For several years now I've wanted to move to one of the bigger cities here in Louisiana. I've got friends who live there (from when I was in school), and the lifestyle and activities there suit me a lot better than where I live in rural louisiana.
I'm finally in a position where I can actually afford to purchase a property and I'm trying to figure out what the right plan of attack is.
Originally, I thought it was a no-brainer to get a multi-unit place. I found out there are several locations, most of them four-plexes, that are under $200,000, a few of them are closer to $100,000 which is a very tempting price from the outside.
It seems efficient to be able to rent out spaces while I occupy one or am working on the units that need TLC, I'd have that bit of income to help offset the cost of payments and any upgrades that do need to be made.
But, as I was looking into this it occurred to me that a lot of these places are already rented out to tennants and that started to give me cold feet. One place is up front about the fact that its cost is low because it needs a new roof, but besides that there's something generally fishy about purchasing a property that is actively leased out to tennants. I assume that's a thing that happens all the time, but I don't really have any perspective on what sorts of responsiblities and costs I might have to take on as a result of that? Is fixing the plumbing in one of the units too expensive for the current landlord to front, is something like that going on?
Alternatively, houses that I could try to rent out bedrooms in start closer to $150,000 and quickly go up. If I were to eventually rent the property, it seems like renting one house would generate a lot less income than renting out a four units each close to about half the typical rent for a ~3 bedroom house.
For whatever it's worth, I think I have a romanticized idea of "fixing up" something like one of these multi-unit places and either living in one of the units and managing the property into retirement, or moving on to something else (or more properties) and sitting on passive income. So a reality check is welcome, too.
Before I even look at these places (some of which are hard to view if they're are already occupied), I figured it would be smart to get advice on whether or not random strangers think I'm going down a silly path. (I'll also be discussing with property owners I'm close to and my family and whatnot!)