Buy two MF homes at once? Possible?

2 Replies

As I've said before, we're totally new at this.

We're in the process of selling our single-family home to buy a multi-family we'll owner occupy.

So far, we're interested in two properties:

-A triplex that is full of happy tenants that would make us at least $1,000/month. (Priced at $134K, we'd hope for at least a $10K price drop)

-A duplex that is near my sick parents, that we actually want  to live in with our children, and that seems very easy, solid, and manageable. (Priced at $75K, but we again want a good price drop because there's an exterior staircase we'd need to fix that will cost us $15K.)

I would love to buy them both at the same time. In my fantasy, we'd buy the bigger one first so we could do 3.5% down with an FHA. And then do the smaller one because the 20% we'd have to put down would be smaller.

Background - we're not wealthy! We have a small emergency fund of about $10K and about $25K equity in our home.


-Is this even possible?

-What could keep this from happening?

-Is this idea stupid? Since we're new at this, should we just buy one property as we get our feet wet with land lording? Should we wait to make sure we don't have any big repair surprises? Other reasons to wait?

-Other thoughts? 

The biggest concern I would have is cash availability for worst case scenarios. I would be concerned that you would be too exposed by having two new properties without a great handle on repair status/major mechanical systems (especially with upstate winters nearby) etc. Hopefully your emergency fund of 10K wont be used for either of the acquisitions, although I wouldn't be comfortable with only 10K covering 2 multi-family properties. I assume you'll be using the equity of your current house for the purchases. Is the 25K equity what you would be walking away with after closing costs etc? I'm seeing roughly 35K of cash available for purchase/repairs/emergency fund... is this correct? Are you currently working outside of RE to help buffer in the event of financial crisis? 

My school of thought is that you're better off growing at a slower rate while ensuring that you're protected/prepared for issues ahead. Even if your emergency is a line of credit or HELOC that you can leverage, it's important to make sure that you can service the debt.

IMO you're better off being conservative and growing slower than you are loosing your 35K. 

Best of luck

Thanks! That's my instinct, too! ;)

What do you think about living in one for a year, saving money, and then moving? Too soon?

My husband works a full-time job that covers all our expenses and I stay home with my kids and freelance write on the side for about $2-4K/month.

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