What would you buy for your first real estate? Condo, townhome, single family home or multiplex?

Here’s what I’d do (based on my personal experience in buying, selling, investing and working as a real estate agent for the last 15 years, helping a number of investors):

My first choice: I’d buy a duplex or a triplex. You can live in one of the units and rent out the other unit(s). The renting income might cover 30-70% of your house payment, typically. There’s one mortgage payment and your renters will help you pay it down.

My second choice: I’d buy a single family home. Traditionally, single family homes appreciate the most and are the most desired property type. So resale is easiest as well. I’d aim for a 3 bedroom 2 bath home for the rentability and future resale.

My third choice: I’d buy a townhome. Townhomes tend to have less Home Owners Association (HOA) fees and rules than condos. Lot ownership is included in townhomes. No lot ownership on condos as HOAs own the lots.

My last choice: Condo, my least favorite due to generally high association fees and more rules. They tend to appreciate the least. And there’s a high rate of getting special assessments, due to larger repairs and/or maintenance needs. However, owning a condo is better than renting IMO in most cases, especially if you are planning to stay in that city for more than 2 years. It all boils down to how well you buy and you will hopefully avoid units with many issues. Make sure to find buildings with less HOA fees than average for the market.