Real Estate Investing
Loan Options For Real Estate: Making Buying Multifamily Properties More Accessible

Loan Options For Real Estate: Making Buying Multifamily Properties More Accessible

A new loan option for real estate has hit the market. Real estate investing has become more accessible with Fannie Mae (also known as the Federal National Mortgage Association-FNMA). They have reduced their downpayment requirement, for multifamily homes, to 5%. This is a great addition to other loan options for real estate, like the FHA loan and VA home loan. Here is how you can use this new option to get started in real estate investing in Multifamily Properties!

Understanding Multifamily Properties in Real Estate

Loans for Buying Multifamily Properties

First, what is considered a multifamily home? In multifamily real estate, a multifamily refers to property that houses multiple families or tenants within the same building. These Multifamily Properties are usually the following:

  • Small apartment complexes
  • Duplexes
  • Triplexes
  • Quadplexes

Why Multifamilies?

Loans for Buying Multifamily Properties

First, multifamily properties are a great way to build a portfolio. Now with this loan option, it is easier to get started. There are so many pros to investing in a multifamily property. For example:

Cash Flow

First, multifamily properties can provide consistent rental income known as cashflow. Cashflow is the difference between your monthly income and your monthly net operating expenses. Cashflow is know to be higher with multifamily properties.


Secondly, the risk is spread out. With multiple units, investors spread risk among various tenants, reducing the impact of vacant spaces on their income. For example, with a duplex, one side may go vacant, but the other tenant can cover the costs. This helps reduce the impact of loss of income when you have vacancies.

Property Appreciation

Multifamily properties, like any real estate, have the potential to appreciate over time, leading to increased property values. However, depending on the market, the property may appreciate at a slower rate than a single family home would. Regardless, if you hold the property for a long time, you will still have positive appreciation.

Tax Benefits

Lastly, my favorite benefit of not only multifamily properties, but with real estate investing, is tax deductions. Rental properties provides so many deductions from depreciation to deducting most operating costs. As a result, you reduce your tax liability, which keeps more money in your pocket. That means you have more money to buy more multifamily properties!

Loan Options for Real Estate

The FHA Loan Option

Loans for Buying Multifamily Properties

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers loans that are ideal for first-time homebuyers and investors looking to purchase multifamily properties. The key features of FHA loans for multifamily investments include:

  1. Low Down Payment: FHA loans typically require a down payment as low as 3.5%, making them accessible to a broader range of investors.
  2. Competitive Interest Rates: FHA loans often have competitive interest rates, making them an attractive financing option.
  3. Flexible Credit Requirements: While credit requirements exist, they are typically more forgiving compared to traditional loans, allowing investors with slightly lower credit scores to qualify.
  4. Mortgage Insurance: FHA loans require mortgage insurance, both an upfront premium and annual premiums. This is an additional cost to consider, but it allows investors to secure financing with a lower down payment.
  5. Property Requirements: The property must meet certain FHA guidelines, including specific occupancy requirements. Generally, one of the units must be the investor’s primary residence.

The Fannie Mae’s 5% Down Payment Loan Option

Loans for Buying Multifamily Properties

Fannie Mae, a government-sponsored enterprise, recently introduced a program that allows investors to purchase multifamily properties with a down payment as low as 5%. This program is designed to make it easier for investors to enter the market. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Eligibility: Investors must meet certain criteria, such as a minimum credit score and debt-to-income ratio, to qualify for the 5% down payment option.
  2. Property Type: The property must be a two- to four-unit residential property.
  3. Reserves: Fannie Mae may require investors to have additional financial reserves as a safety net for future property expenses.
  4. Rent Payment History: Lenders may consider the potential rental income from the property when assessing eligibility.
  5. Underwriting Standards: While the 5% down payment option is more accessible, Fannie Mae maintains strict underwriting standards. These standards help to minimize the risk.
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Choosing the Right Financing Option for Multifamily Properties

Loans for Buying Multifamily Properties

When deciding between an FHA loan and Fannie Mae’s 5% down payment option, investors should consider their financial situation, investment goals, and the specific multifamily property they’re interested in. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

  1. Credit Score: FHA loans may be more forgiving of lower credit scores, while Fannie Mae has stricter requirements.
  2. Down Payment: FHA loans offer a lower down payment, but Fannie Mae’s 5% option can be a viable choice if you have a bit more upfront capital.
  3. Property Type: Consider the type of multifamily property you’re interested in. Fannie Mae’s 5% down payment requirement applies to two- to four-unit properties, while FHA loans cover properties with up to four units.
  4. Long-Term Goals: Think about your long-term investment goals, as different financing options may align better with your strategy.


Investing in multifamily real estate can be a wise decision for those looking to generate rental income, diversify their portfolio, and build wealth over time. FHA loans and Fannie Mae’s 5% down payment requirement provide accessible paths to multifamily property ownership. By understanding the advantages and limitations of each financing option, investors can make informed decisions to achieve their real estate investment goals. Always consult with a financial advisor or mortgage professional to determine the best approach for your unique circumstances.

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