Ask Landlord Hank: I Am Thinking About Buying A Duplex

Ask Landlord Hank: I Am Thinking About Buying A Duplex

What to consider when buying a duplex is this week’s question for veteran real estate investor and property manager Hank Rossi for Ask Landlord Hank.

Dear Landlord Hank,

I am interested in buying a duplex, can you tell me the requirements I should have?


Dear Landlady Melanie,

When I’m buying any rental property, I want to make sure that it will really produce income.

I look at all fixed expenses – taxes, HOA fees if any, insurance, lawn/pool care, mortgage monthly payment, etc. – and add those all up.

Then I determine what I need to do to have the rentals rent-ready, such as painting the units, maybe changing out flooring, etc.

Then I check the rental rates those units will command. Then, I subtract fixed expenses from monthly rents and I know how much I’ll net every month.

If that is a number that works for me and the upfront costs to make the rentals rent-ready are not too high, then I’m ready to move forward.

It’s best to be a little conservative on market rents and a little high on renovation costs, as renovations often cost more than expected.


Hank Rossi

Renting during the moratorium ask Landlord Hank
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I started in real estate as a child watching my father take care of our family rentals- maintenance, tenant relations, etc , in small town Ohio. As I grew, I was occasionally Dad’s assistant. In the mid-90s I decided to get into the rental business on my own, as a sideline. In 2001, I retired from my profession and only managed my own investments, for the next 10 years. Six years ago, my sister, working as a rental agent/property manager in Sarasota, Florida convinced me to try the Florida lifestyle. I gave it a try and never looked back. A few years ago we started our own real estate brokerage. We focus on property management and leasing. I continue to manage my real estate portfolio here in Florida and Atlanta.