When you are just starting out investing in rental properties, I caution you not to take on too much at one time with multi-family units like townhomes or residential complexes. Not only can this put you in a financial situation that is not benefiting you or your family (which is the whole reason why you are becoming a High Heels Landlord). It can also overwhelm you in managing more than one tenant and all the potential tenant situations that could come out all at one time.
As an investment property manager, start out with one single-family residential property and learn as you go. You’ll learn about the anticipated repairs and maintenance needed, the concerns your tenants may bring to your attention, or when you do not have a good tenant you’ll learn the legal processes and what you need to do in those situations.
If you take on a multi-family property, you open yourself up to those issues or situations but exponentially magnified. A friend of mine sought my advice recently about investing in a nine-unit residential complex as a first-time investment property. With no experience and education by owning smaller rentals, I was concerned that he would be taking on too much. Nine units at full capacity can be like having nine babies at one time. How are you going to provide for all those tenants and keep up the maintenance, all without help or experience. It can be a lot.
Ease into multi-family investing and don’t take on more than you can handle. When you do get to that level of investing, make sure you have a great team who can help you with everyday and move-ins and move-outs. You’ll want to look for people who can help you with maintenance, cleaning, and legal advice.