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DSCR Loans in Clay County, Florida: No-Doc Way To Build Your Real Estate Portfolio Quickly

Real estate investors looking to diversify into the sunshine state are taking advantage of Clay County's reducing property prices and booming short-term rental industry to grow their portfolios. DSCR loans in Clay County are designed to help investors capitalize on this growing demand for rental properties thanks to a qualification process that's quick, easy, and doesn't require income verification.


Why Get a DSCR Loan in Clay County, Florida?

Clay County is located in northeast Florida, just outside Jacksonville, and well within Florida's warm climate.

Clay County is ideal for country and suburban living. It is also home to a large population of telecommuters (people who work from home), leading to fewer traffic problems and a less-crowded urban environment.

However, Clay County is better known as a naturist's hub, one that's chock full of waterways, vast wildlife populations, and scenic trails. Outdoor amenities are abundant, so this region never has a dull weekend.

To summarize, Clay County is a great place to live and a great investment opportunity because:

  • Clay County's population is spread across urbanized areas and vast tracts of countryside. There's also a thriving suburban community, so the region provides all kinds of environments – from urban to country – for single families looking to relocate. It offers the best of both worlds.

  • Most Clay County residents are either college-educated or work in white-collar professions. It has abundant education and job opportunities. The region has a robust school system and a work-from-home culture that allows a more significant portion of the population to secure remote employment with livable wages.

  • It is rich in natural and agricultural resources. Clay County has a rich assortment of natural features and wildlife and is also known for its agricultural resources. It is home to over 400 farms dabbling in various activities, including beekeeping, hydroponics, timber production, and livestock operations.

  • It has numerous outdoor amenities. There are museums, nature reserves, several parks, and many other attractions for residents to enjoy on weekends. The Clay County Fair is quite famous, and the residents love to partake in horseback riding.

  • It has a wide selection of property types. Clay County has everything from waterfront properties to expansive livestock ranches. There are all kinds of properties available for different types of residents.

These are just a few reasons why Clay County, Florida has been experiencing a rise in rental demand since 2020. Furthermore, factors like the pandemic pushing companies to go remote have certainly played their part in growing the Clay County telecommuting population even further.

Short-term rentals and AirBnBs have also been in high demand due to the region's warm climate and abundance of outdoor activities. The demand for rentals isn't just coming from professionals but also vacationers looking for short stays out of town.

DSCR loans in Clay County allow real estate investors to secure rental properties quickly and without the hassle of income verification. They achieve that because DSCR loans only factor in the investment property's cash flow, unlike traditional loans.


How Does a DSCR Loan Work?

A Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR) is a non-QM (QM stands for Qualified Mortgage) loan. A non-QM loan doesn't follow the conventional mortgage application procedure. Therefore, real estate investors don't need to prove their income coverage or employment or produce credit and tax reports to qualify.

The lender only asks about how the investor intends to use the property purchased using the loan. To qualify for a DSCR loan, the lender must ensure that your property's net operating income (NOI) exceeds its annual debt obligations.

The difference between a property's NOI and annual debt payments is what we refer to as the debt service coverage ratio or DSCR. Generally, this ratio should be more than or equal to 1, meaning the DSCR loan is designed to cover a minimum of 125% of the property's debt.

DSCR loans in Clay County offer investors a way into the real estate market without the hassle of verifying personal income. If your investment property is projected to generate more income than its expenses, you could easily qualify for a DSCR loan.


How is DSCR Calculated?

To a lender, the DSCR is the figure that depicts the borrower's capacity to make timely payments on their debts. Therefore, the borrower's cash flow ratio represents the debt they owe to the mortgage lender.

DSCR is calculated in the following way:

DSCR = Net Operating Income (NOI)/Annual Debt Payments

Where:

  • The NOI includes the annual net income, interest, depreciation, and non-monetary items.

  • The NOI is the gross income minus the total operating expenses.

  • The annual debt payment interest, lease payments, and principal repayment.

For example, if a property has an annual NOI of $40,000 and a debt obligation of $32,000, its DSCR is 1.25x. That means the property makes 25% more income than the amount required to service its loan.

The higher your investment property's DSCR, the greater your chances of getting approved for a large DSCR loan. You can increase your property's DSCR by finding ways to increase its income and reduce its annual debt payments.


How to Determine DSCR Income

For residential properties, investors should use the monthly rent income. However, if you're looking to buy a commercial property, the DSCR income is the net operating income (NOI), essentially the gross income minus the operating expenses.


