Buying a Multifamily Property With No Money Down

Buying a Multifamily Property With No Money Down: What You Should Know First

Real estate investments make money through appreciation and rental income. Real estate can diversify a portfolio and act as a hedge against inflation, since landlords can pass rising costs to tenants. But the down payment on multifamily investment properties? At least 20%, or 25% to get a better rate.

It’s true that eligible borrowers may use a 0% down U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loan for a property with up to four units as long as they live there. But those loans serve a relative few and are considered residential financing. Properties with more than four units are considered commercial.

So how can a cash-poor but curiosity-rich person tap the potential of multifamily properties? By not footing the entire bill themselves.

Key Points

•   Real estate investments offer potential income through appreciation and rental income, providing a hedge against inflation.

•   Eligible borrowers can use a 0% down VA loan for properties with up to four units.

•   Various financing strategies enable purchasing multifamily properties with little to no personal money upfront.

•   Options like finding a co-borrower, securing hard money loans, or obtaining seller financing can facilitate the acquisition.

•   Indirect investment methods include crowdfunding and real estate investment trusts (REITs), allowing participation without direct landlord responsibilities.

Can You Buy a Multifamily Property With No Money?

When you buy real estate, you typically have two options: Buy with cash or finance your purchase with a mortgage loan.

There are various types of mortgages. If you take out a home loan, you’ll likely need to pay a portion of the purchase price in cash in the form of a down payment. The minimum down payment you make will depend on the type of mortgage you choose — the average down payment on a house is well under 20% — and it will help determine what terms and interest rates you’ll be offered by lenders.

This money needs to come from somewhere, but it doesn’t necessarily need to come from your own savings account. When investors buy multifamily properties with “no money down,” it just means they are using little to no personal money to cover the upfront costs.

If you don’t have much cash of your own, there are several ways that you can fund the purchase of a multifamily investment property.


💡 Quick Tip: Jumbo mortgage loans are the answer for borrowers who need to borrow more than the conforming loan limit values set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency ($766,550 in most places, or $1,149,825 in many high-cost areas). If you have your eye on a pricier property, a jumbo loan could be a good solution.

6 Ways to Pay for a Multifamily Property

Find a Co-Borrower

If you don’t have the money to front the costs of a property yourself, you may be able to partner with a family member, friend, or business partner. They may have the money to cover the down payment, and you might pull your weight by researching properties or managing them.

When you co-borrow with someone, you’ll each be responsible for the monthly mortgage payments. You’ll also share profits in the form of rents or capital gains if you sell the property.

Give an Equity Share

You may give an equity investor a share in the property to cover the down payment. Say a multifamily property costs $750,000, and you need a 20% down payment. An equity investor could give you $150,000 in exchange for 20% of the monthly rental income and 20% of the profit when the property is sold.

Borrow From a Hard Money Lender

Hard money loans are offered by private lenders or investors, not banks. The mortgage underwriting process tends to be less strict than that of traditional mortgages. Depending on the property you want to buy, no down payment may be required.

These loans (also called bridge loans) have high interest rates and short terms — one to three years is typical — with interest-only payments the norm. For this reason, they may be used by investors who may be looking to flip the property in short order, allowing them to make a profit and pay off the loan quickly.

First-time homebuyers can
prequalify for a SoFi mortgage loan,
with as little as 3% down.


House Hack

House hacking refers to leveraging property you already own to generate income. For example, you might rent out an in-law suite or list your property on Airbnb.

Another option: You could rent out your primary residence and move into one of the units in a multifamily property you buy. This way, you’d probably generate more income than if you had rented out the unit to a tenant.

Finally, you could hop on the ADU bandwagon if you own a single-family home. Accessory dwelling units can take the form of a converted garage, an attached or detached unit, or an interior conversion. The rental income can be sizable. To fund a new ADU, homeowners may tap home equity, look into cash-out refinancing, or even use a personal loan.

Seek Seller Financing

If you don’t have the cash for a down payment on a property, you may be able to forgo financing from a lending institution and get help instead from the seller.

With owner financing, there are no minimum down payment requirements. Several types of seller financing arrangements exist:

•   All-inclusive mortgage: The seller extends credit for the entire purchase price of the home, less any down payment.

•   Junior mortgage: The buyer finances a portion of the sales price through a lending institution, while the seller finances the difference.

•   Land contracts: The buyer and seller share ownership until the buyer makes the final payment on the property and receives the deed.

•   Lease purchase: The buyer leases the property from the seller for a set period of time, after which the owner agrees to sell the property at previously agreed-upon terms. Lease payments may count toward the purchase price.

•   Assumable mortgage: A buyer may be able to take over a seller’s mortgage if the lender approves and the buyer qualifies. FHA, VA, and USDA loans are assumable mortgages.

Invest Indirectly

Not everyone wants to become a landlord in order to add real estate to their portfolio. Luckily, they can invest indirectly, including through crowdfunding sites and real estate investment trusts (REITs).

The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2013 allows real estate investors to pool their money through online real estate crowdfunding platforms to buy multifamily and other types of properties. The platforms give average investors access to real estate options that were once only available to the very wealthy.

REITs are companies that own various types of real estate, including apartment buildings. Investors can buy shares on the open market, and the company passes along the profits generated by rent. To qualify as a REIT, the company must pass along at least 90% of its taxable income to shareholders each year.

As investment opportunities go, REITs can be a good choice for passive-income investors.


💡 Quick Tip: To see a house in person, particularly in a tight or expensive market, you may need to show the real estate agent proof that you’re preapproved for a mortgage. SoFi’s online application makes the process simple.

