Multi-family investments: Financing tips for multi-family units
A multi-family property can be a great investment, but financing one isn’t necessarily the same as financing any other residential property.
That’s because, it terms of financing, the overall number of units determines whether a multi-family property is considered residential or commercial.
Not only is the type of financing different, but the requirements for approval are different, as well.
Multi-family residential financing
If it’s a small multi-family property, it’s likely considered residential.
In this case, you’ll probably want to apply for a conventional loan, similar to a single-family residence.
More options open up if you plan on living in one of the units.
In this case, you may qualify for either:
- FHA loan
- VA loan
- Conventional financing
You may be able to end up with a low-down payment and thereby help decrease the upfront investment you’re making in the property.
Multi-family commercial financing
If the multi-family property is larger, it’s likely going to be considered a commercial property by lenders.
This means a larger down payment and probably a shorter repayment schedule.
There are some lenders who tend to focus on multi-family financing, so do some research.
Other financing options
Of course, there are some other financing options to consider that are a bit less conventional.
A portfolio loan is one way to purchase a multi-family property. It’s helpful for investors who plan to finance several properties at the same time.
Hard money lenders
Another alternative to a conventional loan is a hard money lender. This type of lender doesn’t focus on a borrower’s credit history, but rather on the earning potential of a multi-family investment property.
Real estate syndication
With real estate syndication, multiple investors pool their funds to provide investment property financing.
Common types include:
- Real estate partnerships
- Real estate crowdfunding
Equity share investor
In the case of an equity share, the investor provides funds for the purchase of the property, in turn for owning some equity in the multi-family property.
Yet another possibility is a short-term loan. Payments are interest-only, and the terms generally range from six to 36 months. They’re often used while the investor tries to meet the necessary qualifications for permanent financing.
Now that you understand what kind of financing is available, you need to understand a few more things.
Additional multi-family financing tips
Know your credit score!
A real estate investor likely wants to have a good credit score because it helps get a better loan and a better mortgage rate. If you’re worried about your score, you can try to improve it.
- Dispute errors & bad marks on your credit
- Increase credit limits to improve available credit ratio
- Pay down balances
- Pay bills on time
Use that down payment!
Also, be sure to make your down payment work for you. The more you put down, the lower your monthly mortgage payment.
Keep in mind though, your required down payment may be dependent on how many units exist within the multi-family property.