Home Buying in 95014>Question Details

AK, Home Buyer in 95014

Hi, I am interested in buying a multifamily home in Montavista area. But, looking at the listings, the resale of the house seems to take longer...

Asked by AK, 95014 Mon Aug 20, 2012

Few questions. In this area would it be advisable to buy a single family and renovate as needed or buy a multifamily and owner occupy it. Understand that they are not really the same for comparison, given each type caters to different preferences. But, Assume, Dealing with renters is not a problem, Plan live in one unit for 10-15 years, Value for money is the underlying reason for multifamily option.

Your opinion on resale time period of multifamily houses compared to single family houses is greatly appreciated.

Also, if you are someone experienced in dealing with Multifamily homes or has a lot of renovation experience in this area, I would like to get in touch.


Help the community by answering this question:


Robert Lei’s answer
If you don't mind being a landlord and living next to your tenants, then multi-family is a good option. You'll have less competition on the buying side since most families are looking to buy single-family. Of course, the flip side is when it's time to sell, it may take longer.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 20, 2013
Did you ever decide on a multi-family or SFH yet in Monta Vista?

One thing to be aware of is if you buy a SFH it may be difficult to get the City to change the zoning to multi-family and vice versa. I know my clients in Cupertino have experienced this issue.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 21, 2013
In general it is true that multi-family often take longer to sell-usually that is due to accessing/seeing the property which is occupied by tenants. However lately in Cupertino, they are selling at a fairly brisk ~30 days range.

If strictly on appreciation, a SFH is usually best. However for the time period you mention, either will do well. The real question is do you want to be a landlord living next to the tenants you rent to?

I specialize in homes in Cupertino schools and am happy to share my experience with you.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 28, 2012

Thanks for your questions.

If you plan on living in it for 10-15 years, the market for Multifamily Dwellings will
be phenomenal with good schools.

Multifamily dwellings take time to sell, as a buyer, may not choose to move in like you plan
on, and renting out the other Units. In that case the Multi family Dwelling becomes an
Investment Property, requiring an " Investment Property Loan".

I should be able to help you buy one or a fixer upper.

If you wish we can also find you a home that needs adding onto or remodel.

Best regards
Perry Mistry


1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 21, 2012
I've worked with many buyers and sellers for both single family and multifamily homes. I've helped guide many of my clients to either fix up their home prior to selling it or to remodel it to best meet their needs after buying it. I strongly believe in real estate as an investment and personally own multiple investment properties for both long term and sometimes short term. I had a home custom built to be my own home.

When the economy suffered, investors were more likely to walk away from homes than people living in their home. Financing is somewhat more costly for both time and money with investment properties. If you are willing to invest your time both managing and buying/selling, your time will probably be rewarded.

Rents climb higher after economic issues reduce new home building. Recently rents have climbed significantly and it is still easy to find tenants. Most people who bought investment properties several years ago are probably quite happy to be owning them.

Value for money is also tied to your time and lifestyle. If you have a 10-15 year time frame you are highly likely to profit from either a single family or a multi-family home. The multifamily home will provide more rental income and cost you more time.

I documented some of my experiences having my home built for me at:

I hope you are successful and would be glad to help you.
Juliana Lee
Top 3 agent nationwide at Keller Williams Realty
Web Reference: http://www.julianalee.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 21, 2012
Hi RM,

There are a few multi family units in the Monta Vista area, and even a fewer for sale. From cash flow perspective, buying a multi family is a good idea, as it helps pay down your debt. Future return should also remain good if the market is doing well.

Multi family units come with their own responsibilities, in the MV area most are dated older properties. Regardless of the age, all rental properties require upkeep. If you are comfortable dealing with the rentals and maintenance etc. it is worth exploring.

Have you talked to a lender to explore your options? I would recommend to get in touch with a lender to get a better picture of your financial requirement. I can put you in touch with one, please feel free to contact if you have further questions.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 21, 2012
Living through several remodels myself and working with a developer I can tell you that you need to be prepared to spend more then you plan. However if you are qualified to do some work yourself you can build in equity quicker. I also have contractors in my bag of tricks.

For investment multifamily 2 to 4 units is a good idea depending on what you want to achieve. Vacancy is spread out among more than one tenant. Buying a multi unit requires certain contracts, and you will be dealing with any existing tenants. The contingency period on a multi family needs to be longer as the due diligence is going to take a while.

As for future we do not know how quickly things are going to sell and for what value. We are optimistic that in your 10 to 15 years you should have earned equity. There are not many multi units so demand is usually good providing that rentals are in demand and the resale price will net the investor his expected the return on his investment.

Plan on maintaining those units and that will be on going with tenants.

When you purchase for investment, your lender looks at the investment property differently than a single family. You will want to compare the two.

Have an amazing day!
Web Reference: http://www.terrivellios.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 21, 2012
Hi RM,

I assume you are talking about buying a 2-4 units (not above 5 units) as an owner occupied property. I think you are absolutely right, you can buy a duplex for almost the same amount of money as one single family residence. As a matter of fact, the resale on a multifamily wouldn't be too much longer than a SFR as many people are in the same boat as you, to buy a Cupertino home with good school district while getting rent for the mortgage payment!

I do work in Cupertino area and I do specialize in SFR and Multi Family. However, I haven't dealt with multifamily homes in this area. I'd be more than happy to help and talk to you more about it still.

Helen Chong
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 20, 2012
I live and work at Coldwell Banker, in Cupertino , and have good experience with Single family homes and Multi family residences.......it all depends on what YOU want for your family!
You have to financially qualify for both, though few criterias to qualify for Multi-units is a bit different. I have good licensed contractors to help you with re-modeling/repairing..... VFM is more in multi-family as you get help paying your mortgage, but then you have to deal with a smaller home for your own family and dealing with renters, and maintainance problems.....
Please do contact me to come in and chat in detail, then make an informed choice! Check out my website...
Be well and safe, regards,
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 20, 2012
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2015 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer