This wild market has aspiring homeowners doing all types of math. They want to make stand-out offers, but they also want to get a good, long-term deal. If you are planning to occupy the building for at least a few years, shopping for multi-units might be your entry into homeownership.

When shopping for a loan for a multi-unit, the borrower can typically use about 75% of the proposed rental income to qualify. For example, let’s imagine the buyer is a couple with a combined current income of $60,000. They want to buy and move into a three-unit, leaving two other units from which to draw potential income. In Portland, the average two-bedroom is renting for $1,500 a month.

Three-quarters of that annual rental income would be $27,000, which would then be added to the borrower’s current income. In this example, if the loan is based on a traditional 28% to 36% of income to loan ratio, the borrower could possibly qualify for a monthly PITI payment (principal, interest, taxes and insurance) of $2,030. Multi-units can also qualify for FHA loans, meaning you put only 3.5% down. In this market, we have seen 10.5% property value appreciation within 12 months — a 300% ROI.

Now these are estimates to let you know you can dream big with what feels like a small amount of money. You will want to talk to a professional lender and get pre-approval, which is always an advantage when making an offer. Then you’ll want Julia and I to represent you at the table. We’ll negotiate seller paid closing costs and have you earning equity on a multi-unit instead of someone else.

Conversely, if you own a multi-unit, we can show you our unique marketing plan that will help maximize your property’s potential and bring offers to your table today. We love where we live and we have the experience and know-how to help you navigate even the most challenging situations. Let’s work as partners to help you realize your dreams. Contact us today: 207-838-1651 or 


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