Pros and Cons Guide to Investing in Multifamily Property
Investing in a multifamily property can be a great way to diversify your real estate portfolio. The most common multifamily property comes in the form of an apartment building or multi-unit complex like a duplex or triplex. Before investing in a new form of real estate, it is always important to weigh the advantages against the risks to ensure that this is the right move for you and your situation.
Advantages of Investing in Multifamily Property
1. Cash Flow and Passive Income
Monthly rent offers a source of passive income. A major benefit of multifamily properties is the multiple streams of cash flow coming in from each unit, meaning that even if you have one vacancy, you are still seeing a source of revenue. This cash flow can turn into passive income if you decide to hire a property management company that specializes in apartments and multifamily properties to take over the day-to-day responsibilities, leaving you with more time to focus your efforts elsewhere.
Rather than investing in single-family homes one by one, which can take quite some time, investing in a multifamily property can quickly grow your portfolio. It will also allow for the opportunity to dabble in commercial real estate investments should you invest in a multifamily property with five or more units, which are considered commercial.
3. Tax Benefits
To run a multifamily property, you will incur tax-deductible expenses such as:
- Insurance premiums
- Mortgage interest
- Marketing costs
- Maintenance and repairs
- Management costs
Writing off these expenses from your total taxable income can reduce your total tax obligation and lighten your financial load.
4. Streamline Simplicity
Investing in a multifamily property is pretty straightforward compared to investing in several single-family homes. Investing in buildings like a duplex or apartment complex allows you to purchase with a single loan rather than having to take out multiple for each individual home the way you would for a single-family property. Compared to single-family homes, multifamily properties have a lower likelihood of foreclosure making it a more attractive investment from a lender’s standpoint who may also offer you a more competitive interest rate.
Risks of Investing in Multifamily Property
1. Greater Upfront Expense
While a multifamily property can be a lucrative investment long-term, the upfront cost is far greater than your average single-family home. The city you choose to invest in may rely on the budget you have set for this property. As any Los Angeles property management company will attest, some duplexes can sell for tens of millions in this high-cost area. whereas if you are looking to invest in a smaller more suburban area like Ventura, you may be able to stretch your dollar a bit further. It is typically required to have 20% of the total cost upfront to purchase your property, so be sure to plan for that plus some as a buffer.
2. Competitive Market
It can be difficult to throw your hat into the ring if you are just getting started in this form of real estate. Experienced multifamily investors are quick to make moves in the market due to the benefits of owning such property. Multiple developers or investors competing in the purchase of one building can rapidly drive up the price, making it difficult for you to get your foot in the door.
3. More to Manage
A multifamily property requires great responsibility and a lot of time to keep up since you are now taking on all of the responsibilities of a single home and multiplying it by X. Investing in a reputable and trustworthy property management company can relieve you of the stresses that come with the day-to-day responsibilities.
While multifamily properties can be a lot of work and require greater funds to acquire upfront, it can be an incredibly lucrative investment in the long run and a positive asset to your real estate portfolio.