Buy as a Straight Rental Property
Let’s say you just want to buy it as a straight rental property. First up, you need a 20-25% down payment for most lenders (Fannie Mae and/or Freddie Mac may have some 10% investor properties, so check those out too). And that 20-25%, plus closing costs and renovation costs, might add up to 30% – 35% cash upfront to close escrow and get a property rental ready. So, for a $120,000 property, that could easily be $40,000 cash needed. That owner-occupied 3.5% FHA loan sounds pretty good right now, huh?
As noted above, you also need to have good credit and qualify for a bank’s financing for an investment property. One nice thing about rental properties is that the bank may include some estimated net rental income from the property to help your debt-to-income ratios, especially if you buy something with a tenant already in place. Discuss this with your lender.
Speaking of tenants already in place, there are some significant advantages therein too! For example:
- You get the security deposit from the seller at closing and some pro-rated rent
You probably collect the first month’s rent a month before your first mortgage payment is due.
- There is no vacancy, so you don’t need to find a tenant, and
- You probably won’t have to rehab the property until they leave.
The negative could be a lower than market rental rate or a tenant who pays late, doesn’t pay, or doesn’t take care of the property. But they could be a great tenant, too! Once in escrow, do a little looking around the apartment and talk to the tenant to make a determination if you want to keep them or terminate their lease when it ends. Convey this to the listing agent so that agent can alert the tenants either way.
Rates, Costs, Fees on Investment Properties
The costs of doing any mortgage loan these days are much higher than they used to be just a few years ago. And non-owner occupant (NOO) investment properties are even higher. Small dollar loans, like under $100,000, have very high fees as a percentage of the loan amount. Possibly up to 5% when you add in the loan origination points, fees, appraisal, underwriting, title insurance, escrow costs, etc. But the present rates are really very competitive and you can get NOO financing at 4.5% on a 30-year amortizing loan these days. And that is dirt cheap, locking in a 30-year low interest rate loan on a rental property.