Buy a 2-4 Unit Home With Only a 5% Down Payment?! Yes!

Buy a 2-4 Unit Home With Only a 5% Down Payment?! Yes!

For aspiring homeowners and real estate investors, purchasing a multi-unit property has just become more accessible. Fannie Mae, one of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) that plays a significant role in the U.S. housing market, has recently announced an exciting change in its lending policies. Starting from November 18, 2023, Fannie Mae will allow a 5% down payment option for 2-4 unit properties. In this article, we’ll explore the implications of this announcement and what it means for potential buyers and investors.

  1. Fannie Mae’s Role in the Mortgage Market

Fannie Mae, along with its counterpart Freddie Mac, has a crucial role in ensuring the liquidity and stability of the U.S. housing market. These government-sponsored enterprises purchase mortgages from lenders, which, in turn, allows lenders to offer more affordable home loans to a broader range of borrowers. By adapting their lending policies to changing market conditions, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continuously strive to make homeownership more attainable.

  1. The 5% Down Payment Option

Historically, multi-unit properties, such as duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes, have often required larger down payments compared to single-family homes. However, Fannie Mae’s decision to offer a 5% down payment option for 2-4 unit properties is a game-changer. This means that starting on November 18, 2023, buyers can potentially secure a loan for a multi-unit property with just a 5% down payment, making it more feasible for individuals and families to enter the real estate market.

  1. The Implications of the Announcement

a. Increased Affordability: The 5% down payment option opens doors to homeownership for those who may have been previously discouraged by the higher down payment requirements associated with multi-unit properties. This move is in line with Fannie Mae’s mission to promote housing affordability.

b. Investment Opportunities: Investors looking to diversify their real estate portfolios will find this change particularly appealing. Multi-unit properties offer the opportunity to generate rental income from multiple units, potentially making it a financially savvy investment.

c. Primary Residence Requirement: It’s important to note that Fannie Mae’s 5% down payment option is intended for borrowers who plan to occupy one of the units as their primary residence. This program is not designed for investors purchasing solely for rental income.

  1. Preparing for the Change

If you’re considering taking advantage of Fannie Mae’s new 5% down payment option for 2-4 unit properties, here are some steps to consider:

a. Review Your Finances: Check your credit score and evaluate your financial situation to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria.

b. Consult a Mortgage Professional: Reach out to a qualified mortgage professional who can guide you through the application process and provide personalized advice.

c. Property Research: Conduct thorough market research to identify potential properties that fit your budget and investment goals.

d. Budget for Additional Costs: Keep in mind that, with a down payment less than 20%, you may be required to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI), which adds to your monthly expenses.

Fannie Mae’s decision to allow a 5% down payment for 2-4 unit properties starting from November 18, 2023, is a significant development in the world of real estate financing. This move will make homeownership and real estate investment more accessible and affordable for a wider range of individuals and families. As with any major financial decision, it’s essential to thoroughly assess your financial readiness and conduct careful research before taking the plunge into multi-unit property ownership. With the right preparation, this change can open up exciting new opportunities in the real estate market.

Tai DeSa is a graduate of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  He became a full-time real estate investor in 2004 after serving in the U.S. Navy.  Tai made colossal mistakes in investing (and learned some things along the way).  Tai has coached hundreds of entrepreneurs, real estate investors, and real estate agents on how to increase their income and net worth. He has helped hundreds of homeowners avoid foreclosure through successful short sales. Check out Tai’s books on Tai may be available for coaching and speaking engagements on a variety of real estate topics.  Send an email to

No Comments

Post A Comment