Qualified Home Loans

Fannie Mae’s Game-Changing Shift: 95% LTV for 2-4 Unit Properties

Knowing about the latest industry guidelines and shifts can significantly impact your investment strategies in the ever-evolving realm of real estate and financing. Fannie Mae, a prominent player in the mortgage industry, is introducing groundbreaking adjustments to their guidelines, poised to reshape the landscape of multi-unit property investments. Effective November 18, 2023, Fannie Mae is rolling out new guidelines that grant borrowers the flexibility of a Loan-To-Value (LTV) ratio of up to 95% for 2-4 unit properties. Before now, there have been very few options to purchase 3-4 unit properties with less than 25% down. In this blog post, we’ll dive into these pivotal changes and their implications for borrowers and investors.

A Paradigm Shift in LTV Ratios

The crux of Fannie Mae’s new guidelines lies in the elevation of the LTV ratio for 2-4 unit properties. In the past, borrowers were restricted to lower LTV ratios (either 20% or 25% down, depending on the unit count), compelling them to make substantial down payments. However, the updated guidelines empower borrowers to contribute as little as 5% of the property’s purchase price or appraised value as a down payment. This monumental reduction in the mandatory down payment is a game-changer for those seeking multi-unit property investments.

Flexibility Across Scenarios

One striking feature of these updated guidelines is their adaptability. They encompass a wide array of scenarios, spanning from owner-occupancy to investment properties and refinancing. Whether you are considering purchasing a multi-unit property for personal use, as an investment, or mulling over the refinancing of an existing property, these guidelines have you covered.

Boosted LTV Ratios: A Key Advantage

Arguably, the most significant benefit of these changes lies in the amplified LTV ratios for various property types. Previously, two-unit properties were constrained by an 85% LTV limit, but the new guidelines have raised the bar to an impressive 95%. Similarly, the maximum LTV ratio has surged from 75% to an astonishing 95% for three or four-unit properties. These changes streamline the financing process for multi-unit properties, even with a smaller down payment.

Unlocking the Potential of Rental Income

Another noteworthy facet of Fannie Mae’s revised guidelines is acknowledging potential rental income as a legitimate source of income when applying for financing. This recognition enables borrowers to factor in the rental income from the property they’re financing as part of their overall income, potentially bolstering their borrowing capacity. This is a significant advantage for real estate investors that paves the way for more informed financial decisions.

Balancing Act: Coborrowers

Like other conventional loans, there is no restriction on using a coborrower to help qualify. This includes allowing the use of non-occupant coborrowers. This means that one person could live in one of the units as their owner occupied home, while the income and assets of another borrower can be used to help make the qualifying fit. The rents from the other units could significantly improve the affordability of the new home for the occupant borrower. 

In conclusion, Fannie Mae’s forthcoming changes to their guidelines for 2-4 unit properties promise borrowers and investors increased flexibility and opportunities. With an elevated LTV ratio, versatile guidelines, and the ability to harness rental income, these updates open doors for those interested in multi-unit property investments. As always, staying informed and collaborating with your lender are essential to make the most of these changes and realize your real estate objectives. Watch for these exciting updates, set to take effect on November 18, 2023. These changes are poised to redefine your approach to multi-unit property investments, offering a world of exciting opportunities in the realm of real estate.

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