Investing in properties is an excellent approach to take charge of your money and boost your employment income. Numerous beginner-friendly tactics are available, but because they are all discretionary, it cannot be easy to figure out where to start. Single-family homes, often known as SFR investments, are one venture form that early investors should consider. These assets provide consistent cash flow and can show newcomers the ins and outs of managing rental properties. Furthermore, SFR investment can add value to an existing asset base. There are many single-family houses available, and demand is steady.
Before looking for your next investment opportunity, consider the following advantages of single-family homes, regardless of where you are in your investing career. This article covers all you need to understand about SFR investment to help make your research slightly quicker if you have been considering investing in a residential rental property soon. This article lets you decide if SFR investment is the best real estate investing niche for you.
What is SFR investment?
In contrast to renting out a space in a multifamily property like a townhouse or an apartment complex, an investor in real estate rents out a single-family home.
A single-family home is a freestanding one-unit building that typically has a garage and a yard. Detached or standalone rent properties typically fall under SFR.
In the United States, more than 325 million residents live in around 125 million occupied homes, approximately 16 million of which are SFRs. As per real estate market research, SFRs make up 35 percent of all rental properties in the United States and have had a 25 percent growth in rented SFRs over the past ten years.
Why is SFR in Demand in 2022?
One of the handfuls of investment vehicles that have experienced an increase in value since the Pandemic began is SFR. According to market research, the demand for SFR investments has soared by 650% as of April 2020.
A crucial indicator of housing demand is the number of new households. Market research estimates demand for about 7.5 million more housing units in the coming five years, which is 10% more than the mean annual growth seen over the previous ten years. A little more than 810,000 new homes, or 1.5 times more than new rental tenants, are anticipated to take contracts for single-family homes.
Moreover, over the next five years, the number of millennial consumers aging 34 to 44, one of the main demographics of renters of single-family houses, is expected to double roughly. As these individuals approach later life phases, such as parenthood and marriage, older millennials will desire greater space, which will increase demand for SFR in the following three to five years. The market for SFR homes will also be fueled by retirees and young parents when they relocate from bigger owner-occupied homes to SFR properties.
Current demographic trends support both single-family home ownership and single-family leasing. Even while future population increase has focused on warmer cities in the US, many other places in the nation and countries like Canada should also experience strong demand for single-family home rentals.
- SFR in the time of Pandemic
The transition from apartments to SFRs has been expedited by the COVID-19 Pandemic, particularly among older individuals with children. Tenants who live in SFR properties have the advantages of having space between neighbors and a lawn for private outdoor use, which are beneficial elements for social isolation strategies. The US market’s unemployment rate was down to 13.3% in May 2020. As families explore or need more low-cost housing due to job loss, vehicle loans, and school debt, the need for SFR rentals has risen.
The single-family rental market is expected to grow in the upcoming quarters as some people go for lower-density regions and single-family homes. Renters find SFRs more appealing because working from home is more common, and single-family homes are farther away.
What is the Investment Strategy of SFR?
Both institutional and private investors like to venture into SFR property investment. These establishments often profit from their net operating income, which is calculated as rent minus its operating costs.
The plan is to purchase a house, rent it, earn money, and sell it. SFR investments allow investors to profit from the possible rental and home price increases based on elements including site, apartment type, conditions, facilities, retail price, and industry trends. Another crucial investment aspect is accounting for running expenditures, including administration, restoration, and maintenance charges.
Individual investors can now utilize their local presence and experience in business operations. Because of its appeal to institutional investors, the industry is relatively competitive today. An estimated 88 percent of SFR unit ownership comprises small business entities that are independent or family-owned investors, who typically own 1 to 10 homes.
What is SFR Zoning?
In specific residential areas in the United States and Canada, single-family zoning is a form of building restriction that limits construction only to permit single-family detached residences. Due to these limits, contractors can only exclusively construct single-family detached homes. Townhouses or condominiums, typical in places with higher densities of construction, are not permitted.
Single-family zoning was first suggested at the beginning of the 20th century and utilized as a strategy to safeguard public health and safety, house values, and both. Businesses are also excluded from single-family zones and other types of dwellings. The city of Berkeley adopted the first single-family zoning ordinance in 1916.
