Aspiring Duplex Buyer in Atlanta, GA

7 Replies

I would like to know, if someone can refer me to a Realtor who has experience (and patience) in helping a first time buyer of a duplex here in Atlanta or surrounding counties? It will be my first mortgage ever. This has been a goal of mine for quite sometime and I would love some personal guidance. My lease isn't up until December so that is the month I plan on taking my leap, but I want to get a head start on finding someone amazing to work with. As far as financing, I plan to obtain an FHA loan or I may go through Navy Federal ( 100% Homebuyers Choice Mortgage option) as a member.

Thanks in advance!

Hi Felicia, I'm a realtor located in Atlanta and I would be happy to help. I can set you up on an MLS search so you can see what properties are available. I always recommend looking early to get an idea of the market.

Hello and welcome to this part of the site Felicia!  Unfortunately, I must ask you why are buying a duplex as as rental unit.  The more units, the better because a vacancy would not force you to an unpleasant leave, especially with one or two units where the percentages are  different greatly on vacancy.  As you probably know that there is a difference of the down payment.  If you can afford it, I suggest a 203K loan so you can possibly start off with some equity.

If you invest in a 3 or 4 unit house where you can still get a 203K residential loan with a FHA loan through an "approved" Bank. That house has a minimal occupancy condition to live there for 12 months typically.You can either keep that loan or refinance it if you want to do it again (a 203k Loan).

There is a better chance that the paying tenants will partially or completely eliminate your rent and make the debt payment and there is a better chance that the value of that property will go up which would help out your chance to refinance. 

If apartments do not scare you (you do not need experience to do this-thats a myth).  Smaller apartment complexes usually can be owner financed which usually can shorten your closing date.  Just make sure your investment property is in a growth area and do not do anything "fancy".

Good luck to you!

Hi @Felicia Richardson and welcome to BiggerPockets!

I strongly recommend you to speak with as many prospective brokers as you can to determine the best fit for your needs.

I work closely with an investor-focused super-agent/broker here in Atlanta. Aside from being responsive and knowledgeable, she is also a very experienced landlord and property manager and an expert in lease/purchase and owner financing. We recommend her to all our out-of-state and overseas clients.

I'll gladly make a warm introduction for you if you connect with me here on BP!

For the record, I receive exactly ZERO compensation for making these referrals.

Hi Brian! Thanks for responding to my post. I know how important an early start is, which is why I'm seeking help months in advance. I'd love to speak with you by the end of the weekend, so just let me know how you want to proceed.

Originally posted by @Mitch Messer :

Hi @Felicia Richardson and welcome to BiggerPockets!

I strongly recommend you to speak with as many prospective brokers as you can to determine the best fit for your needs.

I work closely with an investor-focused super-agent/broker here in Atlanta. Aside from being responsive and knowledgeable, she is also a very experienced landlord and property manager and an expert in lease/purchase and owner financing. We recommend her to all our out-of-state and overseas clients.

I'll gladly make a warm introduction for you if you connect with me here on BP!

For the record, I receive exactly ZERO compensation for making these referrals.

 Hi Mitch! I appreciate your insightful response. I have yet to speak with a broker, but my goal is to speak to a few of them. The attempts I've made haven't been productive. I'm definitely open to connecting with your contact so I can make the best possible decision. 

Originally posted by @Michael Lee :

Hello and welcome to this part of the site Felicia!  Unfortunately, I must ask you why are buying a duplex as as rental unit.  The more units, the better because a vacancy would not force you to an unpleasant leave, especially with one or two units where the percentages are  different greatly on vacancy.  As you probably know that there is a difference of the down payment.  If you can afford it, I suggest a 203K loan so you can possibly start off with some equity.

If you invest in a 3 or 4 unit house where you can still get a 203K residential loan with a FHA loan through an "approved" Bank. That house has a minimal occupancy condition to live there for 12 months typically.You can either keep that loan or refinance it if you want to do it again (a 203k Loan).

There is a better chance that the paying tenants will partially or completely eliminate your rent and make the debt payment and there is a better chance that the value of that property will go up which would help out your chance to refinance. 

If apartments do not scare you (you do not need experience to do this-thats a myth).  Smaller apartment complexes usually can be owner financed which usually can shorten your closing date.  Just make sure your investment property is in a growth area and do not do anything "fancy".

Good luck to you!

Michael you rock with awesome advice! As a newbie with financial restrictions, I'm sorta limited on my options. I'm open to financing a four unit option, but I know that depends on what is available, as well as the location and price. I've done alot of research on the 203k loan option and I know that's a strong financing possibility for me. Also I already have an FHA approved contractor whose been down that road many times. Buying an apartment complex, would certainly be a big girl jump for me! I know I'd be more comfortable later on with making that type of choice. I have a friend that just bought one, so I'm shadowing him to get some exposure.