Investing in Multi-Family Properties

Nelda Schulte
4 min readMar 28, 2022

Many people began their rental journey by graduating from their parent’s home into a multi-family property/apartment building. This early rental experience makes multifamily properties an understandable residential/commercial investment for Alberta Landlords.

The definition of a multi-family property is any property with more than one unit such as duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, sixplexes, eightplexes, apartment and condominium complexes.

Many investors get their feet wet by purchasing a duplex or fourplex, living in one unit, and renting the others. This type of multifamily falls under residential real estate investing and is slightly more complex than what you experienced applying for funding for your principal residence.

Cory Sperle and Adam Stelmach’s video provides good information on multi-family investments.

Multi-family properties with more than five units fall under the commercial real estate category, are more expensive, and have different qualification criteria than residential. Qualification criteria for commercial loans are more stringent and have higher interest rates. The two main criteria for commercial investments are the number of units, and whether you’ll live in one of the units.

Owner-occupied vs. Non-owner occupied multi-family properties

Owner-occupied and non-owner-occupied determine how much of a down payment you need to come up with, the amortization periods and whether mortgage default insurance is required.

Down payments

Owner-occupied investments only required 5–10% depending on the number of units in the property. But if the purchase price is over $500,000, owner-occupied properties must pay 5% of the first $500K plus an additional 10% for any amount over 500K. Non-owner-occupied investment properties require a 20% down payment.

Mortgage Default Insurance

Nelda Schulte

Nelda Schulte is a freelance writer based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada who specializes in real estate.