An increasing number of Americans are feeling the pinch of rising property prices. The surge in interest rates is becoming a problem too. As a result, the demand for rental properties is soaring high. A 6.8% increase in sales of single-family homes brought the total number of homes sold to 5.4 million.

According to a study by the Urban Institute, single-family rentals are the housing market segment expanding the quickest in the United States. In recent years, single-family rentals have surpassed the expansion of both multifamily housing and single-family for sale, and this trend will continue in the years to come.

Everything You Need To Know About Single-Family Rentals

SFRs, or single-family rentals, are homes or apartments marketed toward and primarily occupied by a single household. They are their own independent structures. Almost any global real estate market will have these residences available for purchase. 

New SFR properties can be built as part of build-to-rent (BTR) projects while existing SFR stock (in dispersed or scattered' locations) can be considered a separate category. You can make scalable real estate investments by purchasing existing inventory, updating it, and renting it out.

SFR is a well-established asset class in the United States. Still, it has yet to be fully explored as an investment opportunity in Europe, where the residential sector will be worth around $50 trillion.

Single Family Vs. Multi-Family Rentals

One of the first decisions you'll have to make when investing in real estate is whether or not to focus on single-family homes or apartment complexes. To help you answer that question, here is a comparison of various factors against and in favor of investing in either single-family homes or multifamily buildings.

The Pros of Owning a Single-Family Rental Property

  1. Reduced Start-Up Costs 

SFR properties are ideal for first-time investors because they are less expensive and require less money to start. While you can locate nice, cash flow-ready rental properties for about $100,000 in the South and Midwest, a small multifamily structure might easily cost over a million dollars (given how many units and which region you're buying in).

Expect other costs to increase with the rising price of multifamily residences.

The standard minimum down payment for a conventional mortgage on a single-family home is 20%. Thus, a 20% down payment would suffice for a $100,000 home.

  1. Potential For Resale

While SFRs are more accessible to buyers due to their lower prices and reduced entry barriers, sellers also benefit from this. More people are likely to be interested in purchasing a single-family house than an apartment or duplex because they can appeal to both investors and first-time purchasers.

  1. Rising Interest

The SFR market is expected to continue growing. In the United States, single-family rentals are expanding faster than single-family house purchases or multifamily housing. U.S. Census figures published on RENTCafé show that single-family rents increased by 31%, whereas multifamily rentals only increased by 14% in the ten years that followed the housing crisis.

  1. Facilitates A Broader Range Of Options

Renting conditions vary from one area to another. New business growth may cause celebration in one city, while economic hardship follows a factory's closure in another. If you've put all your eggs in one basket, like a 10-unit apartment complex, and the local market crashes, you might take a more significant blow than if you had invested in several single-family residences (SFRs) in different regions of the country.

  1. Fewer Evictions And Vacancy

It's expensive and inconvenient to replace tenants constantly. You (or your management company) must coordinate displaying the unit, marketing the vacancy, cleaning up after the previous tenant, fixing any damage, and screening potential new tenants once each tenancy ends. Also, the landlord will be out of rent money while the apartment is unoccupied.

  1. Liability

The owner of a multifamily building has a greater risk of being sued than the owner of a single-family home. Single-family house tenants are responsible for all maintenance, including mowing the yard, shoveling snow, changing the batteries in smoke alarms, etc.

The landlord in a multifamily building is traditionally in charge of upkeep for shared spaces, including the lobby, laundry room, lawn, and driveway. You could be held responsible for the hallway smoke alarm batteries gettingg stolen by the tenant's child. Someone could sue you for negligence if they fell on the ice on the sidewalk.

Therefore, although a landlord of a single-family home may or may not opt to incorporate the property as a limited liability company (LLC), a landlord of many units has a strong incentive to do so.

The Pros Of Owning Multifamily Properties

  1. Quicker Scaling

Let's pretend you're interested in adding ten new apartments to your current portfolio. To rent ten homes, you'd need to look for ten individual properties. However, if you buy a 10-unit apartment building, you instantly become the landlord of 10 apartments. That's ten buyers, ten sellers, ten inspections, and ten mortgages.

  1. Gains from scale economies

A 10-unit structure is preferable to a collection of single-family homes. Having all ten apartments in one building has many advantages. If you repair the roof or any other shared area of the building, you will have essentially repaired all ten apartments. It's much more cost-effective than turning ten separate houses into rentals.

You can benefit from economies of scale or lower expenses per unit. All you need is a single comprehensive policy. When it comes to repetitive showings, inspections, and general maintenance issues, landlords of these properties only have to make one trip.

If you own numerous single-family rentals in different states, finding and communicating with employees from each would be a hassle; if you engage in a property management business, you have to do so once.

  1. Increased Income Every Month

If you don't already have many single-family homes, investing in an MFR will likely result in a more considerable rental income. However, you must remember a few points. 

To begin, a positive cash flow statement every month does not automatically mean a higher ROI. Having several tenants means more monthly rent payments. Thus, the answer is yes. When calculating overall profit, monthly net cash flow is only one factor.

Second, keep in mind that increasing the number of tenants will lead to greater wear and tear. As the years pass, you may find that a bigger portion of your rental revenue goes into covering the cost of routine maintenance and upkeep.

What Is Build To Rent?

The term "Build to Rent" refers to a type of real estate development targeted squarely towards the rental market rather than the long-term home-buying market.

Unlike the typical home, some build-to-rent residences are part of professionally managed communities. 

The benefits of hiring a professional community management company are numerous, and they include providing residents with a well-kept and safe environment, providing access to first-rate services and amenities, and providing free landscaping and property care. 


Many modern real estate investors find that single-family homes offer outstanding returns. Rental properties have produced a more significant and stable return on investment for their owners than equities, bonds, or cash. It's hard to find a better alternative investment than a single-family rental.

If you need more money for a 20% down payment on a multifamily property, you can still invest in real estate with single-family rental property. Get in on one of the hottest trends in real estate by purchasing a single-family rental home.

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