Long time lurker here at Bigger Pockets, first-time poster.
To introduce myself, I'm located in Orem, UT looking to invest in long-term investing, with an emphasis on student housing.
Happy to be here and excited to start my journey to financial independence.
I'm getting closer and closer to making my first deal and I had a couple questions regarding those first few steps! I'm unfamiliar with a lot of the legal jargon behind real estate so if it sounds like I don't know what I'm talking about, its because I don't. Thanks for your help/patience.
When it comes to financing, what would you consider the best route for a first time home buyer without a 20% downpayment? I've considered a general 3.5% FHA Loan, or I've heard of "piggybacking" your mortgage in order to avoid PMI, is it worth it? Also, understanding that it depends on the individual and situation, personally, do you prefer a private lender or a big bank to finance your real estate deals?
Also, from my understanding, in order to rent a property you need a business license, and in regard to opening a business, which is more popular/useful among real estate investors? A sole proprietorship or an LLC? Why?
Lastly, Zoning laws where there are only allowed 3 nonrelated individuals to a residence, is that a blanket law throughout the united states or does it depend on each individual city? Is there any way around it?
Sorry for the talking your ear off, I'm just grateful for the amazing resource that is Bigger Pockets and so so grateful for your time and any advice you might spare! Thanks again.
Regarding the best route for a first-time home buyer, I would definitely recommend an FHA loan on a multi-family property: duplex, triplex, or fourplex. The more doors the better IMO but whatever is currently available may ultimately dictate that. I've noticed that a lot of investors get tripped up on PMI or if you do an FHA loan it's actually called MIP. Many people will go to great lengths to avoid PMI or even back out of deals. My philosophy is if I am making money on a property and I have to pay PMI on it, then I absolutely love PMI. Because without it I wouldn't have been able to get the deal. If you make $1,000 cash flow on a property but you have to pay PMI of $250 that's a net effect of positive $750 a month. That's a good thing. I like $750 per month therefore I like PMI because without it I would be sidelined and prevented from enjoying the many benefits Real Estate has to offer: tax advantages, cash flow, appreciation, etc. I believe to piggyback you need 10% down. There's a chance that may be a better option, but I'm a fan of using as much of other people's money as possible. Going the FHA route, your down payment is about 3x less. That is substantial. Sure you will have to pay MIP but I imagine the second so-called piggyback mortgage interest rate is pretty high as well. In today's market it's hard to find properties that cash flow, so I'd recommend looking for homes that have been a bit neglected where you can go in and add value right off the bat.
In my experience the big banks haven't had the best rates. I have had great experience with smaller mortgage brokers. A little easier to work with as well because of less red tape.
I have a multi-family in Provo and they require a license for me to rent it out to tenants. I think it's about $60 per year. That's it.
For your first deal I wouldn't be too concerned about starting a business and buying it with a business or LLC. You don't have to. The easiest route is to just put it in your name. If you really are worried about liability issues, I would just create a single member LLC and put it in there. But considering you can always move it to an LLC if you initially just put it in your name, for simplicity's sake I'd put your first deal or two in your name.
Regarding zoning, I'm pretty sure that most of the country has that 3 non-related individual rule. I know Provo is starting to crack down on that.
I believe Provo’s ordinance reads (Provo Code 14.06:)
"“Family,” unless otherwise expressly provided in this Title means:
(a) One (1) individual living alone; or
(b) One (1), but not more than one (1) at the same time, of the following groups of individuals described in subsections (i), (ii), or (iii) who together occupy a one-family dwelling unit as one (1) nonprofit housekeeping unit and who share common living, sleeping, cooking and eating facilities:
(i) A head of household and:
(A) All persons related to the head of household as a parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, great-grandparent or great-grandchild by blood, marriage, adoption, guardianship, or any other duly authorized custodial relationship; and
(ii) In R1 zones located within neighborhood areas described in Subsection (c) of the definition of “baching singles” in this Section, two (2) related or unrelated individuals and any children of either individual, if any; or
(iii) In all other zones, three (3) related or unrelated individuals and any children of either individual, if any."