The Takeaway

Buying a multifamily property with no money down is possible if you take the roads less traveled, including leveraging other people’s money. And if you have the means to make a down payment on a property, your first step is to research possible home mortgage loans.

Looking for an affordable option for a home mortgage loan? SoFi can help: We offer low down payments (as little as 3% - 5%*) with our competitive and flexible home mortgage loans. Plus, applying is extra convenient: It's online, with access to one-on-one help.


SoFi Mortgages: simple, smart, and so affordable.

FAQ

Can I buy a multifamily home with an FHA loan?

It is possible to buy a property with up to four units with a standard mortgage backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) if the buyer plans to live in one of the units for at least a year. The FHA considers homes with up to four units single-family housing. The down payment could be as low as 3.5%. There are loan limits.

A rarer product, an FHA multifamily loan, may be used to buy a property with five or more units. The down payment is higher. You’ll pay mortgage insurance premiums upfront and annually for any FHA loan.

Is a multifamily property considered a commercial property?

Properties with five or more units are generally considered commercial real estate. Commercial real estate loans usually have shorter terms, and higher interest rates and down payment requirements than residential loans. They almost always include a prepayment penalty.


Photo credit: iStock/jsmith

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


SoFi Mortgages
Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. Not all products are available in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information.


*SoFi requires Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) for conforming home loans with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio greater than 80%. As little as 3% down payments are for qualifying first-time homebuyers only. 5% minimum applies to other borrowers. Other loan types may require different fees or insurance (e.g., VA funding fee, FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums, etc.). Loan requirements may vary depending on your down payment amount, and minimum down payment varies by loan type.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

¹FHA loans are subject to unique terms and conditions established by FHA and SoFi. Ask your SoFi loan officer for details about eligibility, documentation, and other requirements. FHA loans require an Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium (UFMIP), which may be financed or paid at closing, in addition to monthly Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP). Maximum loan amounts vary by county. The minimum FHA mortgage down payment is 3.5% for those who qualify financially for a primary purchase. SoFi is not affiliated with any government agency.
Veterans, Service members, and members of the National Guard or Reserve may be eligible for a loan guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. VA loans are subject to unique terms and conditions established by VA and SoFi. Ask your SoFi loan officer for details about eligibility, documentation, and other requirements. VA loans typically require a one-time funding fee except as may be exempted by VA guidelines. The fee may be financed or paid at closing. The amount of the fee depends on the type of loan, the total amount of the loan, and, depending on loan type, prior use of VA eligibility and down payment amount. The VA funding fee is typically non-refundable. SoFi is not affiliated with any government agency.

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Guide to Credit Union vs Bank Mortgages

Guide to Credit Union vs Bank Mortgages

When looking for a home loan, the two main choices of financial institutions are credit unions and banks. Each option comes with pros and cons.

Here’s an overview to help you make the right choice for your situation. You might start with general tips when shopping for a mortgage.

How Credit Union and Bank Mortgages Are Similar

Common types of home loans include fixed-rate and adjustable-rate loans as well as conventional and government-insured loans (such as FHA and VA loans). Most of the different mortgage types are available at both credit unions and banks.

At a high level, approval processes are the same at each type of financial institution as well. Each will have mortgage underwriting guidelines, and after a borrower applies, the loan will be reviewed and approved, suspended, or denied.

Plus, both may offer mortgage preapprovals.


💡 Quick Tip: SoFi’s Lock and Look + feature allows you to lock in a low mortgage financing rate for 90 days while you search for the perfect place to call home

Differences Between Credit Union and Bank Mortgages

So, credit union or bank for mortgages? Beyond general similarities, differences exist. Let’s look at credit union mortgages and then bank home loans.

Benefits of Getting a Credit Union Mortgage

Are credit unions good for mortgages? In many ways they are. While a bank has stockholders, a credit union consists of members (account holders) who more or less serve in this role. A bank must satisfy its investors by making a profit; credit unions don’t, so they can return those dollars to members through more attractive interest rates, lower fees, and more.

To enhance their members’ financial wellness, credit unions typically provide the following benefits:

Looser Approval Criteria

In general, credit unions may approve more loans in the lower- to middle-income range for their members. Plus, when credit scores are less than ideal, a credit union loan is sometimes the better choice.

Lower Interest Rates

Overall, credit unions offer lower rates on their mortgage loans. To estimate how much money this may save you, use a mortgage calculator.

Fewer Fees

Credit unions can pass on savings to members through lower fees as well as lower rates.

The Personal Touch

Because credit unions are less likely to sell their mortgage loans to a third party, a borrower is more likely to know the loan servicer (the credit union). This can lead to more personalized service.

Recommended: How Does the Mortgage Preapproval Process Work?

Disadvantages of Getting a Credit Union Mortgage

Are credit unions better for mortgages? That depends on a borrower’s needs and preferences because disadvantages of credit union mortgages also exist, including these:

Membership is a Must

In most cases, a borrower must meet certain requirements to join a credit union. This can include living in a certain community, belonging to a certain profession, or otherwise having the appropriate affiliation.

Fewer Locations

Usually, credit unions have fewer branches, which can limit their geographical range. So when away from home, outside the credit union’s range, it may be harder to conduct all the financial transactions you might like. For example, the ATM network may be smaller and less convenient.

Stale Tech

Because credit unions are often more local institutions, they typically won’t have the up-to-date technology found at larger banks. So if a borrower wants first-class online and mobile banking, credit unions may not be the best choice.

Limited Menu

Credit unions may offer fewer financial products, especially on the savings and investment side. They may only offer checking and savings accounts, for example, plus credit cards. Although that may not affect a borrower’s ability to get a mortgage, this can limit what other products they can benefit from at the credit union.

