Building a duplex / triplex. Thoughts?

6 Replies

Hey BP Community!

I'm in the middle of my first BRRRR, a SFR purchased at Sheriff's sale, and am looking to my next one! David Greene's book on BRRRR is amazing if you haven't read it yet.

I’m also thinking about moving into small multi-family. In my area (Indy) there aren’t very many duplexes / triplexes for sale so I’m considering building.

Love to hear your thoughts on:

- Build vs Buy

- Duplex/Triplex

- Building Considerations

- Rough construction costs

Cheers, Scott

@Scott Donahue Great to hear you're having success with the BRRRR strategy! It was an instrumental part in building my portfolio.

My dad actually just built two duplexes and a SFR on some property in the mid-west (ohio to be exact). He has had great success, minus a few issues with some subs.

I would run the numbers and get some local quotes on what you can build then see how much each option (SFR, duplex or triplex) would rent for. Then see how that compares to just finding a good deal.

My dad has been in construction for over 30 years so he acted as the General Contractor (GC), which saved him 10-15%. If you have some experience with contracting then this could be something you may use to save some money. 

Best of luck!

Awesome idea, but be sure to do your due diligence on local zoning and building regulations.  There are a lot of jurisdictions with NIMBY zoning restrictions that severely limit housing density.

Another option to look at is converting a SFH into a duplex. In Baltimore County, for example, it is fairly easy to legally convert a basement into a separate unit. Good luck!

Thanks for the suggestions and for the post all.  Do you recommend a BRRRR investor to take the time to get his GC license to save the 15% and to gain access to cheaper materials cost? 


Originally posted by @Cameron Tope :

@Scott Donahue Great to hear you're having success with the BRRRR strategy! It was an instrumental part in building my portfolio.

My dad actually just built two duplexes and a SFR on some property in the mid-west (ohio to be exact). He has had great success, minus a few issues with some subs.

I would run the numbers and get some local quotes on what you can build then see how much each option (SFR, duplex or triplex) would rent for. Then see how that compares to just finding a good deal.

My dad has been in construction for over 30 years so he acted as the General Contractor (GC), which saved him 10-15%. If you have some experience with contracting then this could be something you may use to save some money. 

Best of luck!

Originally posted by @Scott Donahue :

@Joe Norman Thank you! Do you happen to know of a resource I can tap to determine if conversion of a SFR is a feasible strategy in my area? Any resources discussing the topic in more detail?

 I don't have a specific resource in mind, but would suggest either finding another investor who has done this or speak with a lawyer who has experience in front of your local zoning board (or equivalent body).  Good luck!