Reasons to Invest in Single-Family Housing
9 Reasons to Invest in Single-Family Housing

Ever dreamed of being a real estate mogul with thousands coming in from investment properties? Seems like a stretch, right? No matter how hard you work or how successful you become, you just can’t manage that 1.5 million that it takes to buy land for development, a commercial property, or a condo complex in the city.

For most of us, the best approach to real estate may be right under your nose. Single-family homes make great investment properties and bring fantastic benefits you may not have considered before. Here are nine reasons why you should consider adding single family housing to your investment portfolio.

1. Higher Cash Flow

Single-family homes, if carefully selected, can have higher cash flow than other investment properties. With occupants paying rent and covering utilities, landlords stand to realize more profit each month. That means after accounting for all costs associated with owning and maintaining the home, more of the money goes into your bank account. Investing in single-family properties can push your cash flow higher.

2. More Appreciation

Standalone homes can grow in value more quickly than multi-family properties like apartment buildings. In addition to the money you see coming in monthly from rent, you continue to build equity by owning the property. The appreciation increases your net worth, meaning more money to live on or invest in additional properties. More money? That’s music to our ears!

3. Choice

The more songs you have on your phone, the more likely you will find something that is exactly what you need to hear, whether you are trying to get through a tough workout or a tough break-up. Choice is good.

When you are looking to invest, there are many more single-family properties than multi-unit offerings. That increases your chances of finding what you are looking for. You want to be able to be selective in choosing your investment property.

Finding a property that will attract stable tenants and be a great long-term asset for you is vital. Standalone residences vastly outnumber multi-family properties, so finding what you seek is more likely. Every week, millions of sellers put their homes on the market. That means there are always deals to be had.

4. Smaller Initial Investment

To afford an investment property, you shouldn’t have to live like a musician whose band hasn’t yet made it out of their mom’s garage. But, saving up the massive down-payment required to finance multi-family investments can be daunting. It can delay your entry into real estate investing for years, which means years longer before you see your first rental income.

Twenty percent down on a $400,000 house is $80,000. On a $1.5 million small apartment building, it’s $300,000. And it may even be worse than that. Multi-family units (typically four units or more) may require commercial real estate loans instead of residential loans. That often means the percentage needed for a down payment is higher, which would push that $300,000 number even higher.

With less-expensive standalone properties, you can get more quickly into the market and add more units gradually as you have the funds to do so.

5. Easier to Finance

That point about residential real estate loans versus commercial real estate loans is an important one. Because there is more money at stake, commercial loans and borrowers must face more scrutiny. The loan approval and terms won’t just be based on the property’s value and the borrower’s qualifications. The lender will likely look at the property’s rental history, potentially going back several years. It is undoubtedly possible for well-qualified buyers looking at multi-unit investments with great numbers to get financing. But the process is longer and more involved and usually requires that larger down payment.

6. Less and More-Predictable Maintenance

Suppose your rental property has one air conditioner, and you’ve replaced it recently. In that case, you can be reasonably confident that you won’t have a significant A/C expense for many more years. On the other hand, if you have 10 units, there’s a good chance that at any given time, one of them could have an HVAC problem. Now multiply that by roofs, toilets, windows, refrigerators, and all other systems and items requiring regular care. If everything goes wrong simultaneously across multiple units, your guitar may not be the only thing that gently weeps.

The ability to predict the likelihood of significant expenses helps you manage your cash flow. And since strategically selected standalone homes tend to have tenants that take better care of your property, you may have less maintenance overall.

7. More Liquidity

When the time comes to sell your single-family investment property, you have a much larger pool of buyers. You may sell to other investors or people looking for a personal residence. That means there is more demand for a home than a multi-unit property that will only go to someone looking to be a landlord and who has the finances to handle a much more expensive purchase. More potential buyers means quicker sales and higher prices. Because when it is time to sell your investment, the last thing you want is to let it go for a song.

8. Desirable to Tenants

Typically, single-family homes come with a yard or other outdoor space, privacy, a neighborhood feel, and possibly neighborhood amenities. Nicer standalone homes in good neighborhoods are more likely to attract stable, self-sufficient tenants who pay on time and may be willing to spend 15 minutes fixing a running toilet rather than having you pay a plumber for a simple fix. These properties also tend to have tenants that stay longer because they settle in and make the place their home.

All of this means that you are likely to have less turnover, and when you do lose a tenant, you will be able to fill their spot more quickly and with a great, well-qualified tenant. The more people want your property, the better your position—and your bottom line—as a landlord.

9. Potential to Buy Below Market Value

When buying houses, you most often purchase from homeowners rather than investors. In many cases, they must sell to move to another area or a different home. Or perhaps they inherited the house and just want to get the money out so they can settle the estate and move on to happier times. In situations like these, they may value time over money. That means you can find a deal.

With multi-family properties sold by real estate investors, you are dealing with a business transaction. They are more likely to be educated on the property’s exact value and usually have the time to wait it out rather than sell for less.

While a professional investor may put you through the ringer, you may have an opportunity to get a great deal from a typical homeowner, which means higher profits for you.

If you want to join the investment property income club but are not sure how to take the first step, single-family homes might be the perfect way to do it. They offer many advantages over multi-family units and can be a great path toward stable, low-stress income and equity growth.

Done For You Real Estate can help you find the best investment properties to meet your goals. Because even the best front man sometimes sounds a bit better with a team of great backup vocalists supporting him.

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