Possibly Higher Interest Rates

Sometimes credit unions can’t compete with banks, especially when a large bank offers especially good interest rates. So be sure to compare rates if you’re looking for the most attractive ones.


💡 Quick Tip: Generally, the lower your debt-to-income ratio, the better loan terms you’ll be offered. One way to improve your ratio is to increase your income (hello, side hustle!). Another way is to consolidate your debt and lower your monthly debt payments.

Benefits of Getting a Bank Mortgage

Getting a home loan at a bank has its upsides, including these:

Variety of Services

Banks often offer a significant range of savings, lending, and retirement-related financial products, making it easier for a borrower to have an all-in-one financial institution.

Multiple Branches and ATMs

Banks, especially national ones, will typically allow you to have access to multiple branches in more locations as well as a larger ATM network. This can make for a more convenient experience.

New Tech

Banks are, overall, more likely to have the latest in banking technology, including the ability to bank online and to use more sophisticated mobile apps.

Disadvantages of Getting a Bank Mortgage

Meanwhile, drawbacks of getting a bank home loan can include the following:

Higher Interest Rates

Banks need to generate profit for stockholders — and credit unions don’t — so banks may charge a higher rate on home loans. But this isn’t universally true, so it’s always a good idea to compare rates.

Higher Fees

In general, banks charge higher mortgage fees than credit unions do. Although not always true, this is something to investigate.

Less Personalized Customer Service

Because credit union membership tends to be smaller and more local, bank customers may receive less personal service, especially when using a branch outside their more typical one (perhaps while traveling). Plus, banks are more likely to sell mortgage loans to a third-party loan servicer.

With any lender, bank, or credit union, a house hunter should feel at ease asking a range of mortgage questions.

The Takeaway

Credit union vs. bank mortgage? Each has its upsides and potential downsides. Borrowers looking for a home mortgage loan can explore the pros and cons to make the right choice for their specific situation.

Looking for an affordable option for a home mortgage loan? SoFi can help: We offer low down payments (as little as 3% - 5%*) with our competitive and flexible home mortgage loans. Plus, applying is extra convenient: It's online, with access to one-on-one help.


SoFi Mortgages: simple, smart, and so affordable.

FAQ

Is it better to get a mortgage at a credit union?

Not necessarily. It’s a good idea to look into what each route offers before making the right choice for you.

What are the disadvantages of credit unions?

Credit unions tend to be smaller and more localized than many banks, so disadvantages can include fewer locations, a smaller ATM network, and more limited financial products. Borrowers must qualify to become a credit union member; technology probably won’t be as modern as that at a larger bank; and, in some cases, costs can be higher.

Are credit unions safe for mortgages?

The National Credit Union Administration insures deposits of up to $250,000 at all federal and some state credit unions, protects the members who own credit unions, and regulates federal credit unions. Eligible bank accounts of the same amount are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Can I take out a HELOC or second mortgage through a credit union?

Not all credit unions offer the same products, but many of them do offer home equity lines of credit and home equity loans.


Photo credit: iStock/Lemon_tm

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


SoFi Mortgages
Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. Not all products are available in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information.


*SoFi requires Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) for conforming home loans with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio greater than 80%. As little as 3% down payments are for qualifying first-time homebuyers only. 5% minimum applies to other borrowers. Other loan types may require different fees or insurance (e.g., VA funding fee, FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums, etc.). Loan requirements may vary depending on your down payment amount, and minimum down payment varies by loan type.

+Lock and Look program: Terms and conditions apply. Applies to conventional purchase loans only. Rate will lock for 91 calendar days at the time of preapproval. An executed purchase contract is required within 60 days of your initial rate lock. If current market pricing improves by 0.25 percentage points or more from the original locked rate, you may request your loan officer to review your loan application to determine if you qualify for a one-time float down. SoFi reserves the right to change or terminate this offer at any time with or without notice to you.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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All You Need to Know About Mortgage Credit Certificates (MCCs)

All You Need to Know About Mortgage Credit Certificates (MCCs)

To make homeownership more affordable, the federal government offers programs for first-time homebuyers and buyers with low to moderate incomes. The mortgage credit certificate (MCC) program is one option that helps eligible first-time homebuyers save money on their mortgage.

This guide will unpack how a mortgage credit certificate works, the pros and cons, and claiming it on your taxes.

What Is an MCC?

A mortgage credit certificate, sometimes called a mortgage certificate credit, is designed to help homebuyers recoup a portion of the interest paid on their home mortgage loan. An MCC is a dollar-for-dollar federal tax credit of up to $2,000 on the mortgage interest paid annually. It’s a nonrefundable credit, which just means that the amount of your credit can’t exceed the amount of income tax owed for that filing year.

If you take out a mortgage to buy a home, your monthly payment has four components: principal, interest, taxes, and insurance. State and local housing finance agencies issue MCCs, and if you receive one you can claim the dollar equivalent as a tax deduction to reduce the amount you owe in federal taxes. (Not all states offer MCCs, however. Michigan offers one, for example, while Massachusetts does not.) Eligible homeowners can take advantage of an MCC even if they take the standard deduction rather than itemize deductions. If you are one of the few homeowners who itemizes, any remaining mortgage interest not accounted for in an MCC may qualify for the mortgage interest deduction.

Eligibility for this program is based on income and is generally only available for first-time homebuyers who qualify, though others may be able to buy a home in a “targeted area” designated by the state or Department of Housing and Urban Development and claim a mortgage tax credit.

Keep in mind that different mortgage types may have fixed or variable interest rates. Most fixed-rate loans are eligible for an MCC.

Recommended: First-Time Homebuyer Guide

How Does It Work?

