Investment Property Loan Requirements

A two family side by side investment propertyAre you considering investing in real estate? Conventional loans can be a smart choice for financing your investment properties. With attractive interest rates, flexible terms, and favorable eligibility criteria, conventional loans offer numerous benefits for real estate investors. Whether you're a seasoned investor or just getting started, understanding how conventional loans for investment properties work is essential to make informed financial decisions. In this guide, we'll explore the ins and outs of conventional loans for investment properties, providing you with valuable insights and tips to maximize your investment potential. Let's dive in!

What is a Conventional Investment Property Loan?

Acquiring an investment property loan is crucial in securing a mortgage loan for purchasing and renovating a rental property. When buying or remodeling a rental property, one must consider the necessary provisions for obtaining an investment property mortgage loan. The lender safeguards their interests by utilizing the rental property as collateral, allowing them to seize it in case of payment defaults.

To qualify for an investment property loan, several factors are taken into account by the lender. The loan for a rental property typically requires the borrower to have a good credit score, a sufficient down payment, and a stable income history. Meeting these qualifications ensures that the property you're acquiring aligns with the requirements for investment.

Before applying for a rental property loan, it is essential to consider several factors, such as the property management company that will handle the rental and investment properties. Knowing the differences between a conventional mortgage for a primary residence and a loan for a rental property is crucial.

An investment property is a real estate specifically aimed at generating income, and with a proper understanding of risk management, owning such a property can be a good investment. So, before buying an investment property, it is vital to research and considers the various factors and necessary qualifications to successfully apply for a rental property loan.

Conventional investment property loans benefit borrowers looking to purchase rental properties because they tend to have lower interest rates and require less paperwork than other property loans. Additionally, lenders may offer more flexible repayment terms and higher loan-to-value ratios with conventional investment property loans.

Different types of conventional investment property loans exist, depending on the purchased property type and the borrower's financial situation. For instance, an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) may be used for a short-term investment, such as a fix-and-flip property, while a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage may be used for a long-term rental property. Other types of loans may also be available for special situations.

Overall, conventional investment property loans are an excellent option for purchasing, renovating, and managing rental properties. With lower interest rates, more flexible repayment terms, and higher loan-to-value ratios, a conventional investment property loan is an attractive option for borrowers hoping to invest in rental properties.

Requirements for an Investment Property Mortgage

When you are looking to secure a conventional loan on an investment property, there are specific requirements that you need to meet. To qualify, having a good credit score, sufficient income, and a down payment would be best. The mortgage and the investment property's type and size will also influence the decision.

Before applying for a conventional loan, you must understand the type of investment property you are looking for and what kind of loan best suits your needs. The first step is to identify what type of loan you need, whether it's a mortgage to purchase a rental property or a loan to finance a renovation project.

Your credit score is also essential when applying for a conventional loan on an investment property. It would be best to have a strong credit score, usually around 700 or higher, to be approved for a loan. Being prepared to make a sizable down payment is also essential. The down payment will vary depending on the type and size of the investment property, but it can range from 15-20% of the property's value.

You must demonstrate sufficient income when applying for a conventional loan on an investment property. This is important to show that you can make the mortgage payments on the investment property. Additionally, mortgage lenders might require that you have a minimum of two years of rental history.

These are the general requirements for a conventional loan for an investment property. Mortgage lenders may also have additional requirements, such as a minimum loan amount or other restrictions. Understanding all the needs before applying for a loan is essential.

Putting your loan application through a pre-approval process can also help ensure that you meet the requirements and are ready for the loan process. Once you have completed the pre-approval process, you can proceed with the loan application process and secure a conventional loan for your investment property.

Down Payment Requirements for an Investment Property

When it comes to obtaining a property mortgage for an investment property, several different types of requirements need to be met. Conventional loans for investment properties require a larger down payment than other property loans, such as a regular residential mortgage. The down payment for a traditional loan for an investment property is usually between 20-25% of the property's purchase price.

The down payment for a rental property loan will vary depending on the type of loan. For example, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac offer loan products that require a minimum of 15% down payment.

When deciding on a down payment for a conventional loan for an investment property, it is essential to consider the amount of money you have available to put down. Deciding how much money you have to put down will ultimately affect your monthly mortgage payments since a larger down payment usually translates to a lower monthly price.

In addition to choosing an appropriate down payment, deciding how much to pay upfront is also essential. Producing a more significant up-front amount will reduce the number of your monthly payments. To ensure that you are paying an appropriate amount, you should enlist the help of a qualified mortgage expert.

Conventional loans for investment properties require a larger down payment than other types of property loans. The down payment will vary depending on the type of loan but is usually between 20-25% of the property's purchase price. Deciding how much to put down is essential, as this will affect your monthly mortgage payments. Finally, you should enlist the help of a qualified mortgage expert to ensure that you are making the best decision for your situation.

Loans for investment properties have stricter lending requirements and need larger down payments. Your lender may allow you to take advantage of the lower 15% down payment if you have decent credit.
1 unit - 15%
2 - 4 units - 25%

Investment Property Down Payment Options

If you're house-rich but cash poor, consider using the equity in your primary home for the down payment, but you must provide proof to the lender that you have sufficient funds to pay back the loan if an unexpected need arises. 

