2plex, 3plex, 4plex: Are they SFH or multifamily?

5 Replies

This might be an easy question to answer, but I've seen a few different opinions on here and when looking at listings. Are these small multifamily properties classified as SFH, or multifamily in the MLS? And what about for zoning? I've seen multifamily properties on SFH zones and multifamily properties listed as SFH.

@Nic B.

If I am not mistaken any 4 unit and bellow is considered residential or sfh and multifamily...

In Zoning it depends on where the property is located and what the city approved I would verify zoning issues with your local planning department at the city hall...

I have seen a 4 plex listed as a single family, but on the notes they always cover them self's by saying buyer to verify all info etc...

Hope this helped.

Jose Tamayo Jr.

Endow Investing

The issue is with respect to financing. Since almost all single family loans are standardized so that the can be sold, 1 to 4 units are considered single family and are underwritten pretty much the same. 5 or more units are considered multifamily and have different underwriting factors.

Zoning has more to do with building specs and permitted uses. Many zoning laws allow for down grading so that you can build a single family house on multifamily land although you would generally not want to.

When I was searching for an investment property, I was told that up to 4 units is considered multifamily residential and 5 units or more is considered multifamily commercial.  They told me it had to do with lending definitions.  Obviously, one unit is a single family residence, although I've seen many families in one home, but that has no bearing on the nomenclature.

I just bought a duplex, and it's described as multifamily residential.

Originally posted by @Jose Tamayo Jr :

@Nic B.

If I am not mistaken any 4 unit and bellow is considered residential or sfh and multifamily...

In Zoning it depends on where the property is located and what the city approved I would verify zoning issues with your local planning department at the city hall...

I have seen a 4 plex listed as a single family, but on the notes they always cover them self's by saying buyer to verify all info etc...

Hope this helped.

Jose Tamayo Jr.

Endow Investing

 Good idea to confirm zoning rules!