Newbie in Philly looking for first house hack!

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Hey BP fam! I'm Tom. I'm 23 years old living in the city of brotherly love. I've had a position in management consulting at a Big 4 firm for a year and a half and have been renting during this time. My current lease is up Summer 2020 and I'm looking to have my first house hack ready by that time. I'm interested in learning about the basic advice for beginners and anything Philadelphia-specific that can help me with my search.

Is it better to go single-family or duplex/triplex? Which neighborhoods? Pre-approval with an agent or online? What type of loan works best? Should I consider going in with a friend for my first property to reduce the costs?

Thanks for all help! Looking forward to hearing all your ideas!

Welcome to Biggerpockets!! Nice to meet you!! Congratulations moving forward on your endeavors. 🤩

First, start listening to podcasts. Next consider multi unit properties using FHA. If finding a turn key property is harder, consider using FHA 203 to get a property needing renovations. Cost and work will be part of loan.

Thanks, Anthoney! Appreciate the insight. I've been listening to the BP podcast for a little while now and have read a few books. Rich Dad Poor Dad of course, Set For Life, and some others. I think I have a pretty good understanding of the basics and ready to jump in and learn more as I go. 

A turnkey property is certainly more ideal starting out as I don't have much capital saved. 

Looking forward to connecting further!

Hey @Thomas Alessandrello ! Here are a few questions to consider:

1) Are you buying this to live to free or to just pay less than your rent?

2) How much do you care about the neighborhood that you live in?

3) Duplexes are doable in most neighborhoods in Philly, triplexes and above are rare anywhere close to Center City or U-City but for either, you are going to pay up initially.

4) Are you looking to buy a distressed or turn-key property?

Hi @Jimmy O'Connor ! Thanks for the input! I'll definitely think further about these questions but here are my thoughts right now:

1) Ideally, I'd like to live for free and earn some income if possible. My goal is to live for free but would be ok with paying some out of pocket.

2) I'd say I care more about the safety and transportation ability of the neighborhood. I'd like to stick around major transporation hubs such as 30th St. Station since I travel frequently for work and to see family in North Jersey. I don't own a car. South Philly is where I'd like to be but open to University City, Fairmount, Brewerytown, Fishtown, Kesington, Manayunk, East Falls.

3) Figured that based off my searches, and I'd be happy with a duplex.

4) Definitely looking for a turnkey or a property with little improvements to make. I don't have a ton of capital or knowledge to be doing major renovations.

Happy to discuss further in messaging. Let me know your thoughts on my answers and if you think this is feasible or if you have any other advice!

Originally posted by @Thomas Alessandrello :

Hey BP fam! I'm Tom. I'm 23 years old living in the city of brotherly love. I've had a position in management consulting at a Big 4 firm for a year and a half and have been renting during this time. My current lease is up Summer 2020 and I'm looking to have my first house hack ready by that time. I'm interested in learning about the basic advice for beginners and anything Philadelphia-specific that can help me with my search.

Is it better to go single-family or duplex/triplex? Which neighborhoods? Pre-approval with an agent or online? What type of loan works best? Should I consider going in with a friend for my first property to reduce the costs?

Thanks for all help! Looking forward to hearing all your ideas!

 Welcome aboard Tom.

A duplex would be a great way to get started. You could get an FHA loan for a low downpayment. Live in it until you are ready to move and buy another one. And you will collect 2 rents instead of 1. With a SFH it's all or nothing. With a duplex you can pay some of the expenses if 1 lease doesn't renew. I know of many investors that got started this way. They seem to keep their value too. If you buy in semi decent areas you should be fine.

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