What is your advice for RE investing in my situation?

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I want to invest in real estate. I haven't invested into anything yet, so I'm still trying to figure out what my first deal will be. I live in a small town. I wanted buy 2-4 unit property with an FHA loan, but the properties available in my town are expensive, and they're not 4plexes. There are triplexes for 400k. Rents at $850-$900/unit, can possibly be increased to $1000 a month in the long run... Not great of a deal, right? Doesn't meet the 1% goal... So what should I do? I am currently renting. Should I just buy an expensive multi-family with FHA? Should I possibly do new construction? I contacted some contractors and figured out that the price of building a duplex with 3/2 units (including permits/site prep) plus land would be about the same, 400k. 3/2 units can rent at around $1500 a month per unit... New construction might appraise for more, so that might be a positive. And I have a lender that can do FHA construction loans on up to a duplex (no 3plex or 4plex for construction), so those 400k could be pretty much financed and the interest would be financed as well, so no payments during construction out of pocket... or is it better to just buy a ready multifamily? Or should I just not do any of this and buy or build a single family house 3/2 for something around 250k?

What's my best strategy here? Are there any other strategies I should pursue? I have no debt so far, so my DTI ratio is free and clear. I just don't want to mess it up and pursue the wrong strategy...

It sounds like your market is getting pricey. You either have to look one hour away from there to analyze good markets with better pricing or you may have to look at out of state deals. If so there are plenty of resources on how to invest out of state in bigger pockets just do a search on the forum. What some people do in expensive markets though is look for poorly managed/needs complete remodel multi units at a large discount that you renovate with your own workers and you can make a good amount of cash from the negotiation alone and compound that with the power of efficiently renovating it. One billionaire real estate investor once said the key is finding value add deals where when you put one of your dollars in the property it turns into four dollars and that’s how you know you are in a good deal in a pricier market. Find things like a duplex that has maybe 16 parking spots but you are able to build another duplex on the lot which would significantly increase the price of your investment. So the answer to your dilemma depends on many factors listed above which would correlate with your network and how many deals you can analyze to get the best outcome...