Financing is the key to most real estate transactions , so if you are buying real estate for your personal use , consumer credit considerations are of paramount importance . Unlike the standard stock leveraging scheme , where the debt is capped at 50 percent of the principal value of the transaction , the standard debt-to-asset ratio in real estate or what the banks call the loan-to-value ratio , is 80 percent ,with a 20 percent down payment . In such an instance , the lender looks as much to the credit of the borrower as to the value of the property , to be sure of repayment . Hence , your record of payment of other debts , or lack thereof , will be a critical factor in whether or not you get credit for a home purchase . Other factors that come into play are your overall financial picture . If you have large amounts of other assets such as stocks , that will help . Retirement assets such as individual retirement accounts (IRAs) cannot be used to secure loans , but even they may indirectly count in a borrower’s favor as evidence of astuteness .
If you are buying property for rental as a business , then more businesslike considerations apply . The bank will still want to evaluate loan-to-value and income-to-debt service ratios , but may give lesser weight to your personal financial situation . Your past business experience , either in real estate or in other areas , will be taken into account , as will your business credit record . In unusual cases , the lender may require you to sign for loans personally , in which case your personal financial situation will matter . There are several types of lenders . The most common one is a financial institution such as a bank or a savings and loan . A second is government agencies such as Veteran’s Administration or the Federal Housing Authority . The third source of financing is owner financing .