The demand for multi-family homes has risen significantly over the last several years. Not only do professional investors continue to show strong demand for multi-family housing, but now, the demand from individual and family investors has risen dramatically as well.
There are many reasons for this including;
- With the rising cost of single family homes, many are turning to multi-family properties as a way to generate income and build wealth, and
- The shortage of housing in many areas has also led to a shortage of rentals which has caused rents to increase significantly, making multi-family properties an even more viable option for investors looking for a steady cash flow.
Also, current homeowners are using the additional equity in their homes, which spiked as home values spiked, to invest in multi-family homes to create another income stream, cash flow, and build even more equity over time.
Multi-family homes are properties that have more than one living unit. This can include duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, and larger apartment buildings. If you’re interested in investing in multi-family properties, it’s important to do your research to understand the benefits and consideration involved in multi-family ownership.
To get you started, we’ll take a quick look at some of the more common financial and personal benefits of multi-family ownership as well as taking a look at some of the challenges that need to be considered as well.
Higher rental income:
Multi-family homes offer the potential for higher rental income than single-family homes and often offers a higher rent income per dollar invested.
- You can collect rent from multiple units which can add up to a significant amount over time, and multi-family properties also lessens the impact of having a vacancy vs. a single family home, as you’re still collecting from the other units.
Economies of scale in property management and maintenance:
Managing and maintaining a multi-family property can be more cost-effective than managing multiple single-family properties.
- This is because you can take advantage of economies of scale by hiring property managers, contractors, and other professionals to handle multiple units at once.
- So instead of potentially needing to hire 3 plumbers, in 3 different towns, to service 3 single-family investment homes, you’ll only need to hire one plumber to service three units at one location, creating a substantial savings.
Potential for appreciation in property value:
Multi-family properties have the potential to appreciate in value, just like single-family homes.
- As the value of the property increases, so does the rental income, which can provide a significant return on investment.
- Additionally, as the value of the property increases, the amount of equity you have available increases as well.
Owning a multi-family property can also provide significant tax benefits.
- For example, you can deduct depreciation and other expenses related to the property, which can lower your overall tax bill.
- Talk to your tax advisor or accountant to see how these would affect your own tax liabilities
Opportunity for passive income:
Owning a multi-family property can provide the opportunity for passive income which is important to building wealth.
- This means that you can collect rent from the units without having to actively manage the property. Unlike other businesses, you can keep your current job and income source while developing another income stream which does not require you to be actively involved on a day to day basis.
- This can free up your time for other pursuits or allow you to invest time in searching for, and researching additional properties.
Diversification of investment portfolio:
Investing in a multi-family property can also be a way to diversify your investment portfolio.
- For some, this creates an opportunity to be involved in other investments instead of just being invested in the stock market
- Being more diversified and can help to reduce risk to your portfolio and provide a steady stream of income at the same time.
- When looking at investments, including property, consult with your financial advisor for advice and guidance
Potential to live in one unit and rent out the others:
Some investors choose to live in one unit of a multi-family property and rent out the others.
- We’re seeing this a lot for first time investors, who temporarily live in one of the units while building their equity and net worth, then using that to purchase a single family home for themselves.
- This can be a great way to offset the cost of living and generate income at the same time, creating additional opportunities down the road.
CHALLENGES AND CONSIDERATIONS
Higher initial investment and financing requirements:
Investing in a multi-family property typically requires a larger initial investment than investing in a single-family home.
- Since typically, it’s not going to be your primary residence, lenders often look for a higher down payment than single family homes
- It also may be harder to secure financing for a multi-family property than for a single-family home.
Increased legal and regulatory compliance:
Multi-family properties are subject to a different set of laws and regulations than single-family homes.
- This means that you’ll need to be familiar with these regulations and ensure that you’re in compliance with them.
Potential for increased vacancy rates and turnover:
Multi-family properties may also have higher vacancy rates and turnover than single-family homes.
- This can be a result of tenants moving out at the end of their lease or for other reasons.
Risks associated with property management:
Owning a multi-family property also comes with risks associated with property management.
- This includes the risk of damage or injury to tenants or the property itself, as well as the risk of legal issues related to the property or tenants.
Owning multi-family homes can provide financial and personal benefits, such as higher rental income, economies of scale in property management and maintenance, potential for appreciation in property value, tax benefits, opportunity for passive income, diversification of investment portfolio, and the potential to live in. Like all investments, it also comes with some risks.
You’ll need to assess whether investing in multi-family properties is the right investment for your particular situation and it’s always best to consult your financial advisor before making any investments.
If you’re interested in pursuing multi-family home ownership, give us a call at 914-260-7964. We’ll be happy to schedule a no-obligation call with you to discuss available opportunities that might be right for you.