Getting a handle on tax credits and deductions can be confusing as a new homeowner, and that’s OK.

To reiterate, an MCC lets you claim a tax credit for a portion of the mortgage interest paid in a year. This lowers your tax liability, which is the amount you owe to the federal government.

The portion of the mortgage interest you can claim with an MCC, known as the tax credit percentage, depends on the state you live in. Generally, the tax credit percentage ranges from 10% to 50% of a homeowner’s total annual mortgage interest.

The tax credit percentage, the mortgage amount, and interest rate are needed to calculate the total MCC. Note, however, that an annual MCC deduction is capped at $2,000 and can’t exceed a recipient’s total federal income tax liability after factoring in other deductions and credits.

It’s helpful to show how claiming an MCC works in practice. You’ll need to know some mortgage basics, like the interest rate, before getting started.

For instance, a homeowner with a $250,000 mortgage, 3.5% interest rate, and tax credit percentage of 20% could receive a first-year MCC tax credit of $1,750.

Here’s how to break this calculation down by steps:

1.    Determine the mortgage loan balance ($250,000), interest rate (3.5%), and tax credit percentage (20%)

2.    Multiply the loan balance and interest rate to calculate the total interest paid ($250,000 x 0.035 = $8,750)

3.    Multiply the total interest paid by the tax credit percentage to calculate the MCC tax credit ($8,750 x 0.2 = $1,750)

The $1,750 would be applied to your total federal tax bill, rather than deducted from your income. Let’s take a closer look at how claiming an MCC in this example would affect your federal income taxes.

With an MCC

Without an MCC

Income $70,000 $70,000
Mortgage Interest Paid $7,000 (total mortgage interest – MCC tax credit) $8,750
Taxable Income $63,000 $61,250
Federal Taxes Owed (22% tax rate) $13,860 $13,475
MCC Tax Credit $1,750 0
Total Federal Tax Bill $12,110 $13,475

In this example, a mortgage credit certificate could lower the amount owed in federal income taxes by $1,365. If you don’t have a mortgage yet, use this mortgage calculator to estimate your interest rate, loan amount, and, on the amortization chart, interest paid.

Mortgage Credit Certificate Pros and Cons

The mortgage credit certificate program was established by the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 to make homeownership more affordable for low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers. While an MCC tax credit can provide financial benefits, there are some potential drawbacks to consider, too.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of MCC pros and cons to help you figure out if an MCC is right for you if you’re a first-time buyer.

Pros

Cons

You can receive up to $2,000 in savings on taxes owed every year you’re paying mortgage interest, and carry over unused portions to following years. A portion of MCC benefits may be subject to a recapture tax if you move before nine years, have a significant increase in income, or experience a gain from the home sale.
MCCs can reduce the cost of interest and decrease your debt-to-income ratio to help with mortgage preapproval and qualification. If you have limited tax liability, a MCC tax credit may not pose much benefit since it’s nonrefundable.
MCCs are eligible with most fixed-rate mortgage options, including FHA, VA, USDA, and conventional loans. Obtaining a MCC may come with processing fees, depending on the lender.
First-time homebuyer requirement is more flexible than other programs and can be waived for active military and veterans or if purchasing a home in targeted areas designated by federal and state government. The mortgage tax credit cannot be applied to a secondary residence and might not be reissued when refinancing.

How to Get a Mortgage Credit Certificate

Borrowers are issued an MCC through their lender before closing. Thus, it’s important to discuss options early in the process and when shopping for a mortgage.

Eligibility for an MCC varies by location. State housing finance agencies (HFAs) have established requirements for obtaining an MCC, if one is offered. These include limits on household income, loan amount, and home purchase price.

Other criteria to get an MCC include the following:

•   HFA-approved lender: The HFA may require borrowing from an approved list of lenders.

•   First-time homebuyer status: Borrowers must not have owned a principal resident in the past three years.

•   Primary residence: Only owner-occupied homes are eligible for an MCC.

•   Homebuyer education: HFAs may require borrowers to participate in education courses during the purchase process.

Claiming a Mortgage Credit Certificate on Your Taxes

To claim the MCC each year on your taxes, fill out IRS Form 8396. You’ll need to know the amount of interest you paid on the mortgage that year and the tax credit percentage set for the MCC.

Once complete, you’ll also know if any credit can be carried over for the following tax year.

The Takeaway

What is a MCC? A mortgage credit certificate is a federal income tax credit on a portion of the mortgage interest paid annually for low- to moderate-income first-time homebuyers or people purchasing a home in a targeted area.

The home buying process is a serious undertaking, especially for first-time homebuyers. To get up to speed, SoFi’s mortgage help center is a useful place to start and have your mortgage questions answered.

Looking for an affordable option for a home mortgage loan? SoFi can help: We offer low down payments (as little as 3% - 5%*) with our competitive and flexible home mortgage loans. Plus, applying is extra convenient: It's online, with access to one-on-one help.


SoFi Mortgages: simple, smart, and so affordable.

FAQ

Who gives you the mortgage credit certificate?

A mortgage credit certificate program is administered by state-level housing finance agencies and issued by mortgage brokers or lenders.

Does everyone get a mortgage credit certificate?

No, mortgage credit certificates have borrower income limits and other eligibility requirements. For context, only 10,836 MCCs were issued in 2022, down from 22,298 issued in 2019, likely due to the fact that some states have discontinued their MCC program.

Can I refinance with a mortgage credit certificate?

A mortgage credit certificate does not prevent you from refinancing, but you’ll lose the MCC on your current loan. Many programs, though, allow borrowers to apply to receive a new MCC issued with their refinanced mortgage.

How do I know if I have an MCC?

