What Is a Multi Family Home?

Let's dive into the key characteristics and features of multi family homes, multi family homes for sale right now, and more.

What is a multi family home?

A multi-family home is a residential property with two or more living units, including a duplex, triplex, or semi-detached houses. By convention in the real estate industry, any property with five or more residential units is considered a commercial property, so a 5 unit apartment building is considered a commercial property.

See: What is a Duplex?

While any property could technically house multiple families (especially if there is an accessory dwelling or in-law unit), a multi-family property is legally distinct from a single family property. It is distinguished by the fact that there are multiple, distinct addresses for each unit, where each unit has its own kitchen, bathroom(s), entrances, and utility meters.

What about a condo?

The main difference between multi-family properties and condos is who owns the units. All units in a multi-family property are owned by a single owner, whereas the units in a condo are owned by individual owners and common structural elements and amenities have shared ownership. As such, a condo unit is still considered a single-family home for real estate purposes.

See: What is a Condo?

Due to the singular owner, the units in a multi-family property would not generally be subject to the rules and regulations of a homeowner's association, such as in a planned neighborhood development. However, depending on the neighborhood, all the properties in the area including the multi-family property may be part of an HOA.

What are the benefits of buying a multi-family home?

  • Turning one (or more) of the units into income-generating rental property can help offset the cost of a mortgage, which may make it more affordable to buy and live in one unit of a multi-family home than buying and living in a single-family home
  • You may be able to earn tax deductions for repairs and maintenance made to the income-generating rental unit(s), whereas you would not do so for repairs you make to your own single-family home
  • The multi-family nature may be an ideal arrangement if you want to live close to family and relatives, while maintaining some privacy and separation of households

What are the risks of buying a multi-family home?

  • Depending on the market, a multi-family home is likely to be more expensive than a single-family home
  • If you turn one or more units into income-generating rental property, you are responsible for landlord-required repairs, whereas you can defer repairs in your single-family home
  • A weak rental market and/or difficulty finding tenants can make it more difficult to afford your mortgage payment
  • If you live in one unit and rent out the others, there will be less privacy

Check out multi family homes for sale right now in:

Arizona Multi Family Homes

California Multi Family Homes

Colorado Multi Family Homes

Florida Multi Family Homes

Georgia Multi Family Homes

Nevada Multi Family Homes

North Carolina Multi Family Homes

Oklahoma Multi Family Homes

Oregon Multi Family Homes

Tennessee Multi Family Homes

Texas Multi Family Homes

Virginia Multi Family Homes

Washington Multi Family Homes

READ NEXT: 5 Tiny Homes for Sale Right Now

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