Small multifamily house hack vs partnership

6 Replies

Hey everyone. New to the forum and to REI. I have been researching a ton of deals for small multifamily properties and am having trouble committing. I have a couple problems holding me back.

My situation: I currently live in CT. I have a mortgage and live in a condo with my wife and 6mo old baby. 

     My first problem is we want to house hack to try and avoid that 25% down payment. I live in CT so multifamily properties are mainly between 200k and 400k for anything decent for multi family to live in with a baby. The 200k end being some pretty questionable areas for multifamily houses. So trying to save 50 to 100k for down payment is not exactly easy. 

We have thought about finding a partner to invest,  but my wife is not fully convinced that a partner is a good choice because neither of us know how to get a contract for that type of thing written up and she doesn't want to be taken advantage of. 

Are there any suggestions you guys have to get us over that initial "hill" and start this journey confidently? We are motivated and dedicated to getting this started,  but we can't get past the first step of getting our first deal.  Do we house hack in a not so good area/ property to get started or do we find a partner so we can put that 75k towards a down payment and just stay in our current living situation? 

thanks guys! Look forward to your input

Hey @Kevin Dombrowski , welcome to the BP community!

So, you do or you don't want to house hack? Little confused on that. 

Sounds like house hacking is the way to go for you since you don't have enough capital yet to purchase with 20-25% down. I understand you don't want to live with your family in any rougher parts of town. So, why not purchase something in the middle of that range you mentioned, in a working-class, up-&-coming neighborhood? Sounds like PP would likely be around $300k. You can do 3.5% down FHA with another 3ish% in closing costs ~ $20k. Make sure you have some reserves. Also, this doesn't take into consideration any rehab needed, but sounds like sweat equity will be the way to go here.

Does this sound like something more manageable? No need to bring in a partner on your first deal. That being said, it wouldn't hurt to build your network so that the opportunity exists and can be taken if needed. 

Hope this helps a bit - please, feel free to reach out anytime if you have other questions or just want to chat!

@Kevin Dombrowski Both avenues can lead to good results. House hacking is certainly powerful so I'd say why not both? Using FHA/HomePossible/HomeReady (if you qualify) can get you into a duplex or triplex pretty cheap, then you and the business partner can look into purchasing another home. As for your fears on being taken advantage of, when you purchase you can use the real estate attorney involved to ensure that your contracts are fair.

My business partner and I bought a 3 family in New Britain for $350k with 25% down and it ran each of us a little over 50k when split 50/50. With 75k you may be able to do both. If your credit score is good enough you may be able to get into the investment property with 20% down and save a bit there as well.

House hack it for sure!! You can always partner on a larger deal later. Which areas of CT are you considering? There are many B class areas that make for good house hacks across the state. As long as it cashflows when you move out it’s a win!

@Kevin Dombrowski First home I bought was a fourplex "househack". Granted I didn't have to worry about kids as I was single. It was in a rougher part of town and I would not be confident purchasing this had I been married and especially with kids. Maybe as a temporary home for a year or so.

There were plenty of advantages doing this. When I bought it, it was fully rented out making around 4k per month. Some lenders can use 75% of the rental income as part of your DTI (talk to a mortgage broker). Once I moved in, I was only making a little under $3k, meanwhile the mortgage was around $3200.


Talk to a broker about this since some loan programs require you to have landlord-ing experience of 2 yrs. A way around this is to shop for a Property Manager while you are under contract to show the lender that you will be using a service to take care of the tenant needs.


It's been 2 yrs now since I own this fourplex. Let me know if you have other questions, would love to help.

Thanks guys! Forgot to mention i would be using VA loan so no money down necessary and I've already been pre approved for more than what an average multifamily would cost. We have about 60k cash we could put into something but finding the "right" house that my wife will approve of has been tough lol. She is hesitant to put most of our savings into something. She thinks that if we use 50k to put into a multifamily that we will be stuck there forever. So if we put that into a house, how can I convince her that within a couple years or less we will be able to buy more properties? Even i am skeptical on how it would actually work. How can I come back from spending 50k this year and getting another property within a year or so? I really want to grow my portfolio but I don't want to be stuck at 1 property for years and years.