Borrowers apply for an MCC prior to closing and receive a physical copy with a unique certificate number from their local or state government.

Do I lose my mortgage credit certificate if I refinance?

The original mortgage credit certificate becomes void if you refinance, but you may be able to have the MCC reissued if the principal balance on the refinanced loan is lower than the original.


Photo credit: iStock/Morsa Images

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


SoFi Mortgages
Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. Not all products are available in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information.


*SoFi requires Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) for conforming home loans with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio greater than 80%. As little as 3% down payments are for qualifying first-time homebuyers only. 5% minimum applies to other borrowers. Other loan types may require different fees or insurance (e.g., VA funding fee, FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums, etc.). Loan requirements may vary depending on your down payment amount, and minimum down payment varies by loan type.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.

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How Much a $400,000 Mortgage Will Cost You

The monthly payments on a $400,000 mortgage could range from about $2,300 to more than $3,700, depending on the loan’s interest rate, term, and other factors. But hopeful homebuyers would be wise to consider how much that mortgage could cost over time as well as what the monthly payments might be. Read on for a breakdown of what some of your home-buying costs might be, and how they could affect the total cost of a $400,000 mortgage.

What Will a $400,000 Mortgage Cost?

There are several different costs you may run into when taking out a mortgage. Most of the time, they can be divided into three main categories.

First-time homebuyers can
prequalify for a SoFi mortgage loan,
with as little as 3% down.


Closing Costs

Closing costs are expenses you’ll pay upfront when you get a loan. They can include things like loan processing fees, third-party services such as appraisals and title insurance, and government fees and taxes. You also may decide to pay mortgage points (also called discount points) upfront on your loan to lower the interest rate. Closing costs can vary significantly from one loan type and lender to the next, but they generally range from 3% to 6% of the mortgage amount.

Monthly Payments

Monthly mortgage payments, which are paid over the life of your loan, typically include two main parts:

•   Principal: This portion of your mortgage payment goes directly toward paying back the amount you borrowed.

•   Interest: This is the fee the lender will charge you for borrowing money. The amount of interest you pay each month will be calculated by multiplying your interest rate by your remaining loan balance.

Escrow

Some homebuyers may also have a third amount, called escrow, included in their closing costs and/or monthly payments. Lenders often collect and hold money in an escrow account so they can be sure critical bills like homeowners insurance and property taxes are paid on time. (Curious about the most budget-friendly places to buy? Check out this list of the most affordable cities in each state.)


💡 Quick Tip: SoFi’s Lock and Look + feature allows you to lock in a low mortgage financing rate for 90 days while you search for the perfect place to call home.

What Would the Payment Be on a $400,000 Mortgage?

We’ll keep things simple and eliminate the costs associated with an escrow account to calculate what the payment on a $400,000 mortgage’s monthly payments might be.

Let’s say you wanted to purchase a home for $500,000, and you had $100,000 for a down payment. If your lender offered you a 7% annual percentage rate (APR) on a 15-year loan for $400,000, you could expect your monthly payment — principal and interest — to be about $3,595. If you had a 30-year loan with a 7% APR, your payment could be about $2,661.

Here are some more examples that show the difference between a 15-year loan vs. a 30-year loan, using SoFi’s Mortgage Calculator:

APR Payment with 15-year Loan Payment with 30-year Loan
5.5% $3,268 $2,271
6.5% $3,484 $2,528
7.5% $3,708 $2,796

Where Can You Get a $400,000 Mortgage?

Homebuyers may have a few different options when deciding where to go for a mortgage, including online banks and lenders, and traditional banks and credit unions. Because the rates and terms lenders offer may vary, it can be a good idea to shop around for a mortgage that’s the right fit for your individual needs.

Before you start looking for quotes, though, you may want to sit down and review the different types of mortgages you can qualify for. How would a 15-, 20-, or 30-year mortgage affect your monthly payments? Are you looking for a fixed or adjustable mortgage rate? Would you be better off with a conventional mortgage or a government-backed loan? (Some loans may have more flexible requirements for down payment amounts or a borrower’s credit score.)

Once you start comparison shopping, you can note the pros and cons of various offers and narrow down your choices. You also may want to read some online reviews of the lenders you’re considering.

Recommended: 2024 Home Loan Help Center

How Much Interest Will You Pay on a $400,000 Mortgage?

The interest rate your lender offers can make a big difference to the overall cost of your mortgage. So can the mortgage term you choose.

On a $400,000 mortgage at a 7% APR, for example, your total interest costs could range from $247,156 to $558,036, depending on the length of the loan you choose (15 vs. 30 years).

Spreading out your mortgage payments over a longer term can lower your monthly payment, but you can expect to pay more for the loan overall. Your financial circumstances at the time you take out your loan may dictate which is a priority for you. (If you go for a longer loan, and your situation changes, you may decide to refinance your home mortgage to a shorter term down the road.)


💡 Quick Tip: If you refinance your mortgage and shorten your loan term, you could save a substantial amount in interest over the lifetime of the loan.

How Does Amortization Work on a $400,000 Mortgage?

Though your payment will remain the same every month (if you have a fixed-rate loan), the amount you’ll pay toward interest vs. principal will change over the life of your home loan. In the first years, the majority of your payment will go toward interest. But as your balance goes down, more of your payment will go toward principal.

Your lender can provide you with a mortgage amortization schedule that shows you how the proportions will change as you make payments on your loan.

Here’s what the amortization schedules for a $400,000 mortgage with 30- and 15-year terms might look like. (Keep in mind that your payments may include other costs besides principal and interest.)

