Convert to mother in law, or buy duplex?

3 Replies

Hello all, I recently posted a similar forum but I need a little more advice. I found a property that has enough square footage in a nice neighborhood that I can convert the downstairs into a “mother in law” unit which will allow the upstairs to be rented for a good portion of the mortgage. This will take time and money as the place is a little beat up. I am a HVAC contractor by trade so I can handle a lot of the work on my own. However, I am wondering if this is a good strategy for my first property? Or would it just be better to buy a more expensive duplex that is move in ready (or needs very minor repairs). I am currently on the 2-4 year plan where I live so I would want to sell the mother in law place when leaving. The duplex I could maybe keep renting? Could owning a mother in law hinder my ability to buy a second live in property? I am a little nervous as I don’t see a lot of talk about mother in laws being considered a rental property strategy. Thanks All!
Originally posted by @Eric Kissinger :
Hello all,

I recently posted a similar forum but I need a little more advice. I found a property that has enough square footage in a nice neighborhood that I can convert the downstairs into a “mother in law” unit which will allow the upstairs to be rented for a good portion of the mortgage. This will take time and money as the place is a little beat up. I am a HVAC contractor by trade so I can handle a lot of the work on my own. However, I am wondering if this is a good strategy for my first property? Or would it just be better to buy a more expensive duplex that is move in ready (or needs very minor repairs). I am currently on the 2-4 year plan where I live so I would want to sell the mother in law place when leaving. The duplex I could maybe keep renting? Could owning a mother in law hinder my ability to buy a second live in property? I am a little nervous as I don’t see a lot of talk about mother in laws being considered a rental property strategy.

Thanks All!

 Hi Eric,

Instead of searching for "mother in law unit," try "accessory dwelling unit" or "ADU." :)

Chris Mason, Lender in CA (#1220177) and California (#1220177)
415-846-9211

Right thank you Chris.

Just curious if this is a good plan. I guess I won’t know unless I try.

Thanks!

ADUs are a good plan in a rental strategy because they can give you a high rate of return for a low investment. However if you choose to sell, bank's many times value ADUs at what they call a contributory rate and it may only be 15% of what a stand-alone dwelling would be valued at. So if you're planning on selling, the duplex maybe the better route.

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.