Single Family or Multifamily for First Property?

4 Replies

Hello all!

This will be my first post on BP, and I've enjoyed reading through all of the great information this site has to offer.

My fiance and I are very interested in getting started in investing in real estate. I've seen two methods I believe would be best for us. That being, "house hacking", by buying a multi-family property and living in it while renting out some of the other units. Or, buying a cheaper single family home and lowering our overall living expenses(currently renting) to be able to save up for multi-family investments in the future.

Our plan right now is the latter, by buying a cheaper/smaller single family home to live in for a good amount of time while saving and investing in multi-family properties once we have the capital saved up. 

My question is, does anyone have any advice or suggestions for the current plan above? 

Any thoughts, or feedback is certainly appreciated!



Joey, I am a new investor and recently sat down with a more seasoned investor. He gave some really good advice and told me about FHA Loans and how at least in Nebraska you can get up to a 4 unit building. Most of the time you can do little down and at a reasonable rate. After talking to him I would recommend that because if you got the other 3 units rented it should completely cover/almost cover your mortgage payment. You only have to live in the property for a year.

Really if you get it rented it would reduce your costs and you can save money while also making money. I would just look into it because the investor we talked to said if he could do it again that would be how he would do it!

Goodluck! 😀


If the math works out for the multifamily property, it would always make sense financially to go with multi. However, it depends if you are talking about 2,3 or 4 unit multifamily property. If it 3 or 4 units and assuming it's owner occupied, you can live there for free where tenants would hopefully cover all the operating expenses. 

If you and your finance wants to start a family, have your own privacy, and would be nice to have a single family property.

Since you are leaning towards buying a single family, ask yourself if your second property (multifamily) going to be an investment property or owner occupied? This would better help with your decision making. 

Good Luck!

@Joey Clowery Welcome to BP! Make sure you take advantage of all the free info and helpful people on here! 

If you plan on owning MF units later and can afford one now, why wait? You can always buy a single family down the line. Id suggest going with a 4 unit property if you can find one. You live there rent free for a year and when you move you get positive cash flow. 

Welcome @Joey Clowery I would strongly suggest the house hack of a 2-4 unit building with FHA financing. In current market conditions this makes the most sense and mitigates risk tremendously as a new land lord.

If I were in your shoes I would borrow as much as the bank would lend you on a 4 plex and live in one of the units. 

best of luck on the journey of REI, its a fun one.

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