Purchasing my first duplex: Do’s and Don’ts, tips, etc.

4 Replies

Good evening to all!

I am looking into buying my first duplex as a house hack. I am currently 21 years old and will be starting up school in the Fall again. I have been doing some learning and researching for the past couple of months. Though, I understand I am still very naive to real estate investing, I believe the only way to properly learn and educate yourself is to get your feet wet. I am currently serving part-time in the ILNG, so using a VA loan is a possibility. I live in Dekalb County and have been looking around the area. However, I am leaning more towards Kane County and DuPage County. What I am looking for is mainly guidance and some sort of mentorship if that is possible. Let me know your insights on what I can and can't do or should and shouldn't do. Any thoughts and tips would be very helpful. Thanks!

@Nathan Gamez - Congrats on what sounds like an awesome plan.  Why would you lean towards Kane instead of Dekalb?  Won't you want to be close to school?

Location is key as you know, so if you can find a nice duplex in DeKalb that will be constantly rented I'd go with that.  

Personally, I always recommend first-time investors just get started and don't worry so much about the numbers.  If you are paying less than you would for rent it's a win and the experience you get sooner than later is invaluable.

Happy to help if you have some specific questions.

@Jonathan Klemm - So the reason I want to look in Kane and DuPage County is because there seems to be more options and more properties in those locations. They are of higher value and would probably rent for more than Dekalb would. I will also be attending College Of DuPage in the Fall so that’s a dilema I am trying to overcome as well. Though, that all depends on how future classes will hold up due to the pandemic.

I am not too worried about cash flow to begin with. I understand you have to learn and start somewhere first, but I have not had any luck finding a duplex in Dekalb. 

I have however found new duplexes in Kane county so I have debated on leaning more towards those.

My question now is would I be better off sticking with old construction or be better getting new construction?

Hey @Nathan Gamez !

Welcome to BiggerPockets! You have hit the JACKPOT of resources for real estate investors. You can literally find answers to all of your questions within the confines of this site. What’s the best way to get started using BiggerPockets?

1.Subscribe to the BiggerPockets Money and Rookie Podcasts

2.Attend the FREE WEBINARS

3.Attend a Meetup in Your Area / virtual meet ups

4.Purchase the Beginner Books: How to Invest in Real Estate, Set for Life, The House Hacking Strategy

5.Peruse the forums! Ask questions! Answer Questions! If you are consistent with learning real estate over the next 4-6 months, you’ll be ready to purchase your first (or next) property in NO TIME!

Good luck,

@Nathan Gamez - IF you can find a good deal in KAne county with newer construction I'd definitely lean that way.  However, with the high risk of older construction usually comes higher returns.

Starting out I always think it makes sense to find the path of least resistance and move as quick as 

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