Amortization Schedule, 30-Year Loan at 7% APR

Year Amount Paid Interest Paid Principal Paid Remaining Balance
1 $31,934.52 $27,871.28 $4,063.24 $395,936.76
2 $31,934.52 $27,577.55 $4,356.97 $391,579.79
3 $31,934.52 $27,262.58 $4,671.94 $386,907.85
4 $31,934.52 $26,924.85 $5,009.67 $381,898.18
5 $31,934.52 $26,562.70 $5,371.82 $376,526.36
6 $31,934.52 $26,174.37 $5,760.15 $370,766.21
7 $31,934.52 $25,757.97 $6,176.55 $364,589.66
8 $31,934.52 $25,311.46 $6,623.06 $357,966.60
9 $31,934.52 $24,832.68 $7,101.84 $350,864.76
10 $31,934.52 $24,319.29 $7,615.23 $343,249.53
11 $31,934.52 $23,768.78 $8,165.74 $335,083.80
12 $31,934.52 $23,178.48 $8,756.04 $326,327.76
13 $31,934.52 $22,545.51 $9,389.01 $316.938.75
14 $31,934.52 $21,866.78 $10,067.74 $306,871.01
15 $31,934.52 $21,138.98 $10,795.54 $296,075.46
16 $31,934.52 $20,358.57 $11,575.95 $284,499.51
17 $31,934.52 $19,521.74 $12,412.78 $272,086.73
18 $31,934.52 $18,624.42 $13,310.10 $258,776.63
19 $31,934.52 $17,662.23 $14,272.29 $244,504.35
20 $31,934.52 $16,630.49 $15,304.03 $229,200.31
21 $31,934.52 $15,524.16 $16,410.36 $212,789.95
22 $31,934.52 $14,337.85 $17,596.67 $195,193.28
23 $31,934.52 $13,065.79 $18,868.73 $176,324.55
24 $31,934.52 $11,701.76 $20,232.76 $156,091.79
25 $31,934.52 $10,239.14 $21,695.38 $134,396.41
26 $31,934.52 $8,670.78 $23,263.74 $111,132.66
27 $31,934.52 $6,989.04 $24,945.48 $86,187.18
28 $31,934.52 $5,185.73 $26,748.79 $59,438.39
29 $31,934.52 $3,252.05 $28,682.47 $30,755.92
30 $31,934.52 $30,755.92 $1,178.60 $0

Amortization Schedule, 15-Year Loan at 7% APR

Year Amount Paid Interest Paid Principal Paid Remaining Balance
1 $43,143.76 $27,504.57 $15,639.19 $384,360.81
2 $43,143.76 $26,374.01 $16,769.75 $367,591.06
3 $43,143.76 $25,161.72 $17,982.04 $349,609.02
4 $43,143.76 $23,861.80 $19,281.96 $330,327.06
5 $43,143.76 $22,467.90 $20,675.85 $309,651.21
6 $43,143.76 $20,973.24 $22,170.51 $287,480.69
7 $43,143.76 $19,370.54 $23,773.22 $263,707.47
8 $43,143.76 $17,651.97 $25,491.79 $238,215.68
9 $43,143.76 $15,809.16 $27,334.59 $210,881.09
10 $43,143.76 $13,833.14 $29,310.61 $181,570.48
11 $43,143.76 $11,714.28 $31,429.48 $150,141.00
12 $43,143.76 $9,442.24 $33,701.52 $116,439.48
13 $43,143.76 $7,005.95 $36,137.80 $80,301.67
14 $43,143.76 $4,393.55 $38,750.21 $41,551.47
15 $43,143.76 $1,592.29 $41,551.47 $0

How to Get a $400,000 Mortgage

If you’re feeling intimidated by the whole home-buying process, breaking it down into some manageable steps may make things a little less overwhelming.

First, Determine What You Can Afford

Reviewing your income, debts, monthly spending, and how much you’ve saved for a down payment can be a good place to start. This will help you decide how much of a down payment you can handle and how much house you can afford.

Compare Different Loans and Lenders

Once you know what you can afford, you can start looking for the loan type, interest rate, loan term, and lender that meet your needs.

Consider Getting Preapproved

If you’ve decided on a loan and lender, it can be a good idea to go through the preapproval process. Getting a letter from your lender that says you’re preapproved for a certain loan amount lets sellers know you’re a serious buyer. (And it can come in handy if you get into a bidding war for your dream home.)

Get Ready to Go House Hunting

When you have your loan lined up, you can look for and potentially make an offer on a house. And since you already know how much you can afford, you can target homes in that range.

Submit a Full Mortgage Application

Once your offer is accepted and you’re ready to move forward, your lender will ask you to complete a more formal loan application and provide additional financial information and documentation.

Prepare for Closing

While you’re waiting for a final loan approval and a closing date, you can shop for homeowners insurance, get a home inspection, and make sure you have all the money you need for your down payment and closing costs.

Take Ownership of Your New Home

At the closing you can sign all the necessary paperwork, hand over the funds needed to make the purchase, and — congratulations! — get the keys to your new home.

Recommended: First-Time Homebuyer Guide

The Takeaway

Researching the different costs you might have to pay if you plan to take out a $400,000 mortgage can help you stick to your budget and avoid unpleasant surprises.

The choices you make about the type of loan you get, the interest rate, loan term, and other costs, will all play part in how much you pay every month — and over the length of the loan. So it can be a good idea to run the numbers before you decide on a particular lender or loan.

Looking for an affordable option for a home mortgage loan? SoFi can help: We offer low down payments (as little as 3% - 5%*) with our competitive and flexible home mortgage loans. Plus, applying is extra convenient: It's online, with access to one-on-one help.

SoFi Mortgages: simple, smart, and so affordable.

