If we assume you are going to be buying using a "normal loan" (not private money), then you can not use FHA as they are Primary homes only when purchasing. That means you will be going with a Fannie or Freddie loan, most likely.
Contrary to what most people tell you, there is no difference between the interest rate for a primary and an investment property. The difference is lenders charge "Points" for investment properties, due to the higher risk borrowers will default--1.75% of loan amount if you do a 75% or less Loan-to-Value (LTV) loan; 3.00% of loan amount if you do a 75.01% to 80% LTV loan. Most people do not want to come in with this much money, so they have part of it paid by accepting a higher interest rate (hence, the myth of "higher rates for investment properties" perpetuated by many in the real estate and lending industries).
I may be wrong, since Brenda says she has seen 15% down, but my understanding is there is no Mortgage Insurance available for investment properties at this time, which means the minimum down would be 20%. Also, I believe (after looking at two of my lender's guidelines to refresh my memory) that 3% down with the HomePath program is only allowed on primary residences. The minimum down for an investment property is 15% with a minimum credit score of 660 (20% down with a minimum credit score of 620)--possibly this is where the 15% down comes from, but only for HomePath loans, not "normal" loans.
I hope this helps. Good luck in you property search.
Bill Parker, Loan Officer
AZ Lic# 09011570
CPA--Licensed, no longer practicing
GenCor Mortgage Inc.
15730 N. 83rd Way, Suite 103
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
(O) 480-525-8496; (M) 602-565-3646; (F) TBD
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