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What Are theThings to Consider Before Buying a Two-Family House?

Susan Kelly

Oct 22, 2023


It is common practice to advise first-time real estate investors against investing in the multifamily housing market. The conventional piece of advice is that they ought to look into purchasing single-family homes. Because of this, it is generally accepted that large apartment buildings and complexes should be acquired later in your real estate career when you have more experience and capital to invest in property. This is because it is generally accepted that large apartment buildings and complexes should be acquired. However, novice investors shouldn't automatically rule out the possibility of purchasing a property with more than one dwelling unit. Investing in multifamily homes may be a very lucrative first investment, especially if you follow the advice given in these real estate guidelines for beginners.


Because multifamily housing, which refers to any housing other than a single-family home, may be prohibited owing to zoning regulations in some neighbourhoods, the number of prospective neighbourhoods from which you can choose may be greatly reduced. There is a greater concentration of multifamily housing units in metropolitan regions, whereas single-family homes and townhouses are more common in suburban locations.

Before you make a purchase, it can be beneficial to think about whether or not the location you choose will be desirable for a large number of prospective tenants as well as for you and your family to live in. Buy a house in a less desired part of town. You may have a harder time finding excellent renters, and you will be at a disadvantage because there are fewer amenities in the immediate neighbourhood.


When trying to obtain financing for a property with two separate dwelling units from mortgage lenders, you can face various obstacles. Although you may be able to use the potential rental income to help you qualify for the purchase, you will still need to have good credit, a low debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, and the ability to come up with a larger down payment; typically, multifamily housing requires a down payment of at least 25% in most cases. Banks know that renters may vacate the property and that you may be required to continue paying the entire mortgage on your own until you locate a replacement tenant.

Property Cost

Single-family homes typically come at a lower price point than multi family homes. This means that you will need to come up with a total of more money. Check that you have enough money set aside to cover this additional expense.

Newton's Third Law Of Multifamily Real Estate

"Owning a multifamily property comes with several advantages, but it also comes with several drawbacks that are equal and opposite in nature." Rental income is the primary advantage of having a multifamily dwelling and occupying one of the units within the dwelling. You will receive a monthly rent check, which can be applied against your monthly mortgage payment. One downside? The intricacy of taxes. Always consult your tax professional before making a major investment purchase, especially from which you intend to make deprecations and write-offs. This is especially important if you expect to purchase an asset you will appreciate.

Another benefit of having a multifamily unit and living in one of the units while renting out the others is that you'll always be close to your rental properties, so you can check on the condition frequently. You will be the first one to know if there is loud music being played late at night if you are there. At least you won't have to make a very long journey to address the problem if one of your tenants' pipes bursts or their toilet gets clogged with toilet paper and needs your help.

Work With Experienced Real Estate Professionals

Buying a multi-family home in a state such as Massachusetts can be overwhelming. The jigsaw puzzle consists of a very large number of individual pieces. There is also a significant amount of potential for things to go wrong. Because of this, you should collaborate with a seasoned real estate agent who focuses their practice on purchasing multi family homes. Purchasing an apartment building with multiple units can be difficult because the rents and leases (if any are already in place) must be investigated.

Your agent should be well informed in evaluating the prospective returns and the rental market in the region you are exploring. This way, they will be able to help you through the whole progression, including the process of conducting due diligence. You should also consult with an experienced real estate attorney and lender. These pros will help guarantee that things move as smoothly as possible. You should also engage with a reputable house inspector. They will supply you with thorough information about all of the primary systems and components of the building.


If you buy a property with two dwelling units and move into one while renting out the other, you can enhance your financial situation. You should be aware that the conditions for obtaining a mortgage may become more stringent, that you may give up part of your privacy, and that filing your taxes will become more onerous. You are responsible for the upkeep and repair of the entire building if you are a landlord who collects the rent. Depending on the neighbourhood, the resale of a two-family home may be more challenging than a single-family home. Decide whether you will share a backyard, only use it for yourself, or give it to your tenants to use as they like.

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