• http://www.squarepennies.blogspot.com Maggie@SquarePennies

    A duplex is a much more affordable way to become a landlord than buying a 4-plex that you don’t live in. A 4-unit building is often recommended to prospective landlords. It’s much easier to take care of one extra unit and you don’t have to travel to get to it. What a great idea to use it instead of a nursing home–that could definitely help some families!

    • Heather

      Maggie, thanks for the input about the 4-unit vs. a duplex. A duplex definitely sounds as if it would be easier for first-time landlords.

  • Rentgould

    I have been a landlord for 30 years and its been good to me but I have to say its not for eveyone. You can’t micro manage and have to select your tenants carefully but make tne best choice and keep it full. Also, they just have to pay their rent and act like adults ,their not your friends.

    One last point ,If you have to explain what a 2 family/duplex is ,they should not be buying one.

  • http://www.familymoneyvalues.com Marie at FamilyMoneyValues

    My parents had a rental (their own old house) next door to our home. Your point about living by your tenants is an important one. You don’t want a renter banging on your door at 1 am demanding that you fix something – especially if you have hired out emergency repairs.

  • tom

    I have been a landlord for 20 years and, trust me, it is RARE to have a tenant bang on your door, much less at 1 am. The calls I get for repairs are almost always during daytime hours, and done very politely, since, after all, they ARE talking to the landlord and they know if they make me mad, I can simply not renew their lease. Also, I only average about 2 repairs per unit each YEAR, and usually, its a matter of simply dialing a subcontractor on the phone and having him go take care of it. Landlording is piece of cake, and if you figure out what it pays per hour, its about $700 per hour for the light labor your put in throuhgout the year. The only advice I would give is this: Make sure that AFTER you close on the property, that you have $20,000 in a slush fund somewhere in case you can’t make it cashflow. You might need to throw in $200 per month from that 20K to keep the mortagae afloat. But, if you only lose $200 per month, you’re doing ok because the tenants are still paying the bulk of your payments. Good Luck!

  • http://www.hardworkingmortgageguy.com/ Dave

    Great article. My wife and I are strongly considering buying a duplex and living in one side and renting out the other.

  • Rentgould

    Iv’e been a landlord for 30 plus years, never lived next to tenants but it would be fine if you pick them carefully and remember they are not your friends theyr’e tenants. a 4 family would be a better cash flow but you get a less desirable tenent the larger the # of units as a rule,that’s the trade off. I used to allude to a partner that I had to talk to about repairs or whatever.
    Owning property has been good to me and I would say jump in.
    Pay a premium for a nice place if your going to live there.

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