As the title states, I am deciding whether to start my investing career by doing a live-in fix & flip or by "house hacking" a 2-4 plex. My girlfriend and I currently live in the midwest. She has a year left in college then will graduate with her master's degree. I have been working in sales for almost a year and have been slowly saving up cash for a down payment. In the future, we would like to get into multifamily to build up a passive income stream. To start things off, we are planning on doing either a live-in fix & flip or a house hack with a duplex. We are conflicted on which route we want to take.
My girlfriend's parents have done several fix and flips (her dad is a GC) and would likely help us out, although they do live a few hours away. We aren't looking to buy a total dump, just a home that needs to be updated and fixed up. Major foundation changes, plumbing, electrical, etc would likely be off-limits. We are both hard workers/high energy (not necessarily incredibly handy) and wouldn't mind doing the lion's share of the work by ourselves. Pros to this approach would be lower starting cost (I am still saving up money for a down payment) and not having to deal with tenants. Additionally (I may be off-base here) but I think another benefit to a fix & flip to me would be the personal experience of rehabbing a home. Things like how much certain repairs cost, what to look for when when buying a property to rehab etc. I find that I learn and retain knowledge better in hands-on scenarios. Cons to this approach would be no passive income and (likely) less equity when all is said and done.
The house hack is a little bit different as I don't know personally know anybody who owns apartment units. However, a majority of investors on BP say they started with a house hack so it must be a decent place to start! That said, I am having trouble on criteria if I decide to go this route other than it would be a 2-4 plex with an FHA loan. I assume we would self-manage for this first property until we start to build up some reserves but can't say for certain. Pros to this approach would be the passive income from the other units and building more equity off the bat. Cons to this approach would be dealing with tenants (if we self-manage) and having to put down a larger down payment.
Anyways, I'm excited to hear some feedback and see what everybody thinks!