of the available tenants and the rental charges that they are paying now.

You also need to consider the 12 months of income or expenses and the operating statement to ensure you know all the other income items the property has generated. For instance, there can be rent for storage, pets, etc. With this, you have to ensure that you can see the type of vacancy in the past.

Understanding all the positives and the negatives will help you see things. Now you need to ask yourself if you are confident with the base rent and the other income the property will generate for you.

2. Analyzing the outflow

In the next step, you need to analyze all the outflow, which involves the expenses. Using this, you must determine the approximate operating costs you must pay while holding the property.

In this case, considering the last 12 months’ operating statement will help you figure out the operating expenses that have been made and what will be required in the future.

The biggest card in the expenses is likely your property taxes because, in most cases, property taxes are realized during the sale process.

So you need to make sure that you consider the account based on the city or your state to know about your property taxes and how they will impact your operating expenses. You must check out the government portal to understand the tax and other essentials.

3. Fingering out the renovation and construction expenses

Once you are clear about your expenses and income assumptions, the third factor is understanding the renovation or construction expenses.

Most investors will choose the multifamily deal with the plan for renovating the common areas. But for this, you will have to understand that you are financially stable.

This means you must add all sources of renovation expenses to your assumptions. This can include all the soft and hard costs and renovation premium orders. This will ultimately affect the investment returns.

4. Understanding the vacancy rate and growth rates

Now that you have a clear idea about the expenses and the revenues, you need to add the assumption about the vacancy rates or the growth your property will see in the future.

You need to wait on the rent growth over time. For instance, let’s consider you are planning to make a purchase of a property in California with an average rent of about $2500 per month.

Seven years later, the same unit will cost $3500. So you must be able to account for that in the real estate financing model whenever you consider a deal.

Also, you will want to factor in your expenses when the property is lying around vacant. It would help if you saw you are not assuming 100% occupancy. The vacancy rate here will depend entirely on how you observe the market and look at comparable properties or how you plan to operate them.

5. Fingering out the post-renovation rents

In the next step, you need to project the rent you might have achieved once you have completed the property renovation. For instance, if you purchased an apartment complex where the rent was $1500 per month, and you believe that after the renovation project, you can charge $1750 per month, then you need to consider it in your model.

Besides this, factoring in the timing of what will happen is important because that will significantly impact your cash flow. Again, this will lead to better cash-on-cash returns and the rate of return on the deal.

6. Financing

Once you have account factors in your model, you must get the operating assumption. Then, you will need to move the financing planning as soon as possible.

Generally, commercial investments include multifamily deals that are brought up by some debt on the property. If you wish to retain the debt, having it in the financial model will help predict the cash flow and the internal returns.

This includes loan terms, amortization periods, interest rates, etc. Or, in simple terms, it will be anything of interest only, period, on the deal. Also, it would help if you considered the refinancing assumptions. For example, suppose you think you will have an easy time refinancing after a few years.

7. Evaluation

At last, you need to consider evaluating every aspect of the multifamily and underwriting deal together that you might have regarded as in the model to reach a point.

If you have a multifamily broker, you can consider looking up ten offers you will receive on the same property. There will be a chance that you will have ten different amounts for each potential buyer.

This is because everyone has different expectations of the return they will receive and what they will pay for the deal. This will depend entirely on the returns. So once you have all the correct details, you need to determine the purchase price.

This will help predict the returns. In addition, it would help if you saw that your purchase price is the internal target rate of return. For instance, if you wish to have 12% IRR for the next five years holding period, then you need to look for an average of 8% cash on cash return over the coming ten years, whatever works well for you.

You need to adjust the purchase price based on the assumptions you have built on the fair valuation and also keep in mind the purchase price that you think will be the right one.

The multifamily real estate underwriting process is going to be a lot complicated and time-consuming. You need to stay patient throughout the process and understand things in detail to analyze things properly and make decisions based on them.

There are a lot of aspects involved. Remember, the more capital-intensive projects, like an option for paying down the short-term construction financing on the existing scheme, surely will benefit significantly from the refinancing if the market fundamental stays strong. But it must never be dependent when accessing the investment opportunities of the feasibility of the finance.


The multifamily properties are an excellent opportunity for having a successful career. However, no one can make a purchase of the property with cash. Thus, there are options to take financing for the same. But you need to understand that it might also come with the need for refinancing in the future.

Such options can be quite helpful for you, especially for paying down short deals. You can consider trusting Private Capital Investors for help with the industry. They have got expert professionals to ease the experience for you. They will develop the proper plan and help you understand things in detail. With professional support, you will experience an easy time avoiding complications.

Want to learn more? Get in touch with us today.

Similar Blog

What is Smart Building & Its Future in Commercial Real Estate

What is Smart Building & Its Future in Commercial Real Estate

If you’ve ever worked in an office, you’ve probably complained about the temperature at some point. Controlling the thermostat in large commercial buildings is tricky and is often a constant struggle. That’s because different building sections are affected by sunlight...

Want to learn more? Get in touch with us today.

Our experienced team is ready to assist with your financing needs.

2101 Cedar Springs Road Suite 1050 Dallas, TX 75201