Hi, I am currently an application engineer in Westbrook CT. I want to get into the real estate game and was thinking of buying a condo in New Haven to live in while renting out the other room for a year or two before buying a multi-family home in Branford, CT. What should I look out for and how exactly should I go about doing this? Should I start a real estate company? Get an HFA loan? There are so many ways to get started, what should I do?
My end goal is owning 5 rentals in the next 6 years
It sounds to me like you're overthinking it. Assuming your credit is decent, you should simply connect with a lender to line up your financing, then start looking around for a condo in New Haven.
There's a wealth of information on Biggerpockets and I would suggest doing some self-educating on the different aspects of REI through the "Education" tab up at the top of the site.
To be a little more specific, search for "House hacking" forums and blog posts to get a more in depth look as to how to get started with your condo and /or multifamily plan.
Also consider why a condo and not just a multifamily to start...
I could almost definitely say you don't need a RE company at this point.
Like @Cameron Norfleet said, you could start with reaching out to a lender to see what types of financing you will qualify for.
Above all, dig through the site a bit and learn a bit before acting. It could save you big time.
Feel free to reach out with any specific questions. There are always people here to help.
Branford can be rather pricey (supported by higher rents) when compared to other markets so instead of doing a condo in New Haven I would jump straight into a owner occupied 2-4 family in Branford using Home Possible by Freddie Mac or FHA (3.5 - 5% down + PMI). From my own experience this is the quickest way to "get into the real estate game". Start running numbers like you were not living there and see if you find any COC returns that meet your criteria. With 3.5% down and PMI, if you can hit >10% COC you are doing okay. Branford is also an awesome town with lots of great shopping and things to do, as well as great location.
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