If you've already bought a home, you might be thinking of also buying an investment property. Understandably, you've probably done a lot of research regarding becoming a landlord or managing a rental, but that's not all you need to know. The home loan service is also going to be very different, and you'll need to consider this as well.

You're Going to Need More of a Down Payment

Though there are down payment assistance programs open for those buying their first home, there are very few for investors. You're probably going to need more of a down payment because many conventional loans require at least 25 to 30 percent down for investor owners, with some requiring as much as 40. There are, however, some programs such as foreclosure programs which can reduce this amount to 10 to 15 percent if you're willing to purchase and remodel a foreclosure or a distressed property.

Your Expenses Are Also Going to Increase

When factoring in the mortgage for your home, it's likely that your mortgage officer also factored in things like property taxes and insurance. Keep in mind that your homeowner's insurance policy is probably much cheaper than your landlord's insurance policy is going to be, and there are also going to be some other associated expenses, such as legal expenses. It's not all going to be pure income. Because of this, you're going to need to factor in more money for your monthly property payments than you might otherwise expect. Always err on the side of caution.

Your Income Will Have to Match Your Expenditures

Even if you're buying an investment property, your bank still wants to know that you can take on this loan -- especially if the property is vacant for some time. Because of this, the bank is going to want to see your debt-to-income ratio. Ideally, you should be able to pay the mortgage even if the property isn't already taking in income. If you're close. it should be fine... if you're relying on the income to pay the mortgage, it probably won't be.

Buying an investment property is a great financial choice as long as you are prepared. A mortgage loan servicing agent like those at FCN Bank can give you more information on the exact qualifications that you're going to need to meet, and you might also want to look into consulting with a financial adviser early on in the process.