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Single-Family and Multi-Family Homes

Neighborhoods in Kitsap County, Pierce County, South King County, and Mason County have plenty of available real estate. Opportunities here include single-family and multi-family homes. The variety is sure to suit any buyer’s needs – these homes are perfect for use either as primary dwellings or as income-generating investment property.

So how should you choose between single-family and multi-family properties? Let’s consider two perspectives:

  1. Single-family versus multi-family residences

    When talking about residential real estate, single-family homes are the default option that comes to mind. They are the epitome of the American Dream. Buying a condominium may be a cheap and quick fix to getting your first residence, but remember that condo living hardly ever compares to the genuine sense of “home” that a single-family house guarantees.

    Multi-family properties are defined by the US Census Bureau as:

    “Residential buildings containing units built one on top of another and those built side-by-side which do not have a ground-to-roof wall and/or have common facilities (i.e., attic, basement, heating plant, plumbing, etc.).”

    In the real estate industry, duplexes, triplexes, townhouses, etc. are classified under multi-family housing.

    In a competitive market, purchasing a multi-family house can be a sound strategy to buy into a desirable neighborhood. Establishing your roots first would make it easier to stay updated on houses for sale around the neighborhood, not to mention warm up to the local community.

    Owning a multi-family residence requires a larger mortgage, but the extra living space opens doors for income opportunities that can help you sustain the financial responsibility.

  2. Single-family vs multi-family investment properties

    As rentals, preferences still vary between single-family and multi-family homes. Consider these points:

    • Single-family houses are cheaper to obtain, but multi-family properties have greater income potential.
      Naturally, single-family properties are more affordable than multi-family homes. Cash flow opportunities are greater for multi-family properties, however, promising greater returns for the initial investment.
    • A multi-family property will need just one loan, but it will also require more intensive long-term management.
      When purchasing a multi-family property, you only need to go through one arduous mortgage application process. While you gain multiple units to generate a considerable income flow with a single loan, remember that maintenance and management of these units entail an intensive effort of its own.
    • There is less competition for multi-family properties. But when you do have competitors, they are likely to be more real estate savvy.
      Hundreds of buyers could be in a busy single-family homes market at any given moment. For multi-family properties, expect considerably fewer rivals. When you do come across competitors, however, expect them to be more sophisticated and aggressive than the average buyer, because this is likely not their first rodeo.
    • Single-family homes are likely to attract long-term tenants, but vacancies here are more costly than in multi-family homes.
      Single-family homes appeal to long-term renters, giving property owners a reliable source of income over an extended period. Multi-unit rentals have a more transient nature. But because of multiple units and tenants, vacancies do not impact their cash flow as badly as they would an empty single-family rental.

If you’re ready to explore Washington’s real estate market, talk with local real estate expert James Bergstrom to start with excellent options right away. Call him today at 360-566-2195 or send your inquiries to Homes@JBRealtorTeam.com.