There is no rule against getting two mortgages for different houses. You would only need to convince lenders that you can afford both mortgages. With good credit, enough down payment and sufficient income, you can most certainly get approved for two mortgages for different houses. As long as you meet certain criteria set by lenders, you can actually get several mortgages for different houses.
You may be relocating to another area, and you are buying a new home before your old one sells. If that is the case, there will be more than just the mortgage costs to consider. You will be making two utility payments and two insurance payments. The old house may be left vacant for a period of time and insurance rates for vacant houses are substantially more than the rates on occupied houses because of the increased risk of vandalism. For example, the insurance premium on a $100,000 house could jump from $400 a year to $700 if it becomes vacant.
Homeowners are only allowed to have one main residence. Mortgages on main residences are offered with the lowest rates. Lenders will usually charge a higher interest rate for the mortgage on the second home because of the higher risk of default. But with a large downpayment, sometimes you can negotiate a lower interest rate on the second home.
You can get a mortgage on another home and rent the house for additional income. When it comes to single family houses, the lenders will need to be sure that you can pay both of the mortgages from your own income. With multi-family apartment buildings, banks will allow borrowers to qualify for a mortgage based on the rental income.
Fannie Mae used to limit investors to four mortgages, but the government-sponsored housing corporation lifted its limits in 2009 so that investors can still receive financing if they have between five and 10 existing mortgages. But the criteria for getting more than four mortgages are harder to meet. Borrowers need larger down payments and a higher credit score.
Tim Grant has been a journalist since 1989 and has worked for several daily newspapers, including the Charleston "Post & Courier," the "Savannah News-Press," the "Spartanburg Herald-Journal," the "St. Petersburg Times" and the "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette." He has covered a variety of subjects and beats, including crime, government, education, religion and business. He graduated from The Citadel with a Bachelor of Science in business administration.