Second Home Loans

Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac Guidelines On Second Home Loans

Gustan Cho Associates are mortgage brokers licensed in 48 states

This BLOG On Fannie Mae Guidelines On Second Home Loans Was UPDATED And PUBLISHED On April 22nd, 2024.

Second Home Loans are conventional loans. There are NON-QM and Bank Statement Mortgages on Second Homes are available. Government Loans such as FHA, VA, USDA, are for owner occupant homes only. Home buyers cannot purchase second homes with FHA Loans, VA Loans, and USDA Loans.

When considering the purchase of a second home, it’s crucial to understand the lending guidelines set by two of the largest government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) in the U.S, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, . that play a significant role in the mortgage market.  In this article, we will discuss and cover Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac Guidelines On Second Home Financing.

The Basics On Second Homes

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The mortgage industry is probably the most regulated industry in this country. Since 2009, the whole mortgage industry has changed. Thousands of mortgage companies have gone out of business and thousands of mortgage brokers have left the field due to the new regulations. The Dodd Frank Act has brought new rules and regulations. Speak With Our Loan Officer for Second Mortgage Loans

Definition of a Second Home

For a property to qualify as a second home under Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines, it must meet certain criteria:

  • It should be a one-unit dwelling suitable for year-round use.
  • The borrower must occupy the property for some part of the year.
  • It should be under the borrower’s exclusive control and not managed by a third-party company.
  • It must be reasonably located from the borrower’s primary residence. This varies, but typically means it should not be in the same area unless it’s a vacation or resort destination.

Credit Requirements:

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac typically necessitate a elevated credit score for financing second homes compared to those for primary residences. While the minimum score can vary, borrowers should aim for a credit score of at least 620 to increase their chances of approval and obtain more favorable loan terms.

Down Payment

A second home’s minimum down payment requirement is typically around 10%. This is higher than the minimum down payment for a primary residence, reflecting the higher risk associated with loans on second homes.

Interest Rates and Loan Terms

Interest rates on second-home loans are usually higher than those for primary residences. This increase is due to the higher risk associated with second homes, often unoccupied for parts of the year. Lenders see these properties as more vulnerable to risks like vandalism, which could affect the borrower’s ability to keep up with mortgage payments.

Rental Use

While Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac allow borrowers to rent out their second homes for part of the year, there are restrictions. The borrower must use the home personally for some portion of the year, and any rental arrangements must ensure the borrower maintains control over the home. This implies that the property cannot participate in a rental pool or be subject to a compulsory rental agreement that allows a management company to control the property.

Debt-to-Income Ratios (DTI)

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac usually require a debt-to-income ratio of no higher than 45% for second home loans. This stringent requirement ensures that borrowers are well-rested financially, safeguarding their ability to manage payments on multiple properties.


Applying for a second home loan requires thorough documentation, just as a primary residence loan does. This includes proof of income, employment verification, asset documentation, and a credit history report. Additionally, borrowers must demonstrate the economic viability of maintaining a second home, including their plans for its use and upkeep. Get Eligibility for your loan with us 

Eligibility Requirements On Second Homes

Debt To Income Ratios Calculations For Second Homes

Second homes are still extremely popular.

  • Many folks who are renters decide to purchase a home in places like Florida or California for either weekend getaways or to use it as second homes for their families to enjoy
  • The 5% minimum down payment requirement for second homes made second home financing affordable to many Americans
  • Now, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has increased the minimum down payment guidelines for second home financing to 10% of the purchase price

Second Home Loans Versus Investment Home Loans

Another requirement to be classified as a second home is that it needs to be some distance away from the mortgage loan borrower’s main residence.

  • If the second home is less than 60 miles away from the mortgage loan borrower’s main residence, it will be considered an investment home
  • Mortgage rates on investment homes are higher than those for second homes or vacation homes

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What qualifies as a second home under Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines?
    A second home must be a one-unit property suitable for year-round occupancy and reasonably far from the borrower’s primary residence. It cannot be a rental property or timeshare arrangement.
  2. What are the down payment requirements for a second home loan?
    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac usually require a minimum down payment of 10% for a second home purchase. This can vary based on the borrower’s credit score and other financial factors.
  3. Are there any special credit score requirements for second home loans?
    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac generally demand a higher credit score for second home loans compared to those for primary residences. The minimum credit score is often around 620, but a higher score may result in better interest rates.
  4. How do interest rates compare for second homes vs. primary residences?
    Interest rates for second home loans are typically higher than those for primary residences, reflecting the greater risk linked to non-primary occupancy.
  5. Can I rent out my second home?
    While Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines allow for limited rental of a second home, such as seasonal renting, the borrower must occupy the home for some portion of the year. It must not be subject to any agreements that require rental or give a management firm control over the property’s occupancy.
  6. What documentation is required to qualify for a second home loan?
    Borrowers must provide proof of income, employment, assets, and credit history, similar to a primary mortgage application. Additionally, documentation regarding the use and occupancy of the home as a second residence will be necessary.
  7. How do debt-to-income ratios affect eligibility for a second home loan?
    Debt-to-income (DTI) ratios are crucial in the loan approval process. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac typically favor a debt-to-income ratio (DTI) of 45% or lower when considering a second home loan application. However, this can vary based on overall creditworthiness and other compensating factors.

Purchasing a second home is a significant financial decision with unique requirements and challenges. By understanding the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines, prospective buyers can better prepare themselves for the application process and increase their chances of securing a favorable mortgage. Always consult a mortgage advisor or financial professional for tailored advice and the latest relevant information. Click here to get apply for mortgage loan with us

Update on Second Home Loans

We now offer Condotel and Non-Warrantable Condo Financing which are portfolio loans with 25% down payment.  Condotel and Non-Warrantable Condo Financing are 30 year adjustable rate mortgage portfolio loans.

If you have any questions on second home mortgage loans please contact us at 800-900-8569 or text us for a faster response. Borrowers can also email us at

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