Single-Family Houses, Multi-Family Homes, & Mixed-Use Properties!

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There are various forms of properties. Before getting involved in real estate investing, it’s essential to understand the different property types. The main three property groups are single-family houses, multi-family homes, and mixed-use properties.

Residential properties are one of the most popular investment routes and are simple for new investors to understand. These properties can consist of single-family houses or multi-family properties. Also are limited on layout options, considering single-family homes have one kitchen and unshared utilities, including gas and electricity.

The two main aspects of investing in single-family homes tend to be fix/flip and fix/hold. Fix and flips refer to an investor purchasing a house directly from a homeowner or through a realtor; the investor will buy a property that needs work at times lower than the market value. After the purchase, the investor will complete home updates and repairs to get the home on the market to get the most profit on a house in Philadelphia.

Fix and hold consists of a similar concept to buy the property and do the repairs to make it a dream home; instead of selling the home after rehab, the investor would elect to find tenants and hold the house as a rental property. Multi-family homes are excellent investments for more seasoned investors simply because it’s riskier; with more risk comes more reward, but using house purchasing skills like running real estate comps to determine the return on investment before making an offer on the property.

Multi-family houses involve multiple rental opportunities in duplex, triplex, quadplex, etc. The third most popular form of real estate would be mixed-use buildings, which consist of commercial and residential properties. Mixed-used buildings are much less common than single-family and multi-family buildings but can earn income if approached correctly!

Vacant land shouldn’t be excluded; empty lots provide potential for investors. An investor can purchase vacant land for a reasonable/affordable price. After buying the land, most individuals tend to hold the property until it increases in value. After the increase, the owner will flip the property to an investor or build a home on the lot, depending on the property zoning.

Changing zoning can be tricky, especially in areas that have recently experienced significant development. To change the zoning, the homeowner must complete and submit documents to the zoning board contracted by the city or township; many factors are considered before approval.

Single-Family Houses, Multi-Family Homes, and Mixed-Use Properties.

What Are Single-Family Homes

A single-family house is self-explanatory; it’s a sole-standing independent structure on its land. The property has one kitchen and unshared utilities; the home can have multiple bathrooms and bedrooms. The overall category of single-family houses pertains to semi-detached or fully detached standard homes, row homes, or even townhouses.

Most homeowners prefer single-family houses because these homes require less home maintenance and overall upkeep. New real estate investors are recommended to start their journey by investing in single-family houses; less risk makes these property types more desirable.

The best two ways to partake in single-family investments would be fixed and flip or fix and hold; it depends on the area’s rental properties rate, the home’s square feet, and recently sold comps. If the property receives a cap rate annually between eight to ten percent of the total value, it’s a safe long-term investment.

After rehab, if the property is a more profitable fix and flipping than holding it as a rental, the investor will list the property on the market with a licensed real estate agent to sell your house. When the time comes for a potential investor to purchase their first investment property, there are a couple of essential details to remember. First, buyers must put down at least twenty percent of the total purchase price; regardless of whether a single-family or multi-family property is purchased, the loan requirements are very similar.

Most lenders will consider rental property loans directly related to business loans, which means the interest rates will be higher than mortgages for private homes and first-time buyers. A benefit of owning rental properties is the potential tax benefits; any renovations conducted to a rental home can be deducted as a tax credit. A landlord can upgrade their property to raise its overall value and utilize these expenses to lower the property tax at the end of each year.

  • Independent structure – designated to have one kitchen and unshared utilities.
  • Single-family dwellings – are semi-detached, fully detached, row homes, or townhomes.
  • Depending on ROI, two significant investments – “fix & flip” or “fix & hold” and recently sold comps.
  • The cap rate is at least eight to ten percent annually for single-family investment properties for sale.
  • Buyers are required to submit at least twenty percent of the purchase price.
  • Tax benefits associated with rental properties – renovations qualify for a tax credit.

Multi-Family Houses

As investors gain more knowledge and experience, purchasing a multi-family home would be next along with flipping multi family properties. A possible profit can be made when owning and renting a multi-family property. Multi-family properties are homes with multiple units, typically considered a duplex, triplex, quadplex, etc. These multi-unit homes tend to have separate utilities and full kitchens. The addresses on each team in a multi-family property will be separated as a number or letter and typically have their private entrance.

A popular method to generate income while minimizing monthly expenses is the concept of “house hacking.” House hacking is when the house consists of multiple units, and the homeowner will reside in one of the units while renting out the other departments within the property; this allows the rental units to cover expenses such as mortgage insurance interest rates. House hacking is an excellent way to generate wealth, build credit, and gain knowledge/experience.

A few factors will determine the decision whether to purchase multi-family houses for sale: the neighborhood, potential repairs (the preference would be a turn-key property), long-term expenses, cash flow, purchase price, & Net Operating Income (assesses the value of the home and the potential for it to generate income.) In addition, there are potential tax benefits affiliated with house hacking. Still, the landlord must prove that the homeowner updated or renovated the rental units.

