Have you tried credit unions?
We closed on a HELOC awhile back (We're in Iowa) with a credit union and we have more than 5 mortgages. Not sure if there'd be any state specific guidelines, but I doubt it. Perhaps there's kind of a more regional 'follow the leader' kind of pack mentality with some bank guidelines where you're from. How's your debt/income or debt service ratio? My wild guess is that if you're out in CALI that you have a lot of debt to own 5 properties. Just wondering how the income lines up. Sometimes banks don't give you the straight answer. I'd just wonder how that's looking.
On a side note, credit unions from my experience also have more favorable terms and quicker close times, compared to banks.
HELOCs are just products of the individual banks that offer them, so there are no standard guidelines like there are with Fannie Mae loans. Each bank/lender gets to make up their own rules when it comes to HELOCs. With that being said, you'll just have to call around and talk to different lenders. One you can start with is Union Bank. I got a HELOC through them a few years ago and they were one of the few that didn't have any limit on the number of mortgages you could have.
Here's an article I wrote a while back that may be helpful to you when you're calling around: What You Need to Know When Shopping for a HELOC.
Thanks for the replies, I will try some credit unions tomorrow. One of my loans is with Patelco CU. I’ll alo try Union bank as you noted.
All the properties were bought during the downturn, so they all have good cash flow and equity right now. 9 houses as of today. I’m trying to find a lender that will allow an equity line on rentals as well as the primary.
My plan is to do more out of state investing. Also, I’m looking at international opportunities.