1. You DO NOT need to have 20% down to buy a duplex, triplex, or four unit building. Financing is available for properties up to four units, which was insure by FHA.
2. You CAN count 75% of the current or expected rental income toward helping you to qualify for a loan.
3. It is true the first time home buyer tax credit was available for multi-family properties. Although the program expired last spring and there does not seem to be any noise or congressional support to reinstate it.
4. It is NOT any more difficult to get financing for a duplex than a single home.
5. Maintence will cost you a fortune. When you own real estate you will have expenses that are involved. It is important to keep this in mind when you are buying the property.
6. Yes, you may get a phone call in the middle of a night maybe every 5 to 10 years. Plumbing issues do not happen that often and in the long run it is not a big ordeal. This is not a big issue like most people try and make it sound like. A quick call to the plumber will usually fix the problem.
7. Side by side duplexes are quieter than up/down duplexes. These types of duplexes are usually made as mirror images of each other. The walls no not any more thick and because you are right next to them they are just as loud if not more loud.
8. Cash flow is everything. Of course it is important to invest in something that makes sense financially but it also needs to match up with long term investment goals. Thinking about where you are at in your life and financially at the time but also where you hope to be in the future. This investment needs to match up with that as well.
9. New is better than old. Not always true! This depends on where you are located. Some people find the quirks of older real estate interesting and exciting.
10. Tenants are difficult. Being a landlord is a responsibility but if you take on the job with wisely and make thoughtful choices this should not throw any major problems your way. Your unit turnover will also be higher if there are not major problems all the time.