A blanket loan is a loan or mortgage used to fund the purchase of 2 or more pieces of real estate (Wikipedia, Investopedia). The real estate is held as collateral for the mortgage, but the individual pieces of property may be sold without retiring the entire mortgage. Builders and developers, investors in multiple apartment communities, or investors in more than on single family rental property use blanket loans to buy a large tract of land to subdivide or multiple properties to manage as a business. The rental investor may sell one property without redoing the mortgage on the other properties. The developer can create many individual parcels to be sold one at a time without securing a new mortgage each time the sale of a parcel is made.
The blanket loan has a release clause that allows the owner to sell a portion of the secured property and make a corresponding payment on the loan. The outstanding balance on the loan is adjusted accordingly without being completely redone or retired. Most single-house traditional mortgages contain a “due-on-sale clause,” which means the entire outstanding debt is due when the securing property is sold. If this is the type of mortgage a developer or an investor with multiple rental properties has, then each time they sell a property they have to redo all the paperwork to remake the mortgage.
The financial benefits for an investor include
- Only have to pay the fees and costs of one loan rather than applying for and closing multiple mortgages.
- Negotiated terms, such as the monthly payment may be better under the blanket mortgage, freeing up capital for further investment.
- Acquiring more than one house to fix-n-flip under one loan when several come on the market at the same time would allow a flipper to take advantage of the opportunity to buy multiple properties all at once (saving time and fees) while still being able to sell them one at a time after they are refurbished.
The danger to the owner is that if he or she defaults on the mortgage, the lender may seek control of all the properties secured by the loan.
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Kagan, Julia, Investopedia, Defining a Blanket Mortgage, March 8, 2018. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/blanket_mortgage.asp
Wikipedia, Blanket Loan. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blanket_loan