Talk to an Advisor


Subordination refers to the arrangement or hierarchy of loans or liens against a particular property. In this setting, certain loans can be prioritized over others, making them “subordinate” to senior liens or loans. This is a common practice in real estate financing and investment for managing multiple debts or obligations secured by a single property. Here’s a breakdown of how subordination works in the real estate investment industry:

  1. Primary and Secondary Liens: Usually, the first mortgage or loan is taken out to purchase the property. This loan has the highest priority for repayment in case of foreclosure or sale. Additional loans like second mortgages or home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) are subordinate to the primary lien.
  2. Subordination Agreements: A legal document that establishes the priority of debts. The parties involved may agree to change the priority of their liens, making a previously junior lien senior to an existing one.
  3. Implications for Investors: Subordinate liens carry more risk because they are repaid only after senior liens in foreclosure or sale situations. Due to the increased risk, subordinate loans might have higher interest rates to compensate for the potential loss.
  4. Common in Various Real Estate Transactions: Often seen in commercial real estate transactions where properties may be subject to multiple financing arrangements. Used in refinancing scenarios where the borrower might want to keep the second mortgage in place but refinance the first.
  5. Role in Real Estate Investment: Investors can use subordination to leverage their investment, obtaining additional financing while managing the risks and costs associated with multiple liens. It allows flexibility in structuring financial arrangements, enabling investors to optimize their capital structure.

In summary, subordination is a crucial concept in real estate investment that involves prioritizing different loans or liens against property, affecting the risk and return profile of the investment. Understanding subordination is essential for investors to manage and navigate the complexities of real estate financing and investment.