FAQ

How much is a $400,000 mortgage a month?

The monthly payment for a $400,000 mortgage could range from about $2,300 to more than $3,700, depending on several factors, including the interest rate and loan term.

How much income is required for a $400,000 mortgage?

Lenders will look at several factors besides your income to determine if you can afford a $400,000 mortgage. You can expect to be asked about your debt, credit history, assets, and the down payment you plan to make.

How much is a down payment on a $400,000 mortgage?

Your down payment may vary depending on the price of the house you choose, the type of loan you get, and if you want to avoid paying private mortgage insurance as part of your borrowing costs. Traditionally, lenders like to see a 20% down payment, which on a $500,000 home would be a $100,000 down payment and a $400,000 mortgage. But many lenders accept lower down payments.

Can I afford a $400,000 mortgage with a $70,000 salary?

Since your housing costs (monthly payments, insurance, etc.) would likely be more than half your monthly salary, it could be a challenge to afford a $400,000 mortgage on a $70,000 salary.


Photo credit: iStock/svetikd

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


SoFi Mortgages
Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. Not all products are available in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information.


*SoFi requires Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) for conforming home loans with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio greater than 80%. As little as 3% down payments are for qualifying first-time homebuyers only. 5% minimum applies to other borrowers. Other loan types may require different fees or insurance (e.g., VA funding fee, FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums, etc.). Loan requirements may vary depending on your down payment amount, and minimum down payment varies by loan type.

+Lock and Look program: Terms and conditions apply. Applies to conventional purchase loans only. Rate will lock for 91 calendar days at the time of preapproval. An executed purchase contract is required within 60 days of your initial rate lock. If current market pricing improves by 0.25 percentage points or more from the original locked rate, you may request your loan officer to review your loan application to determine if you qualify for a one-time float down. SoFi reserves the right to change or terminate this offer at any time with or without notice to you.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.

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I Make $100,000 a Year. How Much House Can I Afford?

On a salary of $100,000 per year, as long as you have minimal debt, you can afford a house priced at around $311,000 with a monthly payment of $2,333. This number assumes a 6.5% interest rate and a down payment of around $30,000.

The 28/36 rule is often used as a guide when deciding how much house you can afford. The rule stipulates that you should not spend more than 28 percent of your salary on overall housing costs and no more than 36 percent on housing costs and your debt. On a salary of $100K with debts of about $250 per month, a house costing $311,000 just fits in your budget.

However, how much home you can afford depends on other factors also, such as where you intend to live and how much you have saved as a down payment.

This article looks at how all of these factors affect your home purchase and gives some examples of how much home you can realistically afford on a salary of $100,000.

First-time homebuyers can
prequalify for a SoFi mortgage loan,
with as little as 3% down.


What Kind of House Can I Afford With $100K a Year?

Another rule of thumb often applied when buying a home is to not spend more than three times your annual income on a home. If you earn $100,000 a year, that would be $300,000.

A salary of $100,000 is well above the national median income (according to Census data, the national median income was $74,580 in 2022). That puts you in a good position if you want to buy a home, particularly if the cost of living is low in the area that you are targeting. If you have substantial savings for a down payment and little debt, you’re even better positioned. Debt is important because lenders look at how much debt you have when they qualify you for a mortgage.

Your Debt-to-Income Ratio

Your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is the amount of income you receive relative to the amount of payments you make each month to cover your debt. You’ll get better loan terms, and your monthly mortgage loan payments will be less, if you have less debt.

That’s why many experts also recommend the 28/36 rule. So, if you earn $100K, your housing costs should be less than $28,000, $2,333 a month, and your debt and housing costs should not exceed $36,000, or $3,000 a month.

Your Down Payment

Unless you qualify for a zero-down USDA or VA loan, most lenders will expect a down payment of between 3% and 20%. The more you put down, the more house you can afford, but as you think about your down payment amount, make sure you reserve funds for closing costs, moving costs, and an emergency fund for unexpected expenses.

Home Affordability

Homes are more affordable in certain areas. Some areas have a higher cost of living and higher property taxes.

Your credit score will also affect how much home you can afford. If you have a high credit score, you will qualify for a lower interest rate loan. If you pay less interest, you can borrow more and still meet your monthly payments.

Depending on where you want to live, the housing market might dictate how big a home you can afford. House prices are affected by the economic conditions, and low unemployment rates and healthy economic growth gives buyers more purchasing power. If buyers have more purchasing power, they can afford bigger loans, and this will push up house prices.


💡 Quick Tip: When house hunting, don’t forget to lock in your home mortgage loan rate so there are no surprises if your offer is accepted.

How to Afford More House with Down Payment Assistance

Some people, such as first-time buyers or certain professionals like nurses and teachers, can qualify for down payment assistance from federal, state, and local government, private entities, and charitable organizations. Assistance might be in the form of a low-rate loan, cash grant, tax credit, or a reduced interest rate.

Applying for down payment assistance can add weeks or months to your home buying timeline, but for more information, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) keeps a list of programs listed by state, county, and city.

Here are typical down payment amounts for various types of mortgages.

•   Conventional mortgages require a 3% down payment for first-time buyers

•   FHA mortgages require 3.5% down

•   VA mortgages require 0% down

•   USDA: These zero down payment loans serve low-income borrowers in rural areas.

Home Affordability Examples

Let’s take a look at some hypothetical examples for those wondering, “If I make $100K how much home can I afford?” These examples assume an interest rate of 6.5% and average property taxes.

