Single Vs. Multi-family homes

Here at Turnkey Properties, we know that real estate investment is a fantastic way to build wealth and generate passive income. However, when investing in real estate, it’s essential to consider the different types of properties available. One of the most significant decisions you’ll make is whether to invest in a single or multi-family home.

A single-family home is a standalone property that houses one family or household. It is typically smaller and less expensive than a multi-family home and is found in a variety of locations, from urban areas to suburban neighborhoods. A multi-family home, on the other hand, is a property that is designed to house multiple families or households. It can range from a duplex, which is a property with two units, to an apartment complex, which can have hundreds of units.

When it comes to deciding whether to invest in a single-family home or a multi-family home, there are advantages and disadvantages to both options. Luckily, your local experts at Turnkey Properties are here to help you sus out the best option for you. Read on! 

Single-Family Homes: Pros and Cons


One of the advantages of investing in a single-family home is the lower purchase price. Single-family homes are typically cheaper than multi-family homes, which means that you can buy a property with a lower down payment and qualify for a mortgage more easily. This can make it an attractive option for first-time investors or those with a limited budget.

Another advantage of investing in a single-family home is that it can be easier to manage. With a single-family home, you only have one tenant to deal with, which can make management less time-consuming. You don’t have to worry about coordinating with multiple tenants, dealing with common areas, or managing the maintenance of multiple units.

Single-family homes have historically appreciated at a faster rate than multi-family homes. This means that you can potentially make more money in the long run. Since single-family homes are typically located in neighborhoods with a strong sense of community, they tend to be more in demand, which can lead to higher prices.


One of the disadvantages of investing in a single-family home is the limited cash flow. Since you only have one tenant, your cash flow is limited to the rent they pay. If they move out or can’t pay the rent, you’ll be left with an empty property and no income. This can be a significant risk for investors who rely on rental income to cover their expenses.

Single-family homes tend to have higher vacancy rates than multi-family homes. This is because there’s only one tenant, so if they move out, you’ll have to find a new tenant quickly to avoid losing money. Vacancy can also lead to higher expenses, as you’ll need to cover the costs of advertising the property, screening potential tenants, and preparing the property for the new tenant.

Another disadvantage of investing in a single-family home is the higher expenses. Single-family homes often have higher expenses than multi-family homes. This is because you’re responsible for all the maintenance, repairs, and other costs associated with the property.

Single Vs. Multi-family homesMulti-Family Homes: Pros and Cons

Higher Cash Flow:

Multi-family homes have the potential to generate higher cash flow than single-family homes. This is because you have multiple tenants paying rent, which can offset any vacancies. In other words, if one unit becomes vacant, the income from the other units can still cover your expenses.

Lower Vacancy Rates:

Multi-family homes tend to have lower vacancy rates than single-family homes. This is because you have multiple tenants, so if one moves out, you’ll still have other tenants paying rent. Additionally, if you have a larger multi-family property, you can also stagger leases to minimize any potential vacancy periods.

Economies of Scale:

With a multi-family home, you can benefit from economies of scale. This means that you can spread out the costs of maintenance, repairs, and other expenses across multiple units, which can help you save money. For example, if you need to replace a roof, you can divide the cost by the number of units, making it more affordable than if you had to replace a roof on a single-family home.


Higher Purchase Price:

Multi-family homes are typically more expensive than single-family homes. This means that you’ll need a larger down payment and may have to qualify for a higher mortgage. Additionally, multi-family properties may require higher insurance costs and more expensive maintenance due to their size.

More Complex Management:

With a multi-family home, you have multiple tenants to deal with. This can make management more complex and time-consuming. You may have to deal with multiple lease agreements, tenant disputes, and other issues that come with having multiple tenants. Additionally, since you have more units, you may need to hire a property manager, which can eat into your cash flow.

More Regulation:

Multi-family homes are subject to more regulations than single-family homes. This includes building codes, zoning laws, and tenant laws. You may have to deal with more inspections, licenses, and permits when operating a multi-family property. Additionally, some areas may have rent control laws that limit the amount you can charge for rent, which can affect your cash flow.

Single Vs. Multi-family homesWhich Option Is Best for You?

As mentioned earlier, the best option between single-family and multi-family homes depends on your goals, budget, and personal preferences. It’s important to do your research and carefully consider the pros and cons of each option before making a decision.

Luckily you’ve got an award-winning team of Memphis real estate professionals to help guide you through the ins and outs of decisions like this and a lot more! So give us a call at 901-410-5452, or come by and visit us at 1060 Brookfield Road, and we can get started kicking your portfolio in high gear!