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Old 10-30-2016, 07:43 PM
 
4 posts, read 2,229 times
Reputation: 12

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Hi everyone,


I'm a single male in my late 28s currently working as a federal employee in the DC metro area. I am looking to purchase my first home and was interested in purchasing a multi-family unit (3-4 units) utilizing my VA/FHA loan. I've visited a few places both in DC and Baltimore but can't decide which area would be a better investment/area to invest in. I've checked out a few places in Baltimore near Fells Point and Johns Hopkins as well as DC areas within the beltway, but I can't decide which area would be best. I'm looking to spend around $200-$600k.


What area(s) would be most ideal for investing in Baltimore and DC given the price range? I would be living in one unit and renting the other ones for residential income. What things should I be looking out for? I am in the process of looking for a realtor who can assist me but I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask. From what I have gathered so far, I know that zoning is important as some older buildings have been "grandfathered" in despite having zoning rule changes over the past years, as well as non-conforming properties. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-30-2016, 11:45 PM
 
1,877 posts, read 1,846,943 times
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$200-600K is nothing in the DC area when it comes to multifamilies. There's a few options EOTR, but they're junk and the odds of running into a horrific tenant or 10 is extremely high. Until you add another zero to your budget I don't see anywhere in DC being a viable option. The only building I see in the entire region that might be a decent fit is:
https://www.redfin.com/MD/Takoma-Par.../home/10985571
And that's just someone flipping the property; it doesn't even have a CO, currently, presumably because pre-flip (and maybe post-flip) it was uninhabitable (fire? mold? dozens of code violations? all of the above?). I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole, personally, as right off the bat the risk/reward doesn't make sense.
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Old 10-31-2016, 07:15 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,719 posts, read 21,108,352 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajkim2 View Post
I've checked out a few places in Baltimore near Fells Point and Johns Hopkins as well as DC areas within the beltway, but I can't decide which area would be best. I'm looking to spend around $200-$600k.
The first area that came to my mind was Takoma Park, but the previous poster showed you what your budget would get.

I'd suggest Catonsville or Violetville in the SW part of Baltimore. Your budget could get you a duplex or four-plex, and you would be able to get to a commuter train or bus into DC. I won't say they are an "ideal" investment, as you would get the usual problems with crappy tenants. You might also find something in Columbia, where they built a few townhouses with legal first-floor apartments. Old Town Laurel also has a few four-plex buildings, including one on 5th Street at $550,000 which is currently pending. It is a nice clean building, although it has radiators and oil furnace heat.

There's also a nice old house in Halethorpe, near UMBC with 2 apartments at $299,900. Also a lovely Victorian in Catonsville at $365,000 with two apartments and a cottage. Both are near the train to DC.

You really ought to be using a buyer broker who knows commercial properties.

Last edited by goldenage1; 10-31-2016 at 07:33 AM..
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Old 10-31-2016, 12:35 PM
 
4 posts, read 2,229 times
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Thank you for your replies. Much appreciated.
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Old 10-31-2016, 05:59 PM
 
590 posts, read 530,960 times
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If in DC make sure the building is vacant. It is very very difficult to evict tenants in DC and if they're selling it with the tenants it means they are passing on the burden to you.
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Old 11-01-2016, 02:52 PM
 
4 posts, read 2,229 times
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Okay, thanks. Am I better off just purchasing a single family home/townhome and renting a room or two, instead of purchasing a multi-unit home? I will be living in the home or occupying one of the units.
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Old 11-01-2016, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Baltimore
673 posts, read 935,650 times
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Baltimore is definately a better imvestment area. Don't even bother with DC.
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Old 11-01-2016, 08:49 PM
 
1,010 posts, read 1,510,156 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajkim2 View Post
Okay, thanks. Am I better off just purchasing a single family home/townhome and renting a room or two, instead of purchasing a multi-unit home? I will be living in the home or occupying one of the units.
I think buying a SFH/Townhome and converting the basement into a rental maybe a better option.

I'm actually doing that now with my house. Some people do full kitchens in the basement with a separate entrance and charge more for rent. I would recommend buying in PG county, as it is the last affordable area close to DC. Contrary to popular belief, the whole county isn't "bad" as a lot of people would have you to believe. I would recommend Hyattsville, Riverdale Park, Mt. Rainier, or College Park as those areas are seeing a lot of new development, near DC and/or public transit, and diverse. Good luck with your search.

Last edited by e2ksj3; 11-01-2016 at 08:58 PM..
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