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Single Family vs Multifamily Investing

The decision is yours. Investment in single-family homes and multifamily properties can be lucrative. Not sure where to begin? Read below for a breakdown of the pros and cons of each.

In this newsletter:

  1. What Is Single Family Investing?
  2. What Is Multifamily Investing?
  3. Financing Options for Single Family and Multifamily Investments
  4. Advantages and Disadvantages
  5. Pros and Cons of Multifamily Investing
  6. Pros and Cons of Single Family Investing
  7. What are the tax implications of investing in single family vs. multifamily properties? 
  8. Conclusion

Real estate investing is an increasingly popular path to financial freedom. It requires substantial capital and presents risks and challenges, as with any investment. To navigate the real estate sector successfully, you need to understand what type of property best suits your investment goals and how to finance the deal.

Single-family and multifamily investing are two of the most popular choices. They have distinct differences that make them better suited for certain investors. This article discusses those differences and provides an in-depth look at the differences between single family and multifamily investments.

What Is Single Family Investing?

Investing in single family homes is an effective way to increase your wealth. It can also be a great way to start as a real estate investor since single family homes typically have lower price points than multifamily properties. The isolated nature of single family homes also makes them easier to manage and maintain.

Single family homes generally appeal to a variety of buyers, including young professionals and families. This is because they often offer more private space and the opportunity to settle in one area for a period of time. Investing in single family homes can also bring in a steady income stream, and appreciation in the value of the asset over time.

Key Takeaways

  • Single-family investments require less capital upfront but offer lower returns compared to multifamily investments.
  • There are a wide range of financing options available for multifamily properties.
  • Single-family rentals are more exposed during an economic downturn.
  • Multifamily properties, with some exceptions, are one of the most recession-resistant asset types.

What Is Multifamily Investing?

Multifamily properties are residential buildings with multiple units. The units are rented to tenants, providing the investor with a monthly income. Multifamily properties offer higher returns and more liquidity than single family homes, making them attractive to investors.

Multifamily properties also provide a more diverse tenant mix and better insulation from market conditions, since multiple tenants can spread out the risk. Investing in multifamily properties can be more complex, since there are typically more tenants, higher costs, and regulations that must be taken into account. Investing in multifamily properties require experience and dedication in navigating the complexities of this asset class.

Financing Options for Single Family and Multifamily Investments

Financing is an important consideration when it comes to real estate investments. Here are the most common financing options for single family and multifamily investments.


Property Type Financing Options Down Payment Requirements
Single Family Conventional mortgages, FHA or VA loans, hard money loans 3% to 25%
Multifamily Fannie Mae loansFreddie Mac loansHUD multifamily loans, bank loans, CMBS loansbridge loans, hard money loans, others 25% to 35%It’s important to clearly understand the financing options for single family and multifamily investments before pulling the trigger on an acquisition. It’s also important to discuss the specific loan terms you may face to ensure you find the right financing for your needs.

With so many different types of loans available for multifamily properties, it’s generally a good idea to seek assistance from experts in the sector who can source the best financing options for your unique situation.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Any real estate investment comes with both advantages and potential drawbacks. Here are some of the pros and cons of investing in multifamily and single-family properties.

Pros and Cons of Multifamily Investing

The main advantage of multifamily investing is that it provides investors with the opportunity for a steady stream of income. With this type of investment, investors are able to rent out the units to tenants and receive a consistent, ongoing return on their investment. Multifamily investments also offer the potential for a higher return on investment than other types of investments, including single family homes, with less risk.

Multifamily properties also perform better in a recession. While different assets across the quality spectrum will behave differently, people always need a place to live. As multifamily homes generally have lower rents per unit than a single-family home, occupancy generally tends to hold steady even in a downturn. One exception to this, of course, is if a property is overpriced or in a state of disrepair.

The primary disadvantage of multifamily investing is that it requires more capital upfront than other types of investments, apart from other, large commercial assets. Multifamily investments often require a larger down payment than other types of investments, as well as larger monthly mortgage payments. 

Additionally, multifamily investments can require a significant amount of time and effort to maintain, as tenants must be screened and managed, and repairs and upgrades must often be made to keep the units in good condition. While a property management company can help with all of these operational aspects, this comes at an additional significant cost.

Finally, multifamily investments can be subject to a number of legal and regulatory issues, such as zoning and landlord-tenant laws. Investors must be aware of applicable laws in their area, and may need to consult with an attorney or other legal expert before investing in a multifamily property. Additionally, investors may need to obtain the appropriate licenses in order to rent out the units, which can add to the complexity and cost of multifamily investing. Westworth capital Partners has a team of experienced operators with over 50 years of collective real estate experience making sure that your investments continue to perform well in the most uncertain economic conditions.

Pros and Cons of Single Family Investing

Advantages of single-family rental home investing include the ability to minimize risk by diversifying a portfolio with multiple properties, the potential for appreciation over time, and the ability to generate passive income through rent payments. Single family rental homes also provide investors with more control over their investments, as they are able to customize and manage their own properties.

Despite the many advantages, single family rental home investing also has some drawbacks. It can be expensive to purchase and renovate homes and manage multiple properties, and there is also the risk of tenants not paying rent or causing damage to the property. Additionally, investors must be aware of local regulations and laws, as well as the costs associated with property taxes and insurance.


Type of Property Single Family Multifamily
Pros Easier to manage, potential for building equity, lower price points Higher returns, more liquidity, diversified tenant mix, insulation from market conditions
Cons Reliance on a single tenant, limited available buyers, unpredictable appreciation Higher price points, more complex, harder to manage multiple tenants

What are the tax implications of investing in single family vs. multifamily properties?

The tax implications of investing in single family vs. multifamily properties depend on the specific regulations in your area. Single family rental homes may be subject to property taxes and insurance, while multifamily properties may be subject to additional taxes such as income taxes. Additionally, investors should be aware of any local regulations that may affect their investments. That said, generally investing in real estate has several tax benefits. For more information, consult a tax professional or visit the IRS website for real estate tax tips.


Single family and multifamily investments can both be profitable, but they can behave quite differently. Before deciding which type of investment is best for you, it’s important to understand the financing options available, the potential risks and rewards, and the specific regulations in your area. 

If you’re eyeing a multifamily property, get in touch with us by putting your details in the form below. We’re happy to walk you through your financing options to execute on your investment strategy.

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