How to Determine DSCR Payments

As for payments, DSCR loans use the PITIA system to calculate the payment amounts for residential properties. PITIA stands for (loan) Principal, Interest, (property) Taxes, Interest, and (any) Homeowners Association fees (HOA).


Benefits of DSCR loans

DSCR loans in Clay County can be favorable to investors for many more reasons, some of which include the following:

  • No personal income or job history is needed.

  • No limit to the number of investment properties you can own or finance.

  • The lowest DSCR qualification (1.0x).

  • Loan amounts up to $5 million.

  • Delayed financing.

  • Unlimited cash out.

  • No cash reserves are necessary.

  • First-time real estate investors are welcome.

  • Interest-only loan payment schedules.

  • Support for non-warrantable condo investments.

  • Short-term rental income (Airbnb) is allowed.

  • 20% minimum down payment.

  • A minimum credit score of 640.

Furthermore, you may be eligible for a Clay County DSCR loan even if you don't qualify for a conventional loan. This opens doors for many more borrowers looking for cash to expand into the Florida real estate market. All you need is a good DSCR.

It is wise to compare different lenders when looking for a DSCR loan in Clay County, Florida. Regardless of your loan lender, you stand to benefit from many perks by getting a DSCR loan in Clay County. These include:

  • A longer loan term of up to 30 years makes payments more manageable.

  • A lower interest rate than traditional loans.

  • A quick approval process that doesn't require income verification.

  • Faster closing.

  • The ability to use your home equity to secure the loan.

  • Down payments of as little as 20% of the property's purchase price.

  • The ability to get a loan even with bad credit.

  • No credit history checks.

  • Availability of loans to finance rental properties.

  • Availability of loans to finance home improvements.

DSCR loans are an excellent way for investors to purchase real estate in Clay County, Florida. If you're interested in expanding your portfolio quickly and without the typically challenging personal income verification process, this is the way to go.


Model house and coins on table for property investment


DSCR Loan Guidelines in Clay County, Florida

The specific requirements for a DSCR loan may vary by lender. That said, lenders in Clay County, Florida, typically use the following guidelines when analyzing a property's ability to generate income:

  • Minimum DSCR - Lenders in Florida offer very favorable terms for DSCR loans. Many lenders will feel more confident if you have a DSCR of 1.25x or higher, but many more are okay with the minimum DSCR. For example, the minimum DSCR to qualify in Clay County, Florida, is 1.0x.

  • Potential annual rent income – Most lenders start by estimating how much rent an investment property can bring in. By multiplying the monthly income by 12, they get the annual rent income, which is easier to analyze when calculating a property's revenue-generating potential.

  • Vacancy loss – The vacancy rate in Clay County is usually around 5%. Multiplying this rate with the property's annual rent tells investors how much the property stands to lose from vacant units. As such, this figure must be subtracted from the annual rent to get the property's gross rental income.

  • NOI – The investment property's net operating income (NOI) is derived by subtracting any operational expenses from the overall rent.

  • Debt service – The debt service is calculated by multiplying the loan amount by the interest rate, then adding the monthly principal payment.

  • DSCR – The property's DSCR is obtained by dividing the debt service by the NOI. The debt service coverage ratio is always denoted as a decimal point (e.g., 1.25x).

  • Loan-to-value ratio – Most lenders finish the vetting process with a loan-to-value (LTV) calculation, which is done by dividing the loan amount by the property's value. This is done to establish the riskiness of the loan. A higher LTV suggests that the loan covers a more significant percentage of the property's value, which indicates more risk for the lender. Ideally, lenders prefer investment properties with a low LTV.

As you can see, the DSCR loan pre-approval process is faster and more favorable for real estate investors than conventional loans.


However, this also means that your eligibility can be affected by the following:

  • Your net operating income - This is the most critical factor affecting DSCR. The higher your NOI, the better your DCSR, and vice versa.

  • The length of your mortgage term - Properties with a longer mortgage typically have a better DSCR because they have more minor debt obligations. The DSCR increases with the length of the mortgage term because the borrower is given more time to repay, which results in smaller payments.

  • LTV ratio - If your property's value is low compared to the loan amount, then lenders may consider it too risky to qualify. A low LTV makes it riskier for lenders because they are less likely to get the total amount back should the borrower default on the loan.

  • Fees and penalties - Most of the fees associated with a loan can lower a property's DSCR value. These include closing costs, appraisal, origination, and even prepayment fees and penalties. The prepayment penalty clause, for instance, requires the investor to pay a fee to refinance or sell the investment property before the loan term ends. All of these extra expenses add to the loan amount so that they can bring down the property's DSCR value.