  • Multi-family homes have multiple units – duplex, triplex, quadplex, etc.
  • Separate address – typically a number or letter sub-addresses!
  • House Hacking – multiple units in the home – reside in one unit, rent out the rest.
  • Factors to consider when purchasing multi-units are the neighborhood, repairs, overall expenses, cash flow, purchase price, & net operating income.
  • Tax benefits – proof of home upgrades and renovations for the tax credit.

Rent Duplex Near Me

Duplex rentals near me refer to renting out a duplex, a residential building with two separate housing units, usually with each unit’s entrance. Duplexes are a form of multi-family housing popular among investors and individuals looking for some rental income.

  • A duplex typically consists of two side-by-side units, although at times, one unit may be above the other, each with its own living space, bedrooms, kitchen, and bathroom. Some duplexes may have identical layouts in each unit, while others are different depending on the size of each.
  • Some duplex owners choose to live in one of the units while renting out the other. This allows the owner to benefit from rental income while owning a home.

Before entering the duplex rental market, property owners must conduct thorough research on the process, develop a financial plan, and be aware of the possible risks. Real estate professionals like property managers and agents can guide successful duplex rentals and find duplex for sale near me.

Mixed-Use & Commercial Buildings

Mixed-use properties refer to properties utilized for various purposes with a mixed combination, such as commercial, retail, residential, etc. Over the last decade, more investors have sought mixed-use buildings for investment. These investors desire the potential wealth generated by these properties that appeal to various visitors and prospective tenants through an open house! There are different routes to acquiring mixed-use investment properties; some investors will utilize a wholesaler to locate and obtain these properties for commissions similar to licensed agents.

Another popular method to discover mix-use buildings will be to use a real estate agent with access to services such as MLS (multiple listing services), which agents connect buyer’s agents with seller’s agents! Most investors prefer purchasing a property from wholesalers, and these off-the-market deals avoid traditional real estate sales’ long, drawn-out process. Off-the-market sales typically can close within twenty-one days, as soon as a local reputable title company can clear the title to transfer the deed.

  • Mixed-use property: a wide variety of mixed purposes – commercial, retail, residential, etc.
  • Great profit potential!
  • There are different routes to acquiring a mixed-use commercial property – licensed real estate agent or wholesaler.
Lots & Land

Purchasing land has always been recommended due to the shortage of land. However, buying a vacant lot or empty land can be risky because there’s a chance it may not get any income unless the property owner is aware of an individual willing to rent the ground monthly. There’s also no capital gain if the property owner decides to sell that land.

The zoning for an empty lot or vacant land can vary between residential, commercial, or mixed-use. Most developers involved in the building have prior experience or a mentor-type figure to walk the investor through the building process. Average investors can purchase land with the intention are holding it for a brief period until building begins in the area, then flip the property for some form of profit.

Some investors purchase an empty lot/land for a reasonable price and sit on the property for a few years until the neighborhood or area drastically improves in value; at that point, a developer may come in and purchase the property for much more than the original sales price.

  • Purchasing land can be risky due to the possibility of not generating income.
  • There’s no capital gain if the owner sells that land or lot.
  • Empty lot or land zoning can vary between residential, commercial, or mixed-use.
  • Hire a professional for guidance – a licensed realtor or real estate lawyer!


It’s straightforward that properties come in different shapes and sizes, but an aspect that’s not as apparent is the zoning involved with real estate. Understanding the difference between each type of zoning is essential before investing in purchasing the property. The zoning may vary depending on the city or state; generally, local governments use letters of the alphabet as codes to identify each form of zoning. The standard letters will be “R” for residential buildings, “C” for commercial properties, & “I” for industrial.

The common types of residential zoning cover homes, apartments, condos, and trailer parks. Commercial property zoning is similar to industrial but set on a smaller scale. Typical zoning for commercial buildings would include office buildings, shopping centers, hotels, and specific warehouses. The factors that separate industrial from commercial will be the overall noise, floor area ratio, & building height.

In areas with a history dating back hundreds of years, it’s vital that some of these homes may be protected by historic zoning; if a property is deemed historical, the homeowner will be limited on the renovations or upgrades possible. The homeowner must discuss each potential renovation with the city and a committee to seek approval. If there are any concerns before purchasing property, it’s suggested to contact a local lawyer or realtor to utilize their real estate services. Investors should always think they would rather be safe than sorry; one lousy investment can cause severe financial issues. However, if a professional approves, most real estate investments are safe for long-term passive income.

It’s essential to consider the location of the area and potential before purchasing an investment property. The site location is critical for locating qualified tenants and receiving a proper return on investment. Establishing credit will be the first step if you consider becoming a real estate investor. Most investors use the funds of a bank or a lender to complete their transactions; never tie up too many funds on one project; unforeseen obstacles may arise, and it’s critical to have possible funds to transition through any problem.

Real estate is a great way to financial freedom; more known information and experience are the stepping stones to success! {We’re Buying Property 215, a family-owned real estate company. Thank you for reading this article about frequently asked questions about single-family homes and multi family homes for sale Philadelphia PA; check out our other blog posts!}

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