In my 15 years as a real estate investor, I have been asked the question “is multifamily a good first investment” many, many times, by many different people who are in many differing circumstances. My answer has always been and continues to be the same.
It depends on a variety of different factors. These factors include the investor’s disposition, their goals, and their experience. It depends on their financial situation and the amount of time and sweat equity they might be willing to put into an investment. It depends on the market they are trying to get into. In short, it depends on the person and where they are in their lives. It is something they have to answer for themselves.
I always tell people that the best way for them to answer this question is to compare the pros and cons of multifamily investing with the pros and cons of another type of investment they might consider, such as single-family dwellings. Put pencil to paper and make a list.
Then, think about yourself, your goals, and your financial situation to determine how the pros and cons match up to you.
To help you decide, I’ve outlined some of the basic pros and cons of multifamily investing below. I’ve also included in these pros and cons some of the advantages and disadvantages of other types of real estate investments to give you a better overall view.
More Cash Flow
Perhaps the best pro multifamily has going for it is the cash flow. Because there are multiple units, there is more cash flow. There’s not necessarily a better return on investment, but more cash flow. There is simply more cash coming into your pocket every month because you have more people paying you. A single family home, while it may offer a better return, will generally not generate as much cash.
Everything in One Place
With a multifamily property, there is only one lawn. There is only one roof. There may be only one water heater or HVAC unit. There is only one place to drive to. There is only one place to check on. In sum, almost everything is contained, which could help keep your maintenance and operating costs down. Single-family properties can be scattered all over the place. Plus, they all have the same components as multifamily properties, such as roofs and lawns; there are just more of them.
Related: Why Your Chance to Land a Big Multifamily Deal Might Be Just Around the Corner
Rarely Completely Vacant
Tenants move and create vacancies. But multifamily properties are rarely ever completely vacant. This means there is always…