If you’re in the market for a rental property, you might want to consider investing in a triplex. A triplex is a type of multi family property consisting of three individual dwelling units combined into a single building. Each dwelling unit is self-sufficient, meaning each one has its own living room, kitchen, bathrooms, a separate entrance door, and its own address.
Is a triplex a good investment? If so, how can I find one? Keep reading to find out the answers to these questions.
Is a Triplex a Good Investment?
Just like any other real estate investment, investing in a triplex comes with its own share of benefits and drawbacks. Let’s have a look at some of them.
Benefits of Buying a Triplex
- Great income potential: With the triplex investment strategy, you have the option to live in one of the units of the triplex and rent out the other two. Or, you can choose to rent out all three units. In both cases, you can benefit from multiple streams of rental income.
- Affordability: A triplex is usually more expensive than say a single family home, at least in the beginning. However, you are getting three units in one transaction, which makes them very affordable, especially in the long run.
- Easy mortgage payments: Investing in a triplex gives you the ability to live for free or cheap. Living in one part of the triplex and collecting rent from the other parts can potentially cover or lower your monthly mortgage payments.
- Easy financing: It’s relatively easy to get financing to purchase a triplex. That’s because lenders view this type of investment property as less risky compared to properties that rely on a single tenant. And if you live in one unit, you can qualify for an FHA loan which comes with a low down payment of 3.5%.
Drawbacks of Buying a Triplex
- Limited options: Triplexes are quite hard to find in city centers. You typically need to move away from the central zone and into the suburban areas to find a triplex for sale. As a result, you may have very few options to choose from if you want a triplex in the center of the city.
- Maintenance responsibility: When it comes to buying a triplex, the responsibility for the maintenance and repair of the building falls to the owner. This means that if damage occurs in any of the units, you will have to spend money and time to get it fixed.
- Tenant disagreements: Because tenants will be living close to one another, the likelihood of disagreements between them rises significantly. This can come in any number of forms, from noise to smells to parking spot complaints. This can ultimately lead to turnover.
- Living with tenants: If you decide to live in the triplex, you will be living right next door to your tenants. This can cause a lot of headaches for you as a landlord, especially if you have a tenant who is always knocking on your door every time they need help with something.
How to Find a Triplex for Sale Near Me
If you have weighed the pros and cons of owning a triplex and decided that you want to invest in one, then you can start your investment property search. Here are 4 ways to find investment property of this type.
Check Real Estate Websites
The quickest and most practical way to find a triplex for sale near you is to browse real estate investing websites. There are a ton of websites on the internet, with thousands of listings of homes for sale including triplexes and other types of multi family real estate. One example is Mashvisor.com. This site has a tool called the Property Finder, which allows you to filter your investment property search based on your criteria. For instance, you can set the ‘multi family’ filter to search exclusively for triplexes and multi family homes for sale on the platform. You can also set other filters (such as location, budget, rental strategy, number of beds and baths) to narrow down your search to match your criteria. The unique thing about Mashvisor’s Property Finder is that it employs a wide range of real estate data and analytics to specifically find investment properties with the highest potential for returns.
Related: The Best Real Estate Investing Websites Any Investor Must Know About
Look for ‘For Sale’ signs
Another way you can find a triplex for sale near you is to simply search for multi family properties with a ‘For Sale’ sign up. Hop in your car, drive around your neighborhood, and look for both realtor ‘For Sale’ signs and ‘For Sale By Owner (FSBO)’ signs. Take note of the names and phone numbers that appear on them so you could later find out who owns the house and get in touch with the owner or the real estate agent.
You can also try driving for dollars, which consists of looking for triplexes that are not currently for sale (or at least not being advertised visually) but may have owners who might be motivated to sell. In this case, you will need to keep an eye out for triplexes that appear to be vacant, distressed, or that suggest they have an absentee owner. Usually, these properties are offered at a low purchase price, making them a great option for those hoping to buy a rental property at a good discount. You could then add value to the property through renovations.
Related: What to Look for When Driving for Dollars: 19 Things
Network with Other Investors
You can also find a triplex for sale through a solid real estate investment network. Networking with other people in the real estate business can help you greatly in your investment property search. Experienced investors can refer you to many multi family real estate opportunities that you can’t find anywhere else on the market. They might even be willing to sell some of the triplexes they own. So, if you’re thinking of investing in a triplex, consider joining real estate investing clubs in your area to meet other investors and make connections. You can also join various real estate investing groups online on platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook. The key is to form relationships with a large number of investors that you can work with and trust.
Hire a Real Estate Agent
If you don’t like any of the above ways of how to find a triplex for sale, you can always work with a real estate agent. Real estate agents are experts at matters relating to investing and know very well where to find a triplex for sale. They have great knowledge of the local housing market and have direct access to the Multiple Listing Service, which is the official database for all the houses for sale in the US. They also have an extensive network of real estate professionals who can refer you to off market multi family properties. So if you’re a new real estate investor considering buying a triplex, you might want to contact an experienced agent. They will not only assist you in your search for a triplex for sale but also help you acquire it at the best price possible.
Evaluate the Potential Purchase of the Triplex
Your investment property search isn’t over yet. Once you manage to find a triplex for sale, the next step is to evaluate the potential purchase to determine if it will make for a good real estate investment. This includes analyzing the property’s profitability and inspecting the property’s condition.
Analyze the Investment Property’s Profitability
First, you need to analyze the investment potential of the triplex for sale. In other words, you need to run a multi family real estate investment analysis to see what kind of return on investment you can expect from the property. The best way to do so is to use a multi family investment calculator. This is one of the must-have real estate investment tools for anyone considering buying a rental property. What this tool does is it computes all the metrics you need to evaluate the profitability of an investment property, including the expected rental income, rental expenses, cash flow, cap rate, cash on cash return, and occupancy rate. As a result, you can easily tell if the triplex you intend to buy is worth investing in based on these metrics.
Related: 5 Tools for Investing in Multifamily Properties
Inspect the Property’s Condition
Moreover, you need to make sure that the triplex you’re targeting is in good condition. No one wants to buy a heavily damaged property and end up spending all their money on repairs. So, have the triplex thoroughly inspected so you can get a sense of its condition. It is advisable to have a professional contractor or building inspector perform the inspection because it isn’t always possible to notice all the damages when doing an inspection by yourself. Ask them to give you a detailed inspection report with an itemized list of all the repairs needed. If you see that the repairs will cost you too much, it would be wise to back out of the real estate deal and look for another triplex for sale.