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Residential Real Estate 101

Residential Real Estate 101

This article was contributed by Madoline Hatter. Madoline is a freelance writer and blog junkie from You can reach her at: m.hatter12 @

As a real estate investor or a first-time buyer, you need to understand what type of residence may be a good investment depending on market conditions. You may want a property that will provide positive cash flow. You may want to buy and hold property that can produce income each month. Or you may want to find a property in excellent condition in which to live. 

Investing in Residential real estate

The most common form of investing in real estate is buying residential properties. For the most part, it provides a place to live for the owner or the tenant. Either way, this is the safest type of investment for many average income families. The degree to which the house is treated as investment depends on the buyer's personal situation and interest. One characteristic of all these residences is that they can generate a constant income. The other characteristic common to them is that the property will require monthly mortgage payments, property taxes, utilities and repairs wherever needed.

Residential properties, in general, come in different styles, sizes and shapes.

1. A single-family house - This can be a tiny home about 500 square feet size, or a mansion with a 8000 square feet living area. Single family houses come in ranch style homes with one or more bathroom, or they can be townhouses. All these homes' architectural styles may vary, the structure may be unique, such as bungalows, slatboxes, colonials and so on. But the one common element in all these houses is that they are all designed for a single family to live on the property. 

2. Duplexes and Triplexes - Much like a single-family home, duplexes offer living spaces for families - not just one but two. The homes normally have a single wall separating the two families and access to the outside without going through each others unit. Triplexes are similar to duplexes except that these structures have three separate living units to accommodate three families. Residential property that has more than four separate living units are categorized under commercial properties. 

3. Condominiums- A special type of real estate more common among city dwellers due to space constraints. Ownership of a condominium allows a person to own a portion of the building that constitute the apartment complex. The condominium owner typically receives a deed to the property with joint ownership in common areas, such as pool, community park, gym and other common facilities. 

Finally, a professional realtor's knowledge of the local real estate market may help you determine what type of property is likely to yield positive cash flow and be a good investment. 


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