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Rental properties are possibly one of the best investments you can make. After all, you put some money down, use the monthly rent to pay the mortgage every month and eventually you own the property free and clear for not much more than your down payment. There are two types of residential properties to invest in: single family or multi-family. Here are some pros and cons of each type of investment.



Fewer headaches: Single-family properties are easy to manage on your own. You only have one tenant (or one tenant in each property), so if there are any issues with one property, it doesn’t affect any others. They are also easier to get financing for and easier to sell if you need to sell one quickly.

Fewer neighbor dramas: In multi-family properties, neighbors live in very close proximity to each other. If you rent to someone the neighbors don’t get along with, it can create a hassle of epic proportions. While single-family renters may not get along with their neighbors, there is still more space between them, and it generally isn’t considered to be your problem.


Expensive if empty: If the property sits empty, you still have to pay the mortgage, utility bills and other expenses until it is filled again.

Costly maintenance: If you own more than one single-family unit, you have to pay for maintenance and upkeep costs individually. Each of your properties might also need major repairs at any time, which can really stack the costs up.



Always generating income: If one unit sits empty, the others are still generating income.

One roof: Since all of your tenants are under one roof, you can collect multiple rents while still only having to manage one property.


Issues spread: If there is a plumbing problem in one unit, it can become everyone’s problem. The same is true for bedbugs or other infestations. If one tenant has a problem, it will quickly spread to all of the units, which all have to be treated individually.

Management: While a multi-family unit may only be one property, managing it can potentially be a full-time job in and of itself. If your investment is meant to be side-business, you may need to hire a full-time property manager to live on site.