About 75% of the land allocated for residential areas in major American cities is allowed for single-family homes. In California, fifty-five and seventy-five percent of the state’s buildable land is zoned for single-family homes. A National Bureau for Economic Research poll found that 94 percent of American towns have a basic lot size requirement, and the current average size is increasing. This trend is a worrying development for people who want to see more reasonably priced homes and multi-unit structures on small lot sizes.
Single-family zoning can also exist in places classified as heritage conservation districts, where the identification of the historic nature precludes zoning modifications and increased density despite the necessity for inexpensive housing within the area.
Advantages of SFR Investment
- Ideal For Any Investor
For entrepreneurs of practically all experience levels and educational backgrounds, SFR property investment is an incredible opportunity. SFR units can profit from cash flow each month and future property growth. Any property-related costs, including regular upkeep and mortgage or loan obligations, can be covered by the cash flow. The home will increase in value during your SFR ownership due to property inflation. When you are ready to market your investment, you realize those profits will be there. With that, SFR properties might therefore be ideal for nearly any investor.
- Economical and Commercially Viable
The fact that SFR buildings are both reasonably priced and extremely profitable makes them desirable. In comparison to other property kinds, such as commercial or residential buildings, single-family houses are simpler to buy. SFR residences are smaller and more affordable than larger real estate because they are solely designed for one household.
SFR property is also renowned for being profitable. Once occupied, these properties give investors a consistent income stream through lease payments each month. The best thing is that these properties seldom have openings if you compete in a sought-after commercial district. This great demand can practically guarantee you consistent cash flow. Entrepreneurs are also not required to supply features that can increase the management costs of flats with single-family dwellings. SFR homeowners are not required to offer laundry services, pay utilities, or even maintain the premises.
- Safe Investment
Due to the basic laws of supply and demand, SFR property is typically regarded as a secure investment. Regardless of the state of the financial markets or the state’s economy, people will always require housing. SFR property investors are shielded from the unpredictability of other investment kinds by this steady demand. Before buying a property, buyers must consider the market area since this will greatly affect the investment’s revenue.
- Simple to Manage and Finance
Single-family houses can be financed in various ways, rendering them relatively simple to fund. Buyers can finance these homes over time rather than putting up a significant sum of money upfront. One can purchase SFR property through conventional loans, private financing lenders, or home equity.
Several entrepreneurs will also be relieved to learn how simple it is to maintain these homes. Based on your availability and cost estimate, you can engage with a property management company or take on the job alone. In either case, you are only accountable for one renter, so the likelihood of many issues concurrently occurring is significantly lower than it would be for buildings with much more tenants.
The most crucial factor in renting out a single-family home is ensuring a decent and excellent renter is placed in the home. If the renter does not cover the rent, you have a major issue given that you only have one house, as opposed to a smaller issue if you have multiple apartments and one renter somehow does not make a payment. Therefore, if there is one thing you should strongly make sure of, it would be to be certain you have a truly good certified renter into your SFR property and that they are carefully reviewed.
- Simple To Launch
Single-family homes are thought of as comparatively straightforward assets. Although investors are required to do heavy research on the right housing market and secure a loan, Past that point, the level of commitment needed can be quite simple to handle. To be within easy reach in case they are required, most investors in real estate choose to invest in SFR homes that are in or close to their area. It may also be simpler to forecast how the real estate market will change if you select a region you are already acquainted with.
Nevertheless, some investors find long-distance property investment investing to be profitable. In these circumstances, you will probably need to assign property management duties to a business or someone you can trust, which can also come with additional costs. However, many capable management companies are available to assist owners with these duties. For the reasons mentioned above, SFR may be simpler to begin with than other investment vehicles or real estate property.
- SFR Property Investment Comes With Tax Exemptions
Several tax advantages are frequently associated with real estate, and single-family homes are not any different. Because SFR homes are tangible resources, they come with built-in tax benefits. Property investment provides security from forms of volatility that are usually associated with stocks or other investment sorts that may see temporary fluctuations in value. Other tax benefits that are frequently connected to property ownership, notably single-family homes, include:
Depreciation, a yearly tax credit equivalent to the property’s worth divided by the building’s years of life span, is another tax benefit offered by SFR real estate. Depending on the average building depreciation, investors in real estate are eligible for a yearly tax break or deduction. This reduction may allow investors to pay less in total taxes on their rental revenue.
The IRS sets a limit of 27.5 years on the useful life of buildings for residential housing. Depreciation offsets some of the taxes levied on rental revenue, allowing an owner to recoup the cost of buying an SFR home gradually.
