Multifamily Real Estate Investing for Beginners


Real estate investing is an excellent option and especially viable one for individuals who can’t handle the stock market’s volatility. It’s also a better investment option for those who want to play a more active part in increasing their money rather than placing it in a fund managed by others.

Are you interested in investing in a multifamily estate but don’t have any past experiences or know where to start? If that is the case, worry not as we have got you covered with everything that a beginner like you need to know concerning investment in multifamily real estate.


What Is Multi-Family Real Estate?

The term “multifamily” is usually applied to duplexes, triplexes, townhouses, and other structures meant to accommodate many families in distinct apartments. However, to be precise, we can define multifamily real estate as a type of housing that includes many units in a single structure. The word multifamily real estate is also often called multi-dwelling units, as each structure has many rentable living areas. 

Each apartment usually comes with its living area, kitchen, and bathroom. A multifamily property is usually comprised of a single recorded deed that includes both the building and the land. Multifamily property can be owned by one or more parties in various situations.


How To Find Multifamily Property For Sale?

Finding multifamily houses for sale can be done in a variety of ways. The most frequently used method is to employ a real estate broker and let him search for you. Brokers receive their commission from the seller, thus apart from paying purchasing price, there is no other direct expense on the purchase of a multifamily property.

When looking for multifamily homes for sale, some experienced investors also use a multi-pronged strategy. This might entail working with a broker as well as finding bargains on their own. 

Keep in mind that property is sold in one of the two ways: on-market or off-market. Here are some ways that you can also search for a property on your own:


Multi-unit homes advertised for sale on the market will be registered into the MLS (multiple listing services) such as LoopNet or Trulia. For this, you’ll need an MLS account, which will require a monthly membership, giving access to all essential property information, all disclosures, and financial details.

Off-Market sites

To avoid paying a broker’s commission, some owners – particularly those who are financially leveraged, often attempt to sell their property off-market. 

Off-market transactions are best as there is less competition than those that are made accessible through brokers. You can use websites such as Facebook Marketplace or for this purpose.


Direct solicitation is another technique to locate multifamily houses for sale. This can be done in a variety of forms. For instance, you can send property owners a letter or postcard asking to buy their property directly. Even if they don’t sell you at that time, they may sell you later.


Multifamily Investment Strategies

Business people discussing results of successful planning

There are various approaches to multifamily investment. Each of the three methods is distinct in its own way. There is no right or incorrect way as it all comes down to your personal investment preferences.

Buy and Hold

Buying and retaining a stable multifamily home that demands little to no modification. The characteristics in this approach include:

      • Low risk
      • Early cash flow
      • Duration of investment: 7 to 10 years
      • Lower anticipated return: IRR for LP is 10%
Add Value

This approach involves purchasing a property in the worst condition in the nicest area and renovating it to increase the property’s value.

      • Medium risk
      • May give early cash flow
      • Duration of investment: 5 years
      • Medium anticipated return: IRR for LP is 15%
Ground-Up Development

This technique entails designing and then developing the project from the ground. The characteristics in this approach include:

      • High risk
      • No cash flow until stability stage
      • Higher anticipated return: IRR for LP is 20% or higher
      • Duration of investment: (minimum 6 years) 2 to 3 years for designing, 2 to 3 years for building, and 2 to 3 years for stability.


Factors To Consider When Assessing Multifamily Properties

If you want to get the most out of your multifamily investment, you will need to do some evaluation and research. This frequently entails keeping a lookout for possible assets that are offered for less than their market worth, evaluating their capital-generation potential, etc.

Here are some factors that you must take into consideration when buying multifamily real estate.


In multifamily investing, location is the most critical element. The desirability of a property increases when you choose a location that fits the parameters needed by your targeted renter group. Look for areas with high-yield and high-growth potential as properties in desirable locations are always in great demand.

Number of Units

Once you have found an excellent site, look for properties with a higher number of units. The benefit of this is that the more units there are, the greater the ROI (return on investment). Also, pay attention to the quantity, quality, and arrangement of the units. Duplexes (two units), triplexes (three units), and quadruplexes (four units) are the three sorts of property layouts that can fulfill the criteria.


Financing alternatives in the case of multifamily investing may vary depending on whether you rent, flip the entire building, or choose to live in one apartment while renting out the rest.

When calculating the qualifying ratios for an owner-occupied loan request, lenders consider the rental unit’s revenue. So, to help yourself to be approved for financing, maintain a strong credit score, down payment, and excellent debt-to-income ratio.

Earnings Potential

To determine the prospective income potential of a multifamily investment, consider all active and passive sources of revenue, as well as property expenditures. Calculate the NOI (net operating income), and if the asset provides you with at least 50% NOI for costs rather than the mortgage, it’s a safe investment.

Opting for multifamily real estate is an excellent and most secure real estate investing niche for beginners. 

At The Fortis Company, our mission is to create long-term growth by utilizing our expertise and relationships to expand markets by improving operation practices. If you’re interested in learning more about private equity investing, contact us today!