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Should You Buy Own Home Before You Buy Rental Property?

Should I buy my own home first before I buy a rental property? I do not currently own a home.

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

We typically recommend that borrowers buy an owner-occupied home and live in it for at least a year before you buy an investment property. Buying an owner-occupied home also potentially enables you to use low / no down payment mortgage programs and home buyer assistance grants which make it easier to buy a home. FREEandCLEAR provides a comprehensive summary of low / no down payment mortgage programs as well as a helpful comparison of these programs. Specifically, we provide a detailed overview of 1% down payment mortgage programs that many borrowers find interesting. Borrowers can also combine a low down payment mortgage program with a Closing Cost Assistance Program or Down Payment Grant to pay for all or part of their closing costs and down payment when buying a home.

When you apply for a mortgage, lenders focus on your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, employment history and other mortgage qualification guidelines to determine what size loan and mortgage programs you qualify for. For example, lenders typically require borrowers to have a two year employment history to qualify for a mortgage, although exceptions are made in certain cases. Additionally, you can use our Mortgage Qualification Calculator to determine what size mortgage you can afford based on your monthly gross income and debt expense figures

After you have lived in your home for about a year you can turn your focus to building your rental property portfolio. We provide a comprehensive overview of non-owner occupied mortgages as well as a thorough overview of how to get a mortgage on an investment property on FREEandCLEAR for you to review.

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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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