Buying a multifamily home to live in one half and rent out the other can be a smart investment. However, living in close proximity to your tenants can create a lot of stress, especially if your tenants are friends, family members, or acquaintances of yours. Before purchasing a multifamily home, it is important to create a plan that details the use of communal spaces, who you are willing to rent to, and your duties as a landlord. While making your plan, you should strive to do the following three things.
Since you are living so close to your tenant, it is important to create firm boundaries and be able to express them before a potential tenant accepts their portion of the home. These boundaries should include physical boundaries, such as whether the tenant can go into your section of the garage or your garden shed to get tools when you are not around, and emotional boundaries, such as how you would like to receive notices from your tenant and at what hours you are available for tenant issues.
Create a Community
While you consider your boundaries, you should also create a plan for how you intend to build a sense of community with your tenant-neighbors. Planning a monthly shared meal or a yearly barbecue party can help create a sense of community which will make communication easier and give your tenants a sense of responsibility to you and the home they are living in. Depending on your personality, you may have to make an effort to be outgoing and friendly with your tenants, or perhaps you will have to reign in your energy when interacting with them. These are all things that you will have to consider when sharing a property with your tenants.
Limit Your Tenant Choices
Do you plan to only rent your home out to friends and family, or will you include strangers after a thorough background check? Each of these options comes with its own issues. If you choose to rent to friends and family, you will have to be even more clear about your boundaries and tenant responsibilities. However, if you rent to strangers, you may have to work harder to build a sense of community.
These three issues can help guide your purchasing decisions, so keep them in mind before contacting a local realty company, like Prime Realty. For instance, you may find that you do not want a shared garage while setting your boundaries or you do want a shared yard or garden while planning how to create a sense of community. You may decide you want a home that is split vertically between two floors or perhaps you prefer the extra sound barrier of a home that is split horizontally.