What is your process for analyzing a medium multi-family?

3 Replies

Hey friends,

I own 6 single-family properties and 2 small multi-family properties (1-4 units). I'm starting to look at medium-sized multi-family properties. There are are a couple of 8-unit buildings and one 60-unit apartment complex. What is your process for analyzing medium-sized multi-family properties? How does it differ from single-family?

I know the lending is different when I go over 4 units. I would guess my percentages that I use for expenses would be different as well. I am probably in C-class properties. I currently run my numbers at 11% for property management, 10% for maintenance, 5% for cap ex and 9% for vacancy. Should these be higher and lower for medium-sized multi-families?

I would appreciate input from those who have graduated to larger properties.


Down and dirty take expected gross rents after market rents are verified minus any concessions and take 50% off.

If seller pays water take 60% off.

Count remaining as NOI to figure out cap rate. Now sellers will say your costs are nuts and to go by their 35 to 40% expense numbers. You could do that but a few things go wrong and boom your cash flow projections you bought on are down the toilet. Be CONSERVATIVE when buying and if it goes better than expected it's gravy but if it's as bad as you thought and planned for you are still hitting your numbers.

@Joel Owens

Thank you for that bit of advice. I will run the numbers through that "conservative" formula. I am a big believer in under-promising and over-delivering, rather than over-promising and under-delivering. Unfortunately it is sometimes difficult to keep my optimism repressed.

What about analyzing a neighborhood or market with these larger properties. With 1-4 units I talk to neighbors, get rent estimates from my property manager, check for police reports. With larger properties and larger amounts of money, I suppose the due diligence should be a bit more zealous.


@michael w. 

You should also check code enforcement to make sure there are no major violations. We are also looking for some apartment complexes here in the area.

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