Home Buying in Quincy>Question Details

hadfieldcam, Home Buyer in Quincy, MA

Is a multifamily owner occupied home a good way to go? I want to own the house, live in one unit, and rent the other.

Asked by hadfieldcam, Quincy, MA Sun Feb 2, 2014

I'm looking at buying a house in the next few years. I'm already saving up some money, have great credit, and am looking around (I know it's a bit early to be looking).
I really like the idea of owning a duplex or multifamily house, and renting out the other units(s). I'm looking for answers from current owner-occupiers and from agents that specialize in this kind of sale/market.

Main concerns:
1) Do I still qualify as a first time home buyer if I'm renting part of it out?
2) Are there agents that specialize in this type of sale? Current tenants would be fine as long as I would be the one actually purchasing the property.
3) What would be the typical down payment percentage?
4) Is it far too early to be looking at property if I'm going to purchase in 2/3 years?

Thanks in advance! I'm sure I'll have more questions

Help the community by answering this question:


I've owned a two-family myself for the last ten years or so. Re your questions - 1) not sure what you mean by qualifying as a first-time buyer - for a loan? some program? - but the fact that you're buying a multi-family doesn't make you not a first-time buyer. You're a first-time buyer buying a two-family. But if you're looking at some special program you'll have to find out the particulars of that program. 2) I don't think you need someone who specializes in multi-families per se - most experienced agents will have experience selling them. You *do* want an experienced, full-time agent though. Real estate is complicated and experience matters. 3) Talk to a lender for info about down payments. The fact that you'll be an owner-occupant (which means that there will have to be a vacant unit for you to move in at closing or shortly after) means that the down payment can be lower than if you were renting out the entire building. 4) It's early for sure but no harm in going to open houses, etc. I'm not sure it makes a lot of sense to get an agent at this point because that timeframe is very long. But if you go to open houses regularly you will start to get a feel for what the properties are like - and you'll meet agents along the way. I found the agent I used to buy my first house - and then the agent I used to sell too - at open houses. It's a good way to get a feel for their style and to see if you click. Nowadays you can go home and learn more about them by looking them up online. **) And lastly I would make sure you want to be a landlord. Sometimes being a landlord is great - and sometimes it's definitely not. When you have a problem tenant you can really be put through the wringer. Massachusetts is a very pro-tenant state. There's at least one book you'll want to pick up - Landlord's Legal Guide in Massachusetts, 3E (Legal Survival Guides). There are also local Adult Ed classes for landlords - I think I've seen them in Boston, Cambridge and Brookline adult ed catalogs. Good luck! You're very smart to be starting your research and learning process early in the game.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 3, 2014
Buying a multifamily is definitely a great idea. Typically you will need a minimum of 3.5% down payment. You will still be consider a first time home buyer and the rental income will help you qualify for higher price house. If you looking to buy in a few years it never hurts to start window shopping or attempt to get pre approve to focus on the direction you need to take to get the home you desire.
Feel free to search http://www.exitrealtyplus.com
Regards and good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 7, 2014
Buying a duplex and renting out 1/2 is a very smart thing to do. You don't need a certain type of Realtor to buy a duplex, but when you want to buy a home the best place to start is to hire an Exclusive Buyer Agent. EBAs only work with homebuyers and there is never a conflict of interest that will jeopardize your negotiating position. Visit http://www.naeba.org for a referral to an Exclusive Buyer's Agent in your area.

I've written a best selling book called Buying a Home: Don't Let Them Make a Monkey Out of You. It'll teach you how to buy a home without getting ripped off. Follow the link below.

Best of luck!

Alysse Musgrave
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 3, 2014
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