If you’re getting close to making an offer on your next income property and it’s been a while since you have obtained financing, there are a few guidelines that conventional lenders follow that you may not be aware of that were implemented just over the past few years.

You’ll want to speak directly withdocumenting your loan your loan officer when for details on what you’ll need to hand over but let’s take a look at what you can get a head start on.

First, if this is not your first rental property and your Schedule E from your federal income tax return shows income, expenses and depreciation, you can use the rental income from the new property to offset the mortgage costs plus expenses. Your first property didn’t allow for that. However, the income from the property will be documented by the appraiser who will complete a separate Market Rent Analysis. This will be the amount lenders typically use when evaluating your loan, not solely from a rental agreement.

Second, the minimum down payment for residential investment property is 20 percent but lenders will give you a slight break on your rate if you put down 25 percent and an even better one with 30 percent down or more.

Finally, when documenting you have enough funds for both the down payment and closing costs you will be asked to provide the most recent statements, all pages please. Many account statements today have a blank page with only [this page intentionally left blank] for whatever reason. If your statement is 15 pages long and you send in pages1-15 but leave out page number 12 because it’s blank, the lender will want to see it. There’s no way a bank knows whether or not the page is blank and is required by current lending standards to document everything, and in the instance of bank and investment statements, it means even the pages that have nothing on them.