Neal Zott, Home Buyer in Baltimore, MD

I am looking to purchase a duplex in the Baltimore area, permanently reside in one unit while renting out the other.

Asked by Neal Zott, Baltimore, MD Mon Sep 30, 2013

Problem: Given my minimal employment and credit history I need a solution or course of action to receive pre-approval and financing. (FHA requires at least a year of employment history)

General Info:
Employment Status: Full-Time $51,000 Annual Salary
Length of Employment: Began in July and was a student prior
Credit: 715
I have active tradelines roughly equal to employment history

Please reach out if you feel you can help me out. I've spoken to many lenders that say they can help and ultimately find a reason why they cannot.

Ideally I'd like to speak to a seasoned investor who is willing to mentor and provide guidance. I am open to all ideas and would love to discuss your investment strategy and experiences throughout your career. I won't ask for favors, just an opportunity to learn and grow as an investor.

Thanks in advance,

Help the community by answering this question:



I am a local lender with a lot of experience originating FHA loans. From what I can tell by the limited information provided we shouldn't have a problem originating a loan for you. The two year lack of employment will only be an issue if it is primarily commission or bonus income. If the 51k is a straight salary, and you don’t have any ownership in the business we’ll be fine on the income front. Regarding your credit; FHA requires the borrower to have at least two credit scores. When you had your credit pulled by the other mortgage companies where they were able to pull all three scores? Lastly; there is a difference between a duplex and a multi-unit. Duplexes are two separate homes with one common wall. Each home is deeded separately which will make the property ineligible for one FHA loan, however FHA will lend on a multi-unit. A multi-unit is a one home with multi units. If you’re looking for a multi-unit FHA lend on the property as long as it doesn't exceed 4 units. Please call me to discuss further.


Jon Wald
Branch Manager
Loan Officer | Renovation Specialist
Primary Residential Mortgage
1816 Aliceanna Street | Baltimore, MD 21231
Tel 443.384.3902 | Cell 914.629.1278 | Fax 443.384.6984 (Start your application today)
Processor: Michelle Buss | Direct 443.442.1605 |
NMLSR ID 571973
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 1, 2013
That is what I thought. You will not have an issue qualifying (assuming your debt to income ratio is in line). Please call or email me to start the approval process.

Flag Tue Oct 1, 2013
I appologize for my naievete, I was under the impression a duplex was synonymous with a two-unit multi-family home. A multi-family home is where my focus is. Thank you for clearing that up.

Flag Tue Oct 1, 2013
Hi Neal,

I have sent your post to a few lenders of mine to see if they can be of assistance. I am also an investor so if you would like to chat please feel free to give me a call on my cell at 443 564 0952. You can also check me out on my site at
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 1, 2013
Will do, thanks John for reaching out.

Flag Tue Oct 1, 2013
I have a lender I work with who deals with private funding. I can not promise anything but I do know he has more flexibility than more traditional lenders. If you'd like, feel free to call, email or text me. I can give you his information and go from there. Let me know.

Shawn Kerr
EXiT Preferred Realty
Direct: (443) 686-9750
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 30, 2013
Great, thanks Shawn. Really appreciate you reaching out.

Flag Mon Sep 30, 2013
Hi Neal:

Your biggest problem will be to find a duplex under a single deed. In Baltimore, side-by-side duplex units, which are not common to begin with, are usually separately deeded and usually have unaffiliated owners. A better strategy would be to find a 2 unit property which is configured as separate apartments up and down.

I can recommend lenders who will give you a straight answer and who will work with you as you do what's necessary to get loan approval. FHA will do a 2 unit building under a single deed if one unit is your primary residence.

Also i can help you find a 2 unit property which can be scarce but do exist. Another possibility would be to find a single unit that needs work and which is zoning legal for 2 units and do a conversion/renovation with a FHA 203K loan.

Give me a call if you need help.

Bob McGee
Advance Realty inc.
Direct Phone: 410-560-4574
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 1, 2013
I appologize for my naievete, I was under the impression a duplex was synonymous with a two-unit multi-family home. A multi-family home is where my focus is. Thank you for clearing that up.

Flag Tue Oct 1, 2013
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