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.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 challenges associated with multifamily rentals that it is essential to learn about beforehand. Buying a multifamily property is typically a more involved process than purchasing single-family rentals, not to mention more expensive initially. 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. Residential properties are multi-family buildings with four units or fewer, while a property with more than four units is typically thought of as a commercial property. In many ways, how you look for, evaluate, and price the multi-family property you wish to buy will depend on its size. 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 significant learning curve, which is why the majority of first-time landlords opt for smaller multifamily properties.

More Units = More Preparation

Even if you decide to purchase a multifamily home with four or fewer units, greater planning is required than when purchasing single-family rental properties. For instance, location is always a crucial component of a profitable rental. The proximity of a home to facilities like public transportation or other multi-family housing, however, might make location even more crucial. In addition, it’s essential to evaluate the area’s cost of living, crime rate, and average income. Although researching figures online can be useful, they don’t always provide the full picture. This is particularly true in regions that have seen recent changes (whether favorable or unfavorable). In addition to your other research, you should drive through the neighborhood 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. Choose a lender that has a track record of assisting investors in purchasing the kind of property you wish to purchase. You will also be required to provide supporting documentation for your creditworthiness, such as income and expense statements from your current rental properties. Be prepared to provide additional documentation upon request as there may be information or documents needed to qualify 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. For instance, you’ll need to locate and employ a real estate agent with the appropriate training and expertise. Find one that specializes in the kind of multi-family property you wish to acquire, if at all possible. Additionally, you may wish to acquire the local knowledge of a professional property management company. They significantly enhance the value of your property both during the buying process and after you possess it because they are local market experts.

Are you ready to get started? Contact your local Real Property Management office to learn more about our extensive selection of superior services.

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