From a lender's perspective, what constitutes a Multifamily?

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My apologies if this is in the wrong place or has been answered before. This is my first time posting on BP. Any tips for posting on BP is much appreciate!

So, From a lender's perspective, what constitutes a Multifamily? I understand that over 4 units in commercial but how is this parsed out "technically"?

For instance; if you are looking at property that has 2 units under one roof and another 2 units under another roof, is this a Quad? Or, If you have 2 quad-plexes under 2 different roofs is this just 2 quads or a single "commercial" loan? In either case, what are the geographic specifics they can be separated by before they are a separate or combined/single unit(s). Is it feet, yards, cubits (LOL) city blocks, water-meters, utility poles, sewer lines, or just plain up to the lender? Or maybe state or local gvmt. that defines this? 

Thanks and very, very, much appreciated!


1-4 Units on a strap is considered residential multi-family. 5+ is commercial. 

It's doesn't really matter how it's broken down in actual structures. You could have 4 individual little cabins... if they're all on one lot and all platted on the same parcel/strap ID then it's residential. This is ultimately defined by FNMA and HUD who rule over everything when there's a lender in place.

If there are two quads on one parcel and you don't want to go the route of commercial lending... look in to splitting the parcel. As long as each parcel meets minimum zoning requirements (size, set backs, electric/water, etc.) then it's not a terrible way to do it.