What I am talking here is applied in CA.
A Multi family home is usually called multiplex or multiunit and easy to find in the urban area between commercial blocks and single family house blocks. It includes duplex, triplex and forplex that is occasionally called quadruplex in CA. In peopleâ€™s spoken language, we often hear as 2-unit, 3 â€“unit and 4-unit. Those are defined as residential properties.
More than 4-unit such as 5-plex or 6 â€“unit are professionally defined as apartment, which is one kind of commercial property. The distinguishment can be found in building code, zone code, structure requirement, loan type and insurance type. That is very important for the investors and agents.
As a residential property, if the owner occupies one or more than one units on the multi-unit property, then the owner can obtain primary resident home benefits such as from tax, insurance and loan. Occupying on the apartment can not obtain any benefits stated above. That is another difference between 1-4 unit and 5 or more unit.
From the property management angel, the boundary moves differently. 2-3 unit s are called small rental property. 4-15 units properties are called mid size rental property. 16 and over 16 are called large size or commercial rental. The reason is 2-3 units usually managed by landlord directly as their small business. 4-15 are usually managed by real estate agents paid by 3% -6% rental incomes. Most of the 16 and over 16 are managed by professional property management companies and an on site manager is required. We also can see some additional requirement on the last one.
In real estate principle, multi family is called 1-4 units and that is equal to residential. And more than 4 is called commercial. That is one of the popular questions in the state exam.