Achieve Investment Group

What To Consider Before Investing in Multifamily Real Estate

Multifamily Real Estate investing is becoming increasingly popular, with investors clamoring to find a property multiple for renting a single-family home. The reason for this excitement is that multifamily properties offer an attractive investment that combines solid returns with lower levels of volatility than single-family homes and other real estate asset classes.

What is a Multifamily Property?

Multifamily properties can be defined as a building with more than one unit. The most common type of multifamily property is the apartment complex, but there are other types of multifamily properties such as condominiums, townhouses, and even student housing.

Multifamily properties can be found in any market and can be either owner-occupied or rented out to tenants. They appeal to investors because they provide a stable income stream through monthly rent payments and also offer tax benefits for some forms of investment real estate.

Multifamily properties are often owned by a single investor or by a partnership of two or more investors. These investors hire a property manager to oversee day-to-day operations, including tenant screening and maintenance requests.

Pros and cons of multifamily investing

Investing in multifamily properties can offer many advantages.

Low startup costs – The cost to purchase a multifamily property is significantly lower than the cost of buying a single-family home. And once you’ve purchased your first property, the cost of acquiring additional units can be spread over several years as you build your portfolio.

Low vacancy rates – The vacancy rate for multifamily properties is typically between 4% and 5%, according to Real Capital Analytics (RCA) industry experts. This is much lower than the vacancy rate for single-family homes, ranging from 10% to 30% during economic downturns.

Rental income. Your rental income will be based on the rents you charge your tenants, which can vary depending on the location and type of property you own. For example, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in San Francisco is $3,400 per month, according to Zumper’s National Rent Report for January 2017. In contrast, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Detroit is just $700 per month.

Multifamily properties provide diversification. Since most multifamily properties have multiple units, they provide some level of diversification by spreading risk around several units rather than relying on one property alone for income. So, for example, if one unit becomes vacant due to a tenant moving out or being evicted, this won’t necessarily cause any issues with the other units in the building because they’re all covered by separate leases anyway (at least until they expire).

Low correlation to stocks and bonds. Multifamily properties are less correlated with stocks and bonds than other real estate investments because they provide income rather than capital appreciation — although they also offer capital appreciation. In addition, they tend to be less correlated with the stock market than other real estate investments like office buildings or industrial properties because they tend to be located closer to where people live and work — this means higher demand for housing during times when people want to live closer to their jobs and vice versa.

Lower maintenance: Less maintenance than single-family homes or retail spaces. Apartments have fewer repairs and lower turnover than single-family homes and retail space (both of which require repairs and cleaning).

Risks of Multifamily Investment Properties

Here are three of the most significant risks to look out for when considering a multifamily property:

Tenant turnover rate: Tenant turnover rate refers to how often tenants move out of their units in a given period (typically one year). A high tenant turnover rate means that many of your tenants will be moving out soon — which means more vacancies and less income from those units while re-renting — and more work.

Market risk. The market can be volatile and unpredictable, so you could lose money on your investment if the economy turns south or if a large amount of new supply in your area drives down rents.

Construction risk. This is a big one! For example, suppose you’re buying an older property and need to renovate it or add amenities to attract tenants. In that case, you could lose tens of thousands of dollars if you don’t get the job done correctly or on time — or worse yet if something goes wrong during construction and causes damage to the property or other units in the building.

Property Management for Multifamily Properties

When it comes to managing these types of properties, there are two options: self-manage or hire a property manager.

Self-managing your assets means doing everything yourself — from collecting rents and paying bills on time to fixing leaks in the bathroom tubs and repairing broken appliances. If this sounds like something you want to do on top of all your other responsibilities (like running your business), then self-managing might be the right choice for you. 

Property management. You will need a property manager to handle everything from maintenance issues to tenant screening. If you cannot hire a professional manager, you’ll have to spend time handling these tasks yourself. This will take away from your time as an investor and could cause problems down the road if you don’t have enough time or experience managing tenants.

Final Thought

In the end, multifamily real estate investing is not something that every person or company should attempt. It is a highly specialized field with unique challenges and considerations. However, suppose you’re interested in embarking on this investment strategy or gaining a better understanding of the landscape. In that case, you should have the knowledge you need to succeed. With that in mind, begin your research today to make an informed decision in the future.

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