Newly married couple looking to get started in Philadelphia

9 Replies

Hello,

My wife (25) and I (29) have been living in the Philadelphia area for a few years now and we are interested in purchasing our first property.  Our current home is a tiny apartment in Cedar Park.  Fortunately, this means that an upgrade does not need to be a mansion or a dream home.

Our current plan is to find a duplex or triplex with the potential to generate a little bit of cash flow in addition to acting as our home.  We are interested in learning as much as possible about the process over the next few months and getting to know like-minded individuals or mentors through this wonderful resource.

@ Mike Conner: A good place to start is connecting with a knowledgeable local Realtor. They might be able to educate you on first time home buyers incentives or programs that could help you qualify for a home sooner than you may think.

@Mike Conner  

Starting off with a live-in Duplex or Triplex is a great strategy. 

Do you have an idea which specific area you are looking at? My brother lived in the Cedar Park area when he went to school at University of the Sciences...I think it's a great area with upward potential. 

Best of luck.

Hello Milan,

I will definitely get in touch with a realtor to learn more as we prepare to start looking intensively this spring.  I have a bit of information on what I might be eligible for, but it would be great to hear from someone who will know nearly all the answers.

Zachary,  

Cedar Park is nice, but I work north of the city and we are hoping to minimize the commute. We have scoped out some of the neighborhoods in NW Philadelphia and LOVE West Mount Airy thanks to its proximity to the Wissahickon and general vibe.  Roxborough is an option, as well as surrounding suburbs Ambler and Phoenixville.  

I think above all it is important for us to find the RIGHT deal.  If we can't move in August when the current lease is up, we will try to go month-to-month until we can close on the right home.

@Mike Conner - nice. West Mount Airy is a pretty awesome place to live with its proximity to Wissahickon and quick drive to Center City. 

Roxborough/Manayunk and Phoenixville are nice too - in the summer I try to bike the Schuylkill River Trail every Sunday. I've seen decent multifamily properties in these areas for $225k-275k with varying amount of repair. 

If you have any questions about those markets or others feel free to shoot me a message. 

Best of Luck. 

Hi @Mike Conner,

Some great ideas above and buying in Philadelphia is a good move for cash flow, appreciation and price. You can always consider going owner occupied multi family purchase which requires less down (3.5%)

Let me know if you have any questions.

Regards,

Joe Scorese

Originally posted by @Mike Conner :

Hello,

My wife (25) and I (29) have been living in the Philadelphia area for a few years now and we are interested in purchasing our first property.  Our current home is a tiny apartment in Cedar Park.  Fortunately, this means that an upgrade does not need to be a mansion or a dream home.

Our current plan is to find a duplex or triplex with the potential to generate a little bit of cash flow in addition to acting as our home.  We are interested in learning as much as possible about the process over the next few months and getting to know like-minded individuals or mentors through this wonderful resource.

 Hey Mike,

I did exactly this a little over two years ago (still live there) and it's been the best move my wife and I have ever made. We bought a 4-unit building in the Brewerytown section of Philadelphia and with the rents from the other 3 units, we live for free plus pocket a little extra cash every month. In reality, we're not actually cash flowing though as we manage ourselves and the extra cash every month is eaten up by vacancy and maintenance. 

TD Bank has a loan program for some areas that allows 3% down, no PMI, which is way better than FHA. It's not income-based, it goes by the area. PM me if you want the brokers contact info. If the property is a fixer-upper you may want to go FHA 203k though.

Let me know if I can help you out in any way. The only thing I can say is, unless you buy something that isn't livable or is in a rougher area, you're not likely to truly cash flow while you're living in it. It's very tough to do in nicer areas. That said, you can easily live for free while your tenants pay your PITI and pay off your property for you.

Updated almost 6 years ago

Wanted to clarify the TD Bank mortgage program statement I made to avoid confusion. When I said "it's not income based" I meant they don't freeze out higher income folks, it's for any income range. The program is focused on building up certain areas of lower income. My house is in 19130 zip and it qualifies. Point is, the bank is still going to want you to have enough income to be able to repay the loan. If you have no income, you're not likely to qualify. Sorry for any confusion!

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

We hate spam just as much as you