I'm interested in opinion and guidance on what the experts/realtors can offer on my next real estate move. I've owned and lived in my two family duplex for 11 months. My realtor and bank told me that after 12 months i'd be eligible for another mortgage to purchase another home. I have about 70k in savings which would cover my down payment. Finding a two family home in my area was difficult, took almost 2 years but it was well worth it as I love my current home and its location.
The home came with a garage across the street, has its own tax bill, light bill and property. My town halls zoning department approved a single family dwelling. I've been looking into converting this garage into a single family dwelling and possibility moving in and renting out the 1st floor i'm currently in ($1500/month). This would be ideal as I know how long it could take to find another home. I'm also some what concerned that a 3-4 bedroom single family home may become too much for me. I'm single and have potential room mates who would be interested in moving into the next home I buy. However as far as solo living or with friends, I have no real preference.
Ideally i'd find another rental home and rent out the garage for $300 a month OR I could then have the option of staying in this single family home/renovated garage & buy another home for myself in 6-8 months as I save up for the down payment. In terms of market outlook: interest rates are low, home prices are some what steady, my job is solid and pays well. Part of me wants to stay in cash and buy the next home as soon as possible and part of me wants to invest into the garage space. Currently its rented at $300 to some of my friends who do some IT work in there in their free time. As a 1 bedroom apartment with a garage I believe I can get $1000 a month. It would cost roughly $50-60k to complete.
My question is, preference aside: Should I look into buying another rental home while staying put and then building the garage in the future as I own it and it won't matter to me whether its built this year or in 5 years.