The Best Cities to Invest in Clay County, Florida

Clay County is home to just under 219,000 individuals across cities, towns, and a handful of census-designated locations.

It has two main cities, Green Cove Springs and Keystone Heights, and two heavily-populated towns called Orange Park and Penney Farms. Its census-designated areas include Middleburg, Lakeside, Asbury Lake, Fleming Island, Bellair-Meadowbrook Terrace, and Oakleaf plantation.

Median home prices in Florida rose by 33.1% last year, a golden opportunity that many investors are keen to capitalize on. If you're considering taking a bite out of this real estate cake, some of the best places to invest in are the following:


Green Cove Springs

Green Cove Springs city is the county seat of Clay County, Florida. The small city has a population of 9,786 residing in its six constituent neighbors. Its population, though small, is comparatively better educated than most populations in America.

Nearly 25% of all adults have a bachelor's degree or higher, and over 7% of the workforce is employed in a knowledge-based, white-collar profession. The city also has an excellent public school system comprising 52 schools.

Regarding attractions, Green Cove Springs lies along St. John's River, home to the nationally famous Spring Park. It has a richly documented history, including serving as a military airport (Lee Field) during World War II and numerous hotspots for outdoor lovers.

Green Cove Springs is abundantly blessed in terms of natural features, the best of which can be found in the 150-acre Camp Chowenwaw County Park, which is home to hiking trails along Black Creek and numerous campsites and cabins.

  • Median Sale Price - $193,461
  • Median Rent (3-bedroom) - $1,622
  • Renter-occupied Households - 26.4%
  • Median Household Income - $54,329

Keystone Heights

Keystone Heights is a tiny city with a population of 1,446, the majority of which (91.25% of the workforce, to be precise) is employed by white-collar professionals. This is well above the national average.

Keystone Heights is, therefore, considered a city of professionals, service providers, office personnel, and sales workers. It is also a fantastic city for families due to a rare combination of excellent schools, college-educated neighbors, and a low crime rate.

Even though the region has a high homeownership rate, single-family units for rent are also available. The main downside is the public transit system, which falls short. Residents typically spend 30 – 40 minutes on their everyday work commute.

Nevertheless, better-educated neighbors, access to a great schooling system, and only a handful of cold days give this location a constant draw of tenants all year round.

  • Median Sale Price - $325,488
  • Median Rent (3-bedroom) - $1,724
  • Renter-occupied Households - 27.3%
  • Median Household Income - $102,752

Orange Park

Although technically not a city, Orange Park, Florida, is home to 9,089 residents and is the 220th largest Floridian community. Not only is it more significant than Keystone Heights, but it also has an enormous population of renters.

Orange Park is often labeled a "tree city" due to its heavily vegetated landscape. A nature lover's hotspot, it is nestled between St. Johns River and Doctor's Lake, which provides numerous opportunities for outdoor activities.

Easy access to the Interstate system and access to some of the region's most prominent hotels make it a popular spot for long and short-stay tourists looking to enjoy the warm climate, good cuisine, and incredible nature spots located in the area.

  • Median Sale Price - $459,699
  • Median Rent (3-bedroom) - $1,727
  • Renter-occupied Households - 43%
  • Median Household Income - $139,312

FAQ's About DSCR Loan

  • How much does the minimum DSCR (1x) qualify you for? In Clay County, you can qualify for up to $250,000 in funding if you meet the minimum DSCR requirement. However, if you need a more significant loan amount, your DSCR should be increased accordingly. For instance, for loans above $250,000 but not exceeding $750,000, you'll need a minimum DSCR of 1.5x. For any amount exceeding $750,000, the minimum DSCR is 1.75x.

  • How can I increase an investment property's DSCR value? You can increase your property's DSCR value by raising the rental income or reducing debt payments. Either way, you can adequately adjust the DSCR value of any property to qualify for any loan amount you desire.

  • How can I get a DSCR loan in Clay County, Florida? Find a suitable lender, prove that your investment property meets the minimum DSCR, pay the 20 % minimum down payment, and wait for the lender to complete the underwriting process, which assesses your eligibility and the risks associated. Barring complications, you should be ready to close in on your investment property in no time.

  • How long does DSCR loan approval take? Although the length of the process varies depending on many factors, such as the lender's policies, it typically takes a few weeks to a couple of months to get approved for a DSCR loan. It may take longer or shorter, depending on your specific circumstances.

With over 50 years of mortgage industry experience, we are here to help you achieve the American dream of owning a home. We strive to provide the best education before, during, and after you buy a home. Our advice is based on experience with Phil Ganz and Team closing over One billion dollars and helping countless families.

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