Buying Rental before Home

3 Replies


I've been digging into real estate markets to get started in the rental property game. I have no mortgage at this time - I rent an apartment. Plus, the homes near me are very expensive, I don't plan on doing live-in/rent-out.

I spoke with a family friend, who has worked as a lawyer on real estate deals, and she mentioned that I'll be 'missing out on first-time home-buyer' perks if my first purchase is a rental.

Could someone shed some light on what these perks might be? All I can find is:

- Possibly lower mortgage rates (FHA?)

- Ability to take money out of IRA with no charges/ or loan against 401k (something along these lines)

Finally please share your experience if you have purchased a rental before a live-in property? Thanks!

@Jay Bencivengo welcome to bigger pockets.  I do not want to upset you or your family friend but that is an absolutely false statement.  A matter of fact many people on bigger pockets will suggest to utilize "first time home-buy perks" to purchase investment properties.  What is important to know is there really is no such thing as first time home buyer perks, it is just a misused term because most people using the perks tend to be first time home buyers.  I used "first time home buyer perks" to buy my second property.  Instead  of the term "first time home buyer" it is more so "low money down loan" meaning you can mortgage property with little or no money down if you plan to owner occupy it.  

@Jay Bencivengo

IMO, there are no great incentives for first time home buyers. Sure FHA can give you a 3.5% down payment but will result in you paying PMI. The best days of first-time homebuyers was the early years of the recession when the government was giving out $8K to first-time homebuyers to boost the economy. I hope some of us had the chance to take advantage of that. For me, I did not.

I know you don't plan on doing live-in/rent-out but please rethink about it. There are tax incentives there. That PMI you would have had to eat because it is your personal home, now can be written off in taxes with a house hack. The water bill and repairs you do to your house can now be written off in taxes because half your house is a rental. Just be thorough when screening your tenants and you may have the best tenant in the world.

I personally wished I had started off with a live-in rental, but I was young (26) and just found out about Biggerpockets 1.5 years ago.