April 11th, 2018 at 11:00 am


The American dream of homeownership can take many forms. For most of us, it’s the allure of owning and living in a detached single-family house that you can decorate and landscape to suit your personal lifestyle.

For others, owning a multifamily structure–or multidwelling unit (MDU)–is more appealing for a number of reasons:

Whatever your motivation, it’s important to know the different types of multifamily properties for sale should you decide to become an owner. Multifamily dwellings are typically considered commercial real estate, so working with an experienced commercial agent is a great way to get to know what’s available in your area. Also feel free to connect with Ron Sanford, our Commercial Division vice president.

What is multifamily housing?

According to, it is a building with more than one unit where people can live, each with their own separate kitchens, living rooms, utility bills, patios, and so on. MDUs are typically found in densely populated areas such as cities where space is at a premium. As mentioned, they can be rented, owner-occupied, or act as an investment property for landlords to collect rent from tenants.

How many MDUs are there?

As of 2016, there were approximately 4 million multifamily dwellings nationwide, compared with about 90 million single-family homes. While living in close quarters with neighbors might not be ideal for privacy or noise, people in multifamily homes generally pay less than those in single-family homes. They also don’t have to deal with a lot of maintenance issues because a property-management company is often responsible for repairing the building’s exterior, landscaping upkeep, pool care, and maintaining other common areas.

Types of multifamily homes

Multifamily homes come in all shapes and sizes. Some of the more common designs include:

Why invest in a multifamily home vs. a single-family home?

Buying a multifamily home to rent to tenants, or where you live in one unit and rent out the others, can be a wise financial strategy, especially in a tight housing-inventory market. Why? Homeownership in many areas has been declining, dipping two years ago below the 66.6 percent historical average. People need a place to live, so an MDU could be a good long-term investment for the owner. If you take care of a rental property for 20 years, it will take care of you for life, a popular real estate saying goes.

Make sure it’s the right move for you

If you do want to invest, be sure you’re ready to deal with the unexpected: inconsiderate renters, repairs, and upkeep are just a few of the issues you’ll probably have to face. Consider these factors before investing.

Are you ready to find your perfect? Whether you’re looking for a single-family home or investment property, any one of our dedicated real estate professionals is ready to help.

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