SFH or Multi in Hampton Roads, VA

5 Replies


Just wanted to get some advice from seasoned investors that are located at big military cities/towns. I'm planning on investing in Norfolk, VA and I'm debating whether I should invest in SFH's or Multi-Families. My original plan was to focus on Multi-family for obvious reasons. But at the same time, I'm in a military town and I think I should capitalize on that but that would mean I have to focus on single family homes and I understand sfh's could be a gamble compared to multi-families. And trust me, military people could get pretty creative when they want out of a lease. I would know because I am one and I've seen some write fake orders and there's really no way to tell it's fake.

I could really use some advice from people who has experience in investing in military towns. Am I better off with multi-families, or should i take a leap of faith and go single? Is it worth it?

if you are looking to attract military, I would be more concerned about the area than if it is SFH or MF. There is a large share that have no problem being in a MF that is nice or in an area w/ things to do (oceanfront, hilltop, Ghent, town center). I would say most can get out of a lease if they want to, but in general, I think military is a pretty safe bet.

I prefer the SFRs vs MFRs, simply because in the MFR you are going to have to deal with the complaints and resolutions of tenants bickering.

@Edsiaren Ignacio
I am prior military and i live in northern va (20min from white house), any case, i recommend SFR. here's why: if you go multifamily and you get a group of sailors in there from the same unit and they all decide to bail out..."orders", now you have to scramble and get all the housing rented. And when you do rent, I would recommend you don't go below a certain rank of your choosing. the higher the ranking usually means more responsible.

I agree with the notion that military people could settle for mfh's but i personally cant afford multi's in the ghent area or similar high end locations. (Plus, they're so expensive i dont think the returns would be ideal. I'm sure they'll have some type of cash flow but the grm on these properties would probably be 10 or 11 at the least) Plus most military personnel who rent on Multi's are people who rent with room mates and that's what's pretty risky about it. from the horror stories I've witnessed myself, what usually happens is that some type of drama breaks out between them and one leaves and the other cant pay by himself so he tries to cheat his way out of the lease and now you're left with 2-days notice of vacancy. Maybe i'm always just at the wrong place at the wrong time when i see these things happen, so please feel free to correct me if i'm wrong. Don't get me wrong, the scenario i mentioned can occur on a sfh tenant but military personnel with family are more responsible and they normally tend to stick to sfh's. So i guess what it all boils down to is, based on your experience either multi or sfh, what is the vacancy rate for your investments? Also where are your properties located at?