Is buying a single family home a good investment?

There’s a good chance that you’ve asked at one point or another…“Is buying a single family home a good investment?” The short answer is yes, buying a single family home is a good investment for a variety of reasons.

If you buy a single family home at a good location, you can expect the property value to increase in the following years and the odds of losing its value are very low.

Benefits of Investing in Single Family Homes

Single family homes have good appreciation

Property values in the US went up over $8 trillion over the last 10 years, which is more than the GDP of every country in the world other than the US and China.

Single family home can be both a long term and short term investment

An advantage of investing in a single family home is that you can buy it as both a long term or short term investment.

Single family houses make good long term investments because the value of the property is likely to increase, giving you more equity and more options for making a profit. Compared to other property types, single family homes usually appreciate in value faster.

If you buy a single family home as a short term play, you can make profit by selling it if you bought it at a good deal. If you have invested in and improved the house, you have added value to the property so you can make more profit when you sell it as well, which is what we call a fix & flip.

You get tax deduction

If you own a single family rental property, you can get tax deductions for property taxes, home repairs, and (if applicable) expenses of managing the rental property. Some maintenance costs and repairs are also deductible. If your property has depreciated, you get tax deductions as well. In a word, if you take advantage of those deductions, you can save thousands of dollars per year.

The rent will pay your mortgage

The best part of investing in single family homes is that you can rent out the property and get rent to pay your mortgage. As the tenant is making monthly payments, they are paying a mortgage for you. In addition, single family homes usually have a higher monthly rent than apartments or townhomes, so you create more passive cash flow.

Many years I have seen a rapid increase in rent in most states, which means you are likely to make a higher profit of renting out your property as you hold it long term.

Easy-to-get financing

The most important factor in any kind of investment is financing. Getting a conventional loan isn’t as difficult for a single family home (unless you’re looking at a fix & flip), making it easier to leverage your investment. For example, if you buy a $300,000 property with a 20% down payment, you only need to pay $60,000 up front but you get a $300,000 property.

Single family homes are easier to resale

Single family homes are usually in high demand, provided there isn’t a surplus on the market. On the other hand, multi-family units, condos, and townhomes are usually a bit less desirable and can sometimes be harder to sell.

Lower management costs

Management costs can be manageable for single family homes when you rent out. Compared to apartments, it is easier to deal with one family per time instead of several units at once.

Tenants usually pay all the utilities so you don’t need to worry about managing those costs. At the same time, tenants who are looking for a single family home are usually better quality and tend to stay longer. As a result, they will take better care of your property and be able to repair some of your damages. In that way, you will pay less on the management costs.

You got full control of your property

Single family homes owners usually do not deal with HOA. HOAs often have many strict rules concerning changes to your property, so you don’t have much room to upgrade your property.

Without HOA, you have more freedom to rehab or upgrade your property. As you upgrade your property, you gain more value on your property when you sell it.

Ways to invest in single family homes

As we mentioned, a single family home can lead to several avenues for investing and is very flexible. Here I’ll just introduce three common ways you can invest in single family homes.

Buy and hold

As a single family can hold the value and have good appreciation, you can just buy and hold it as a long term investment. When you are ready to sell it and the value of the property has usually gone up, you can sell it to make a profit. In this case, the location of your home is the most important that you need to be careful about.

Rent

The second popular way to make profit is to rent your single home out. If you are able to find responsible and stable tenants, you actually can build a good cash flow and wait for your property to increase value as you get payment from your tenants. The rent strategy can easily be combined with a buy and hold strategy to build a hybrid income.

Fix & flip

Fix & flip is a more complex investment strategy for single family homes, but you can profit substantially from it as well. Fix & flip is a type of real estate investment strategy where an investor buys a property then fixes or rehabs it in order to resell to make a profit. Compared to the previous strategies I mentioned above, fix & flips require more skills and knowledge to manage.

Final thoughts

Personally I am a big fan of single family homes and I don’t invest in tons of apartments, because apartments can get somewhat frustrating due to on-site management. If the apartment investment is too small, then you don’t have on-site management and you’re dealing with more issues. You can also hire companies to manage your apartments for you, which is an extra cost.

Certainly there are pros and cons with any type of investing, but single family homes often lead to the greatest profit, fewest headaches, and most flexibility. Whatever your investing goals are, you can often achieve them with single family homes.

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