A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) is a type of revolving credit that enables you to borrow money using your home's value as collateral. Alternatively, a Home Equity Loan is a loan secured by your property that is provided over a fixed amount of time and has a fixed interest rate.

Using the value of your house as collateral for a loan or line of credit can also be used to purchase an investment property. A home equity loan may allow you to keep your original mortgage and maintain its lower interest rate. Nonetheless, a home equity loan requires you to make a supplemental payment each month. 

Using a Cash Out Refinance for the Down Payment

Homeowners often choose to do a cash-out refinance to tap into the equity in their home and finance significant expenses, such as a down payment on a new home. In a cash-out refinance, the homeowner obtains a new loan that surpasses the current mortgage balance and uses the additional funds to pay the down payment. The homeowner repays the new loan using the proceeds from selling their old home.

Cash-out refinancing proves beneficial in funding a down payment as it enables homeowners to bypass the need for a massive cash deposit. This option comes in handy for those who struggle with cash scarcity and need to allocate funds toward other expenses. Additionally, a new loan may allow homeowners to secure a favorable interest rate and reduced monthly payments compared to their current mortgage.

Using a cash-out refinance for a down payment brings some challenges. Firstly, the homeowner increases their debt, resulting in higher monthly payments and more interest over the loan term. Furthermore, if homeowners lack enough home equity, they might have to pay for private mortgage insurance, adding to the loan cost.

For some homeowners, opting for a cash-out refinance to fund their down payment can be wise. However, thoroughly evaluating the advantages and disadvantages is crucial before arriving at a verdict. To ensure that this move aligns with your financial situation, it's advisable to seek the advice of a financial expert.

Conventional Loan Investment Property Seller Concessions

Using a seller-paid closing cost can reduce your cash outlay. Conventional loans permit the seller to pay up to 2% of the sales price toward the investor's closing costs.

Qualifying for a Conventional Loan

Most lenders offer conventional loans as the preferred option when financing an investment property, and these loans are generally the most affordable and easiest to qualify for. Several factors must be considered when applying for a traditional loan for an investment property.

First, the mortgage rate on a conventional loan for an investment property will typically be higher than the rate for a traditional residential property loan. This is because a rental property represents a higher risk for the lender. As a result, it is essential to have a good credit score and a reliable source of income to qualify for a conventional loan. Additionally, you may need to make a larger down payment or have additional collateral or cash reserves to meet the lender's requirements.

Other qualifications that lenders may evaluate include the type of property you are purchasing, the purpose of the loan, and the amount of equity you have in the property. The property type will affect the loan terms, as lenders may offer more favorable terms for residential properties than commercial properties. Also, lenders may require more documentation for an investment property loan than a traditional one.

Lenders will also determine whether the loan is used to purchase, refinance, or renovate the property. For investment properties, lenders will likely require a minimum rental income or have cash flow requirements to ensure the rental income can support the payments.

Finally, lenders may consider the amount of equity you have in the property and may have specific limits on the loan-to-value ratio. Equity is the difference between the current market value of the property and what is owed on any existing mortgage.

Conventional loans are one of the most popular and affordable financings for investment properties. Meet the loan requirements and can demonstrate that you have the necessary financial background and experience to be successful. You should be able to qualify for a conventional loan.

Benefits of a Conventional Loan

Conventional loans are often the preferred type of investment property loan for those who prefer to keep their finances separate from their investments. A conventional loan essentially works like a mortgage, with the borrower taking out a loan from a bank or other lender to finance the purchase of an investment property. This loan can be used for anything from a single-family home to a multi-unit apartment building. It can also be used for rental properties if the borrower meets the lender's criteria.

The primary benefit of a conventional loan is that it offers borrowers more flexibility in terms of loan terms and repayment options. Borrowers can choose fixed-rate or adjustable-rate loans, as well as a variety of repayment plans. This flexibility gives the borrower more control over their finances, allowing them to customize the loan to meet their needs best.

Conventional loans also tend to have lower interest rates than other types of property loans, such as FHA and VA loans. This can result in substantial savings over time, as the interest savings can add up quickly. Additionally, conventional loans often require less paperwork, making the application process more manageable.

Finally, conventional loans can be used for a variety of different types of properties. This allows investors to purchase more types of properties than with other types of loans, such as those for investment properties only. This gives borrowers more options and the ability to diversify their investments, reducing their risk of loss if one property does not perform as expected.

With all these benefits, it is easy to see why conventional loans are often preferred by those looking for a property loan. Whether you purchase a single-family residence, a multi-unit apartment building, or a rental property, a conventional loan may be the right option.


In conclusion, conventional loans present a viable financing option for investment properties. With their competitive interest rates, flexible terms, and broader eligibility requirements, they can help you achieve your real estate investment goals. Remember to conduct thorough research, work with experienced professionals, and evaluate the specific requirements and guidelines for investment property loans. By making informed decisions and leveraging the benefits of conventional loans, you can navigate the world of real estate investment with confidence and set yourself up for long-term financial success.

Multiple Financed Properties for the Same Borrower
Eligibility Matrix