Comparing types of rental properties for first-time investors

On Behalf of | Sep 29, 2023 | Commercial Real Estate Leases, Real Estate Transactions | 0 comments

Investing in Florida rental properties can be lucrative, but first-time buyers often grapple with the decision of which property type suits their investment goals best.

Overall, the choice of rental property type depends on your investment goals and preferences.

Single-family homes

Single-family homes are standalone properties that cater to a single household. Their pros include privacy and space. Single-family homes offer tenants more privacy and outdoor space compared to other options. As the sole owner, you have full control over the property and its management. These properties tend to appreciate well over time, potentially yielding a substantial return on investment.

On the downside, initial purchase and maintenance costs can be higher than other property types. With only one unit, your rental income may be lower compared to multi-family units or apartments. You also bear the sole responsibility for maintenance and repairs.

Multifamily units

Multifamily units include duplexes, triplexes and quadplexes. They house multiple tenants in separate units within the same structure. Multiple units generate more rental income, offering a steady cash flow. Income from multiple tenants can help cushion financial setbacks.

However, handling multiple units can be challenging, requiring more time and effort. In addition, purchasing a multifamily property often requires a larger upfront investment. With more tenants, turnover can be frequent, impacting income stability.

Another potential issue is that the majority of rental units qualifying for construction permits in Florida are single-unit homes. Duplexes, triplexes and quadplex units are harder for investors to find — but doing so is more than possible.


Condos are individual units within a larger building or complex, often featuring amenities such as pools or gyms. The condo association typically handles common area maintenance, and many tenants view access to shared amenities favorably. Condos are often more affordable than houses.

Monthly association fees can add to your expenses, though, and you have less control over exterior maintenance and property rules. Market fluctuations and association regulations can affect resale value.


Apartments are typically larger rental complexes with a single entity managing many units. You can turn to property management companies to handle maintenance and tenant issues, and large complexes can benefit from cost savings. You may enjoy steady rental income from multiple units.

Disadvantages of investing in apartments include the fact that you may have less control over management decisions. High-density areas may have stiff competition from other apartment complexes, too. Economic downturns can affect apartment rental demand.

As a first-time investor, consider these various factors carefully to make the right choice for your financial goals.