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Scaling Up: Transitioning from Single-Family to Multi-Family Rentals

Man’s hand placing a coin with a tree. Concept of scaling up rental property investing.Investing in multi-family rental buildings on a larger scale can help a portfolio of investments grow and open up new business prospects. There may be obstacles associated with multifamily rentals that are essential to understand beforehand. Purchasing a multifamily property is typically a more complicated and expensive endeavor than purchasing a single-family rental home. The move to your new investing plan can be effective, though, if you master the fundamentals of multifamily real estate investing.

Choose a Property Type

Perhaps the first thing to understand about multi-family rental houses is that there are two main categories. A multifamily building with four or fewer units is considered residential, whereas a property with more than four units is typically considered commercial. In a number of ways, the scale of the multifamily property you wish to purchase will dictate how you search for, evaluate, and price it. For instance, multifamily properties with four or fewer units are typically financed with residential mortgages, a similar process to purchasing single-family homes. While commercial real estate is priced using a value formula rather than on the market value of similar properties, it is still acquired using commercial financing. Those who have never purchased a commercial property face a great deal of difficulty, which is why the majority of rental property proprietors opt for smaller multifamily properties at first.

More Units = More Preparation

Even if you choose to buy a four-unit or smaller multi-family property, there will be more planning needed than when purchasing single-family rentals. For instance, location is always a crucial component of a profitable rental. But for multifamily properties, location can be even more significant, particularly the property’s proximity to public transportation and other amenities. Additionally, it is essential to evaluate the area’s cost of living, crime rate, and average income. While online number searches can be useful, they do not always provide the full picture. This is especially true in areas where recent changes (positive or negative) have occurred. Along with your other homework, schedule some time to drive through the area and visit the local police station to obtain a more accurate picture of the area.

Prepare Your Finances

It’s crucial to investigate lenders and organize your finances before you start looking for a home. Depending on the type of property you wish to purchase, select a lender with a track record of assisting investors with the purchase of that type of property. Along with income and spending figures from your current rental properties, you will also need to prepare documents proving your trustworthiness. Be prepared to provide additional documentation when asked because you might be asked to provide information or paperwork for a loan on a multi-family property that you wouldn’t necessarily need for a single-family property.

Hire the Right People

Having the right experts on your team is crucial for scaling up to multi-family buildings in many ways. You’ll need to locate and employ a real estate agent, for instance, who has the necessary training and expertise. Locate one that focuses on the kind of multi-family property you wish to purchase, if at all possible. A reputable property management company may also be able to provide you with local knowledge. As a local market expert, they add substantial value to the buying process and the duration of your property ownership.

Are you ready to get started? Contact your local Real Property Management office for more information on our wide range of superior services.

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