Ideal # of bedrooms and baths for 4-plex

7 Replies

I am going to be constructing a 4-plex to live in as an owner occupant with an FHA Loan. I was wondering what everyone sees as the best configuration for low turnover and help me to maintain a competitive edge. I was considering doing 4/2 1250 square feet units but am also considering 3/2 and possible even 2/2 or 2/1. I had a 4-plex in the Phoenix market that was a 1/1 and the turnover was very high and the tenant mix was very high maintenance.

Also curious if anyone has insight on a single vs 2-story unit?

Ive never built a multi-unit place but I think one of the most important questions is where are you planning on building? Of the units I own I find it a lot easier to rent out units with 2 bedrooms and 1-2 baths. I like to have a little bigger units to attract families personally, because there is less turnover. Some people think there can be more wear and tear with families from small children. You should really get online to try and get an idea of what the apartments in your area are renting for, so you know what your return will look like. Many people who purchase rentals look for 1-3% return monthly on the full purchase price of the property, and I would assume its the same if you're building. I.E. if you spend 100,000 to build a unit you would ideally like $2,000 back per month in rent to cover all expenses. You can still make money with less then 2% but you gotta decide what your comfortable with and what make it a good deal for you.

I have a 4-plex that has 3 2/1 units and a single 3/1 unit. The 3/1 is hands down the most sought after. I wish they were all 3 bedrooms. It's easy to rent and I get an extra $100 a month for it. It may depend on your area. 2/1 units are the standard around here and it seems people always want a little more!

There are variances based on if a College town students might go for 1 beds more or remote areas might like the 3 beds.

Most areas the 2 bed unit mix with 1, 1 1/2 baths, 2 baths is the standard.

1 beds are more transient tenants and even if good ones when they get married, have kids, add a partner etc. the 1 bed space becomes too small. With a 2 bed you can do many things with that space to make it still work.

There are some 3 beds in the area here and I have even seen 4 beds but rare and those command a little more rent but not much versus the extra space they take up. You could instead have more 2 beds for the same building sq ft and get more total rent.

I am located in a rural area of Arizona. Currently we are experiencing very high demand from several mines that are hiring in the area, rents have jumped 50% during the last 2 years and I have a waiting list for my other properties. However I want to be ready to weather the next mining downturn with quality tenants that aren't dependent on mining. Also because of the low interest and fixed rate of an FHA mortgage(and the fact that I am going to be living in one of the units) I would prefer to go with larger sized units. I guess I could always set it up as 4/2 with a large kitchen and living room that could later be divided into 8 2/1's after my occupancy requirement has expired :).

Zoning will not usually allow you to turn a 4-plex into a 8-plex. Three bedrooms is the most sought after floor plan in my area.

Originally posted by @Austin V. :
I am located in a rural area of Arizona. Currently we are experiencing very high demand from several mines that are hiring in the area, rents have jumped 50% during the last 2 years and I have a waiting list for my other properties. However I want to be ready to weather the next mining downturn with quality tenants that aren't dependent on mining. Also because of the low interest and fixed rate of an FHA mortgage(and the fact that I am going to be living in one of the units) I would prefer to go with larger sized units. I guess I could always set it up as 4/2 with a large kitchen and living room that could later be divided into 8 2/1's after my occupancy requirement has expired :).

Wow, I can't believe I came across this post. I live in Willcox, and it is interesting reading about your strategy. I never even considered the Safford area. I wish you luck, and please keep us updated.

Good Catch @Rusty Thompson that would be consistent with my local area zoning as well.

Tony G -Glad to meet someone else who is local. These mining towns tend to be wildly cyclical based on commodity prices but when times are good, they are really good.

Thanks for all the feedback, I will keep everybody updated as plans roll out.

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