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 Apartment Loans: 1-4 Units by Tom Markel

Putting together a purchase agreement for a commercial structure with multiple residential or business units in it can get complicated. What will you use each of those units for? Will the primary purpose of the building be residential or is it going to be used as office space? In past years, banks didn’t need to ask those questions because they only looked at your ability to be able to pay them back. Today, your credibility is important, but your plans for the building will also be examined very carefully before a bank or lending institution will issue you a commercial mortgage.
A commercial mortgage for a 1-4 Unit Apartment building is actually more of a risk for the bank than a larger mortgage for a building with ten or twenty units. The condition of the units and occupancy history will be taken into account. When you write your business plan, make sure that you make it clear whether the building you are buying currently has tenants or if you will need to advertise to get new occupants. If you need to do construction or renovations, include that too, along with a number for the cost.
If you’re buying a newly constructed building, make sure you do your homework on how other structures in the same neighborhood and of the same design have fared recently. Just owning a building isn’t enough to ensure success anymore. You might think that by buying something small you will find it easier to turn a profit on your purchase, but that is not always the case. Be prepared to answer questions about why you think this purchase will benefit you and/or your small business.
At, we shop your mortgage or loan request around and come up with lending solutions that offer the lowest interest rates and most convenient terms. Typically, a smaller unit building will be a first or second purchase for a private party, whereas a realtor or management company may specialize in them. This type of history is important when seeking approval for a mortgage in an economy where many banks don’t like to write them. That’s why our comprehensive list of potential lenders is your best resource when you decide to make a commercial purchase of any kind.

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