Key house finding terms

4 Replies

I've been educating myself a lot lately and my girlfriend and I are searching the housing market countless times everyday. Any recommendations as to any "key words" I could type in to find a house? I've been looking for a multifamily (We'd live in one part and rent the other). I've noticed that some places are listed as multifamily but then others say single family but they're listed as having finished basements set up for apartments. 

Hi Paul,

I'm not sure if you mean keywords on this site or just in general. Great apps that I use are:,, and I've found some great multi family properties on these and even sends me emails on properties in my area up for sale. I'm currently building my real estate vocabulary as well. Good luck to you and your girlfriend! 

I would look for properties that have things listed like Mother In Law Suite, Finished Basement, Detatched Garage. Duplex, Triplex, Fourplex.

I am looking for multifamily and actually looking into building a new one. If I was younger I would do something like The BP book reccomends. Buy one as a first home. Get an FHA loan, live in it for a while and then you can move and have it as a full investment rental property. I would suggest reading their book if you haven't already. I wish I would have read it 15 years ago!

Raven and Amber thank you so much. I am using the apps and starting to look in my area for properties. The property I am looking for is a multi family and it would be my first property to own. From what you are saying I should live it for about a year or two first? Could I from there try to use a 1031 transfer to get a bigger property? I am still reading that book you mentioned Raven. I am not finished yet. 

@Paul Scalcione Jr

 Careful with the mother's in law units or guest houses; they're oftentimes not legal units and more often than not are not separately metered, so if you rent those out, you'll probably have to cover the utilities. Depending on the laws in the city you may or may not be allowed to legally rent those guest houses out. Also, if the guest house or basement unit was not legally put in, and something happens, you'll be on the hook. Good idea to check with the city, permits and zoning laws first. Unconforming units can be a pain in the a$$. 

And in case you weren't aware, there's often a filter/tab for "multi-family" on most of the RE sites that will show you homes with 2 or more units, just like there's a filter for land, condos, apartments and single family homes. 

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