7 years ago, after years of being a renter and coming from a family of renters, I decided to buy my first house.
It was an exciting time but also scary. Instead of buying a single-family home as my first place, I bought a multifamily property with a commercial storefront.
I had no clue what went into being a landlord. I just knew that I wanted to be a good one who provided safe and affordable housing to others.
Why a Multifamily Property
I landed on this type of property because I was looking for something that I could afford on my own but also make money from to help with the bills in case I lost or quit my job.
I had worked on Wall Street for years and saw how easily a person could lose a job.
I didn't want that for myself. Additionally, I didn't want to depend on being employed by someone else so having a storefront was an added bonus.
I would be able to start a business if I wanted to in the future.
As luck would have it, I became pregnant shortly after closing on my new home and had to take a leave of absence.
When I was ready, I opened a cafe in the storefront and owned and operated it for 5 years.
One of the reasons I was able to purchase a multifamily commercial storefront in NYC was because the place needed a lot of work.
Little did I know that I would soon learn the way of dubious contractors and have to become in essence a general contractor myself.
The work took 3 times as long as expected, caused a lot of headaches, and was more expensive than quoted.
However, I did learn a lot in the process which has allowed me to help friends who are new to homeownership and construction.
Would I Purchase A MultiFamily As My First Home Again?
I would absolutely purchase a multifamily as my first home again and recommend others to the same.
Having a multifamily has allowed me to reach financial independence in my 30s, become an entrepreneur, and spend more time with my family.
I keep my expenses low and the neighborhood I purchased in has appreciated greatly.
The rents I charge cover the expenses of the property and provides additional income.
Being a Renter vs A Land Lord
I know a lot of people debate whether it is better rent or own. In my opinion, it was the best decision I have made.
Sure there are difficulities with being a land lord that you don't have to face as a renter.
For example, as a renter I was never aware that you had to pay for water or save for repairs.
As a renter you think the costs of homeownership is astronomical because you just don't know the figures.
Additionally, as a renter I never had any control over rent increases. At my last apartment, the rent was increased by $150 every year.
Once I became a homeowner I was able to budget for expenses and they didn't come as a shock.
Additionally, my mortgage payment doesn't change because it has been locked in for 30 years.
I have more control and I am building my wealth at the same time which is not the case when I was a renter.
What are your thoughts? Have you had a similar experience?