A single-family detached home, also called a single-detached dwelling, single-family residence (SFR) or separate house is a free-standing residential building.
Townhome or townhouse looks like an attached one-story villa or a multi-level townhouse. In some areas, townhome-style are popular, because no one is below or above you and they offer the owners the feel of living in a townhouse without the responsibility of the exterior maintenance.
A condominium, frequently shortened to condo, is the form of housing tenure and other real property where a specified part of a piece of real estate (usually of an apartment house) is individually owned. Use of land access to common facilities in the piece such as hallways, heating system, elevators, and exterior areas are executed under legal rights associated with the individual ownership. These rights are controlled by the association of owners that jointly represent ownership of the whole piece.
HOW TO BE SUCCECEFUL WITH A SMALL DOLLAR AMOUNT AS A 1ST TIME BUYER IN INVESTMENT PROPERTIES!
1 to 4 Unit Residential Investment Properties
Your first rental property – duplex, triplex, four-plex, single-family house or condo.
Selecting your first property is a very important step. If you choose poorly in the beginning, you will most likely not go past the first property to acquire wealth in real estate.
Learning what to look for and when to buy a property are essential to your success. There is no single formula for every investor however, most first-time investors do best when they start with small apartment buildings that are 2-4 units. The reason for working in this type of property lies primarily in financing. Fannie-Mae guidelines apply on all residential properties up to 4 units. What this means to you is that you is that you can purchase properties with 90%, 95% financing. Unlike “commercial” properties such as 5 or more unit apartments, office buildings etc. which are financed only with commercial loans, these “residential” properties can be financed using “home loans”.
Duplexes can be good investments for investors who will live in one of the units, but they generally don’t produce enough income to pay for themselves when they are not owner occupied. Buildings with four rental units typically are ideal first investment. The cost of these buildings are usually manageable, and the financing often is quite attractive because the buildings can be purchased with as little as a 0% down payment when the purchaser will live in one of the units.
A four-unit building offers many advantages. If you don’t plan to live in the apartment building, you have four rental units to pay for the property. If one unit goes vacant for a while, you still have three units to help pay the mortgage. It’s possible to buy buildings where three units cover your costs and fourth unit represent profit. Creative financing usually is not very effective with four-unit buildings because the loans generally are sold on the secondary market and must meet more stringent criteria.
Triplex are buildings with three rental units. Normally, they are better than duplex, but not as good as four-unit buildings. When you make your choices, don’t be blinded by the sales price. A cheap building is not always a good bargain. You have to run the numbers on any property to see whether it is viable purchase.
A lot of investors consider buying a single-family house or condo as their first investment property. This can be okay if you will live in the home, but a single dwelling generally is a poor investment for purely financial purposes. The cost of most homes is too high to expect the rental income to cover the cost of mortgage. The ideal way to use a single family home as an investment is to purchase the home as your primary residence, then when you are ready to move lease it out instead of selling. As you develop a history of rental income you can refinance the property and take the equity and reinvest in another property hopefully a 4 unit or larger.