I was approached recently by a friend who wants to purchase an investment property. They had seen a lot of conflicting information about whether or not it was necessary to purchase the property under an LLC or not. While this is very much a legal matter which I am not authorized to weigh in on, I could give them some information from a lending and real estate perspective.
An LLC, or limited liability corporation, is sort of the natural go-to in order to protect your personal funds and assets from being attacked in a lawsuite (note: to a degree; consult an attorney). From the standpoint of purchasing real estate, it’s quite easy to set up an LLC. Just a few clicks online, or your attorney could do it for you. From there, purchasing real estate is the same as far as paperwork goes. The exception comes into play with how you qualify for the property. If using an LLC as the purchaser, you still need to qualify for the home under your own credit, income, assets and debts. Interest rates on the loan can vary depending on how much you are putting down, but most always require at least 20% down.
You do not need to get a commercial loan to purchase a property under an LLC, however so much of what you can or cannot do will depend on your qualifying ability and end goal.