Skip to Content

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.An investor’s portfolio can be expanded and new financial prospects can be unlocked by moving up from single-family rental investments to multi-family ones. It’s necessary to first understand the potential difficulties that come with renting out multiple-family homes. Purchasing a multifamily property is typically a more complicated and expensive endeavor than purchasing a single-family rental home. But by understanding the fundamentals of investing in multifamily properties, you can successfully transition to your new investment strategy.

Choose a Property Type

There are two primary classifications of multi-family rental properties, which may be the first thing to understand. Four apartments or fewer in a multi-family building are regarded as residential properties, whereas five or more units are typically regarded as commercial properties. How you look for, evaluate, and price a multifamily property will depend in large part on how big it is. For instance, multifamily properties with four or fewer units are typically financed with residential mortgages, a similar process to purchasing single-family homes. Contrarily, commercial real estate is bought using commercial financing and is valued using a formula rather than on the basis of nearby properties. Since purchasing a commercial property might be difficult for those who have never done it before, most landlords start out with smaller multi-family homes.

More Units = More Preparation

Even if you choose to purchase a multifamily property with four or fewer units, more preparation is required than when purchasing single-family rental properties. For instance, the location of a profitable rental property is always a crucial factor. The proximity of a home to facilities like public transportation or other multi-family housing, however, might make location even more crucial. The area’s cost of living, crime rate, and average income level should all be carefully considered. Even though looking up figures online can be useful, they don’t always give the complete story. This is especially valid in regions that have seen recent changes, whether they were favorable or unfavorable. In addition to your other research, take the time to travel through the area and visit the local police station to gain a more accurate understanding of the area.

Prepare Your Finances

It’s critical to investigate lenders and organize your finances before you start your property search. Depending on the kind of property you intend to purchase, pick a lender with a track record of assisting investors in doing so. The income and cost statements from your current rental properties are among the documentation you will need to gather to prove your creditworthiness. Be prepared to provide additional documentation when asked because you could need them to qualify for a loan on a multi-family property even though you wouldn’t necessarily need them for a single-family property.

Hire the Right People

Scaling up to multifamily properties successfully depends on having the appropriate professionals on your team. For instance, you’ll need to locate and employ a real estate agent with the appropriate training and expertise. Locate one that focuses on the kind of multi-family property you wish to purchase, if at all possible. You may also want to acquire the local knowledge of a professional property management firm. 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? To learn more about our many high-quality services, get in touch with your regional Real Property Management office.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

The Neighborly Done Right Promise

The Neighborly Done Right Promise ® delivered by Real Property Management, a proud Neighborly company

When it comes to finding the right property manager for your investment property, you want to know that they stand behind their work and get the job done right – the first time. At Real Property Management we have the expertise, technology, and systems to manage your property the right way. We work hard to optimize your return on investment while preserving your asset and giving you peace of mind. Our highly trained and skilled team works hard so you can be sure your property's management will be Done Right.

Canada excluded. Services performed by independently owned and operated franchises.

See Full Details