Example #1: Low Down Payment and Significant Debt

Gross annual income: $100,000
Down payment: $10,000
Monthly debt: $1000

Home budget: $238,441

Monthly mortgage payment: $2,000

Payment breakdown:

•   Principal and interest: $1,444

•   Property taxes: $208

•   Private mortgage insurance: $264

•   Homeowner’s insurance: $83

Example #2: Bigger Down Payment, Less Debt

Gross annual income: $100,000
Down payment: $40,000
Monthly debt: $300

Home budget: $333,212

Monthly mortgage payment: $2,333

Payment breakdown:

•   Principal and interest: $1,853

•   Property taxes: $208

•   Private mortgage insurance: $188

•   Homeowner’s insurance: $83

How to Calculate How Much House You Can Afford

You need a budget to find out how much house you can afford. Keeping a budget will show you how much you are spending each month versus how much income you have. Whatever you have leftover after paying essentials like food, clothing, and utilities is how much you can afford to spend on housing.

You can also use a mortgage calculator to help you. Just plug in your own numbers to find out what your monthly payments would be.


💡 Quick Tip: Not to be confused with prequalification, preapproval involves a longer application, documentation, and hard credit pulls. Ideally, you want to keep your applications for preapproval to within the same 14- to 45-day period, since many hard credit pulls outside the given time period can adversely affect your credit score, which in turn affects the mortgage terms you’ll be offered.

How Your Monthly Payment Affects Your Price Range

The more you can afford to pay each month for your mortgage and other housing expenses, the more house you can afford. However if you have significant debt payments each month, or you have a poor credit score that results in a higher interest rate for your loan, that will reduce the amount of loan you can afford and the price range.

Types of Home Loans Available to $100K Households

Four types of loans are the most common. These are conventional loans, FHA loans, USDA, and VA loans.

Conventional loans typically require a credit score of 620 or more, but the down payment can be as low as 3 percent. Remember that a lower down payment means higher monthly payments because you will have to borrow more.

FHA loans. With an FHA loan, home buyers with a credit score over 580 can borrow up to 96.5% of a home’s value. Home buyers with a lower credit score, between 500 to 579, can still qualify for a loan as long as they have a 10% down payment.

USDA: USDA loans are zero down payment financing for low-income borrowers in designated rural areas.

VA: VA loans also require no down payment and are available to qualified military service members, veterans, and their spouses.

The Takeaway

If you are looking to buy a home and would like a more realistic idea of what you can afford, first find out how much you are spending on necessities like food, clothing, transportation, and, most importantly, debt. What you have leftover is how much you can spend each month on housing expenses.

Once you have a grasp on your finances, you can use an affordability calculator to see how much of a house you can afford. The size of home that the amount will buy depends on the local housing market and the cost of living where you want to live.

Looking for an affordable option for a home mortgage loan? SoFi can help: We offer low down payments (as little as 3% - 5%*) with our competitive and flexible home mortgage loans. Plus, applying is extra convenient: It's online, with access to one-on-one help.

SoFi Mortgages: simple, smart, and so affordable.

FAQ

Is $100K a good salary for a single person?

A salary of $100k is above the national median income (according to Census data, the national median income was $74,580 in 2022). This is a good salary, but you still might struggle to buy a home in areas with a high cost of living. The larger down payment you have, and the better your credit score, the bigger house you can buy.

What is a comfortable income for a single person?

A comfortable income for a single person is dependent upon where that person lives. The findings from a study using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to calculate the cost of necessities to determine a living wage shows wide variance existing among states. According to the study, Hawaii is the most expensive state, and singles require an annual salary of $112,411 to live comfortably. In Mississippi, you can live comfortably on $45,906 a year.

What is a liveable wage in 2023?

A liveable wage will vary depending on where you live. However, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology determined that $104,07 per year was a liveable wage before taxes in 2022. This was for a family of four with two working adults and two children.

What salary is considered rich for a single person?

According to Internal Revenue Service data, an income of $540,009 per year puts a person in the top 1% earnings category.


Photo credit: iStock/Prostock-Studio

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


SoFi Mortgages
Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. Not all products are available in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information.


*SoFi requires Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) for conforming home loans with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio greater than 80%. As little as 3% down payments are for qualifying first-time homebuyers only. 5% minimum applies to other borrowers. Other loan types may require different fees or insurance (e.g., VA funding fee, FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums, etc.). Loan requirements may vary depending on your down payment amount, and minimum down payment varies by loan type.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.

+Lock and Look program: Terms and conditions apply. Applies to conventional purchase loans only. Rate will lock for 91 calendar days at the time of preapproval. An executed purchase contract is required within 60 days of your initial rate lock. If current market pricing improves by 0.25 percentage points or more from the original locked rate, you may request your loan officer to review your loan application to determine if you qualify for a one-time float down. SoFi reserves the right to change or terminate this offer at any time with or without notice to you.

Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.

¹FHA loans are subject to unique terms and conditions established by FHA and SoFi. Ask your SoFi loan officer for details about eligibility, documentation, and other requirements. FHA loans require an Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium (UFMIP), which may be financed or paid at closing, in addition to monthly Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP). Maximum loan amounts vary by county. The minimum FHA mortgage down payment is 3.5% for those who qualify financially for a primary purchase. SoFi is not affiliated with any government agency.
Veterans, Service members, and members of the National Guard or Reserve may be eligible for a loan guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. VA loans are subject to unique terms and conditions established by VA and SoFi. Ask your SoFi loan officer for details about eligibility, documentation, and other requirements. VA loans typically require a one-time funding fee except as may be exempted by VA guidelines. The fee may be financed or paid at closing. The amount of the fee depends on the type of loan, the total amount of the loan, and, depending on loan type, prior use of VA eligibility and down payment amount. The VA funding fee is typically non-refundable. SoFi is not affiliated with any government agency.

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