Starting to invest as a college student

6 Replies | Minneapolis, Minnesota

I have been studying real estate investing for the last few years. I am at the point where I really want to start investing. Being a college student, I do not have what it takes to qualify for a traditional mortgage. My question being, is there a way to get creative with financing and be able to get a owner occupied duplex or triplex in the Minneapolis area? Any information would be great, as I am still learning through this whole process. 

I would love to connect with some experienced investors to learn even more about this industry. 

Biggest help would be to get a job for proof of income and establish reserves. Then you can look into seller financing or some other kind of unconventional money. Maybe you can have your parents co sign or something. People have done it before. Just need to get creative with it.

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@Jarod Blackowiak when you say conventional financing, are you also considering FHA or USDA programs? Many times if you're owner occupant you can go for as low as 0% down. If its 3.5% you can also ask the seller to give you up to 3.5% cash back at close to use for down payment, if you can just simply show the reserves up front you'll be able to qualify.

If you have looked that route and are still having trouble with the cash down you may want to explore seller financing, or hang tight till you have a little more cash on hand. 

Rare but also totally do-able if you're diligent: I had a friend in college convince an owner in the town to do seller financing his sophomore year. After 2 years of on time payments he was able to refi out, pay the owner back in full and actually put a little cash in his pocket for some repairs to the home. Still owns the place today and rents it out to college students and makes a pretty good monthly return with vacancy through the summer months. 

Good luck!

@Jarod Blackowiak & @Michael Masterson on traditional mortgages (FHA, VA, USDA, & Conventional) the seller is prohibited from paying any part of your down payment. The seller can only pay your closing costs and prepaid expenses up to a limit which is different for each loan type and can vary by the down payment.

I would recommend you get a cosigner on a single-family home.  In this situation, you can get a place with as little as $1,000 down, or the more traditional 3% conventional, or 3.5% FHA loan.  These down payments do not exist on multi-family homes with a cosigner.  FHA requires 25% down one a duplex with a non-occupying cosigner and Conventional starts at 15% down.  You do have one chance to get a low down payment loan with a cosigner on a duplex with a non-occupying cosigner but the stars must align.  I've been a loan officer for 17 years and do nearly a 100 duplex loans a year and I've seen it executed 2 or 3 times in my career.

@Tim Swierczek interesting. That must have changed since the last time I did lower down payment because I certainly had almost no money out of pocket (granted I still had to show it) and guidelines are ever changing as you are well aware seeing as you're a lender.... Perhaps it was a low down payment conventional @Jarod Blackowiak my apologies if so. 

However to Tims point you can still get concessions back which will help reduce the out of pocket in addition to the down payment. 

I would recommend connecting with @Jordan Moorhead to learn about house hacking and I would connect with @Tim Swierczek to get your self ready to find something when you are ready.  Right now keep learning and focus on school, your first job will provide the ability to purchase a property.  You don't want to stretch yourself too thin.