Buy A Rental Property With Lower Upfront Costs
Real estate investments have several advantages over other investment vehicles – including preferential tax treatment, leverage, and a hedge against inflation. It usually takes a bigger sum to purchase rental property than it does to buy a mutual fund or stock. Completing your first investment purchase can be challenging. Fortunately, rental property interest rates are low enough to provide possible net cash flow from rental income. Low rates reduce the monthly payment on a property, making it more feasible to rent it out at a profit. The initial barriers are overcome more easily by finding a partner to go in on a rental property purchase with you. There is no requirement that you be related or that any previous relationship exists. You can buy a home with anyone you would otherwise feel comfortable going into business with. Your upfront costs will be lower, and your partner could help you qualify for the loan more easily.
Investment Property Downpayment Requirements
Most programs require a minimum 15 percent downpayment for a single home with a fixed-rate mortgage. Downpayment requirements are higher for other situations.
⦁ 1 unit fixed-rate investment property purchase downpayment: 15%
⦁ 1 unit adustable-rate investment property purchase downpayment: 25%
⦁ 2-4 unit fixed-rate investment property purchase downpayment: 25%
Downpayments under 20 percent will trigger a private mortgage insurance (PMI) requirement. The mortgage insurance provider will review the loan for approval, which is a separate approval process from the lender’s.
According to mortgage insurance provider MGIC, a $250,000 loan would require PMI of $120 per month with 15% down and a 740 credit score. If each partner can contribute at least ten percent of the purchase price, your costs drop. But a sub-20% downpayment is not a deal breaker.
Cash Requirements After Closing
In addition to your down payment and closing costs, you and your partner will need reserves. “Reserves” are savings that are available to pay your mortgage if your income is temporarily interrupted. Reserves are measured in months. For example, your mortgage principal, interest, taxes and insurance (PITI) come to $1,000 a month. You will have $2,500 in savings after you make your downpayment and closing costs. In this case you would have 2.5 months of reserves. Reserve requirements are typically between six and twelve months for investment properties. If your rental property will cost you $1,500 per month, you could need at least $9,000 after closing to qualify. It makes sense to open a special property account into which both partners hold the money needed to purchase and maintain the rental. You might want to require both of your signatures to withdraw from this account. Just make sure you keep a paper trail for any funds being deposited, so you can prove the source of any large deposits into the account.
Can You Use Future Rental Income To Qualify?
Ideally, your own gross incomes are sufficient to qualify without the subject property rental income. If this is not the case, you may still qualify using the property’s income potential. If it’s currently rented, you’ll supply a copy of the lease to the lender. If it’s not currently rented, the appraiser will complete a rental schedule, known as Fannie Mae Form 1007 or Freddie Mac Form 1000. This form compares the home to similar rentals in the area to arrive at an estimated future rent. The lender will reduce the estimated or actual monthly rent by 25 percent. This is because, as a rule, lenders assume the property will be vacant 25 percent of the time. The lender then adds that amount to your income to help offset the future cost of the rental property. For instance, the home will cost $1,500 per month in principal, interest, taxes, and insurance. Estimated rent is $1,200 per month. The lender will add $900 per month to your income. For qualification purposes, the new property will add only $600 per month to the applicant’s total debt load.
One More Piece Of Rental Buying Advice
While no longer required for most mortgage programs, you might want to purchase a landlord insurance policy. This covers the perils of ordinary homeowners insurance, plus extra liability coverage and rent income interruption coverage. Finally, it’s smart to require your tenants to protect their belongings with renter’s insurance. This insurance is very affordable and covers the renter’s personal property if it is damaged or stolen.