There are a few things I wish I knew when I invested in my first rental property. I learned how to estimate the cash flow, repair costs, and identify a marketable product. However, I didn't know or consider how location impacts growth opportunities, how to add value through forced appreciation, and how inflation impacts the rental market.
Single-family vs. Multi-family
When deciding on your investment strategy for your first property, you will have to choose between buying a single-family residence (SFR) or a multi-family building. While many people see purchasing a single-family as a steppingstone into multi-family, that is not necessarily the case.
Many investment styles can work. Real estate investing is not a one size fits all sort of process. It is crucial to figure out your preferred investing model, define what property fits this model, and find a property that fits these criteria.
Conforming Loans: Mortgages sold to Fannie and Freddie are in this category. These are the loans that most big banks offer. Portfolio Lenders: Usually, community banks and credit unions offer loans for commercial properties such as rental properties that should not be packaged and sold off as a conforming loan.
Please do not go out to the world and ask people if they will be on your investing team. Relationships with the people you will work with for investing in real estate should be more organic than this.
Note I did not say real estate agent here. When finding a primary residence, your search may begin and end with a real estate agent. However, when looking for an investment property, more options are to consider.