The use of borrowed capital to produce financial benefit is referred to as leverage in the loan business. When profits are expected to exceed interest payments, investors generally use leverage. This is because, when utilized correctly, leverage may greatly boost your overall cash on cash return. What happens, however, if you use too much leverage and a deal goes wrong?

As an example of how leverage works in terms of the leverage ratio (asset/equity), consider the following: Let’s say Sally has $25,000 and needs to borrow $225,000 to buy a $250,000 property. She has a leverage ratio of 9:1, which means she has put in $1 for every $9 of the asset. If the home price rises 10%, the house is now worth $275,000, and she gained $25,000 after paying off her $225,000 loan with the sale of her home, a 100% return on her initial investment.

The example above demonstrates the benefits of leveraging when property values are high. Over-leveraging, on the other hand, is more dangerous when the market fluctuates and property prices fall. What if home prices plummet by 20%? Sally then experiences a 200 percent loss, losing her initial $25,000 and owing to an additional $25,000 to her lender.

Owing to how the sector is set up to take advantage of leverage, it can be a useful tool in real estate investing. Using leverage, investors might buy properties that are more expensive than the cash they have on hand. Those who over-leverage, on the other hand, will be wiped out when the market flips. Still, those who use leverage wisely may be able to keep their investment properties running. Though the profit potential may appear appealing, over-leveraging can result in property losses and loan defaults, so it’s best to seek professional advice first.

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