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Mortgage  Question?
Can I use mortgage pre-approval buy multiple properties?

Can I use my mortgage pre-approval to buy multiple properties? The home I want to buy and live in is much less than the amount I was pre-approved for so I also want to buy a rental property.

Michael Jensen, Mortgage and Finance Guru
, Mortgage and Finance Guru

Mortgage pre-approval only applies to a single property and you cannot divide the amount you are pre-approved for to purchase multiple properties. We offer a comprehensive explanation of mortgage pre-approval on FREEandCLEAR.  Our recommendation is that you buy your primary residence, get settled and then after one-to-two months speak with lenders about applying for an investment property mortgage.

Please note that getting a mortgage on an investment property (also called a non-owner occupied mortgage) is different than getting a mortgage on your primary residence (owner occupied mortgage). Lenders typically apply different underwriting guidelines for investment property mortgages including requiring borrowers to make higher down payments (20% - 25% of the property purchase price) and maintain at least two months of total monthly housing expense as savings in reserve. Additionally, any monthly loss attributable to the property is included in the debt figure used to calculate your debt-to-income ratio which determines what size mortgage you can afford. We provide a thorough overview of investment property mortgages on FREEandCLEAR and you should also review our Mortgage Expert Insights on How to Get a Mortgage on an Investment Property.

The good news is that based on your initial mortgage pre-approval amount and the significantly lower loan amount for your primary residence, it seems like you likely have sufficient income to afford a mortgage on an investment property, especially when you factor in the rental income from the property. The best way to verify this is to contact multiple lenders to understand their non-owner occupied mortgage qualification requirements. Borrower mortgage qualification guidelines vary by lender and we tend to see wider variations in guidelines for non-owner occupied mortgages than we do for owner-occupied mortgages. Certain lenders may use more flexible or favorable guidelines so it is important to contact multiple lenders before making a selection.

To summarize, we recommend that you complete the purchase of your primary residence and then contact three-to-four lenders to shop for an investment property mortgage. To review lenders in your area click INTEREST RATES

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About the author

Michael Jensen, Mortgage and Finance Guru

Michael is the co-founder of FREEandCLEAR. Michael possesses extensive knowledge about mortgages and finance and has been writing about mortgages for nearly a decade. His work has been featured in leading national and industry publications. More about Michael

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