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4 unit Multi family house

what is the process looks like buying a short sale 4 unit  multi family house for investment in D.C area ?
  • February 20 2012 - Washington
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Answers (2)

Unfortunately, I can't tell you about DC other than it seems like a good place to get a job these days, but it's probably not much different than Chicago, where I have worked on many multi-unit properties (two flat, three flat, four flat etc.).

Here are some pointers:

Is the building currently occupied? Are there leases for the tenants? If not, do they appear (ask them) willing to move without a hassle if you want to renovate and get new tenants?

Are the units (all four) legal? Don't assume this. Ask for the city certification.

Are the utilities all separate or is the owner responsible for paying some or all of them?

The short sale: Find out if the listing agent has experience with short sales and inquire about the attorney working with him. An honest, reputable short sale agent will have a good idea of how long the lender usually needs, and be able to show you how many short sale closings (and their total elapsed time) they have done. There are really too many telltale signs to list about incompetent short sale agents. Be wary.

Just be prepared to wait, like any other short sale. If there is a second mortgage, prepare to wait even longer.

If you intend to owner-occupy this building you can get an FHA mortgage with a small down payment, otherwise you'll need at least 25% to put down.

One last thing...a four flat home inspection is expensive so try to get the listing agent (or better...find a buyers agent) to have your contract allow you to have an inspection period AFTER the bank approval NOT before (as in, when you first sign the contract). However, to not waste people's time, tour the house with an experienced contractor to know if the condition seems plausible for you to take over.


  • February 21 2012
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Profile picture for moneyclip8565
Hey Seth,

This post is old so hopefully you get the question, and even better can answer it

Since you have experience with these 2-4 unit multifamily homes.

Where would you suggest to look to find them? Since they are technically still "residential" I try all different kinds of searches and really come up with a lot of single family homes, or if I do a search on multifamily I get properties a lot larger than 4 units.  Is there a good place to go when looking for these properties to buy?  Any help is appreciate, Thank you!
  • July 04 2014
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