- Capital Gains Tax
Property investors can be eligible for higher tax advantages than those who engage in more volatile securities. When an SFR house is sold, the government may impose taxes on capital gains. However, the tax rate is lowered if the property is held for more than a year.
When the right time comes to put a property on the market, a property owner who has lived in it for two of the preceding five years is eligible to deduct about $250,000 in capital gains for a sole proprietor and approximately $500,000 if the property sellers are wedded and submit a joint return.
Earnings over these exemptions would be subject to capital gains rates of taxation. Based on the seller’s tax liability and registration status, all these long-term investment incomes are subject to a tax rate of 0%, 15%, or 20%.
- There is high demand
The demand for SFR property investment has increased recently as newer generations migrate out of densely populated locations in preference for bigger and more reasonable residences as they reach the age of first-time house buyers. Market analysis shows that the number of single-family homes built has not kept pace with demand. This signals investors that SFR real estate has lower occupancy rates and high revenue possibilities.
The recent Pandemic has had various effects on the SFR housing market. People throughout the country now have easier access to housing because low mortgage rates and work-from-home regulations have prompted many people to relocate. Demand for SFR has surged as urban residents move out in search of greater living space and outdoor exposure. SFR real estate is expected to increase over the coming years as more individuals choose to live in relatively low-populated neighborhoods, where single-family homes are found.
According to several experts, renting will continue to be a common trend, even as the labor rate in the USA and Canada changes. Renting rather than buying may be more common for families struggling with work fluctuations, loss of employment, and rising costs everywhere. Investors in SFRs should interpret these as encouraging signs because it means they won’t have any issue leasing out single-family homes.
- SFR investments serve as an inflation hedge.
In addition to producing cash flow, real estate investments can serve as a buffer against broader economic patterns, such as inflation, which is expected to surpass 9 percent this year.
While rent prices typically increase during inflationary times, single-family housing prices are more affected by regional economic situations than national patterns. The market for rentals rises as fewer individuals can purchase homes when mortgage rates go up. As a result of inflation, the money returned through a set monthly repayment loses value over time, to the borrower’s advantage. The proprietor of the property increases equity when the debt is paid off.
Long-term advantages for investors come from purchasing real estate in stronger, more thriving economies and regions with significant growth potential.
What to Look For In A Good SFR Property Management?
Generally, the residential real estate market is a dynamic industry that changes quickly and is susceptible to changes. Although issues will inevitably arise in this industry, many investors are persistent in the search for practical strategies to reduce risks and operate successfully.
Property investors nowadays, especially those with SFR homes, are searching for excellent property management firms to look after their properties. SFR Property management firms have become crucial components of the real estate market. Property management companies are more knowledgeable about the real estate market and the dynamics of various target markets.
Finding and selecting a reputable property management firm can be difficult. Choosing an SFR property management firm can be taxing, especially because numerous options are available. Your SFR property business would prosper with a reliable property management company, but with a poor provider, a foreclosure can be a risk.
The top 5 characteristics that each property management company should possess are listed below. Each property owner is different and has particular needs. There are, nevertheless, several traits that excellent property management firms share.
- Dependable and Reputable
Before choosing an SFR property management company, it is important to determine if they are dependable and trustworthy. Doing business with individuals you don’t trust is never a good idea. Make sure an SFR property management company has a solid track record and positive working connections with vendors, renters, private owners, and specialists from many industries before choosing them. Additionally, make sure their web presence is positive by evaluating its structure and nature. Most essential, confirm that they belong to reputable organizations like the National Association of Residential Property Managers and look up their BBB rating.
- Efficacious Organizational Structure
Investors of SFR properties treasure their peace of mind and want to know that their investment is secure. Management, staff, procedures, responsibilities, competence, enthusiasm, and other factors are needed to create an impenetrable corporate structure.
You must thoroughly understand the organization’s short- and long-term goals while evaluating an SFR property management business. The company’s organizational structure framework should match the objectives they aim to accomplish for your benefit. A competent SFR property manager would make hires for particular positions with well-defined objectives and timelines. A smart property manager also understands the value of collaborating with the appropriate individuals to be successful.
Efficiency is about how well various departments of an SFR property management company are running. The priorities and metrics that matter most are obvious to good SFR property managers. An SFR property manager demonstrates passion via personal belief, is unyielding in their dedication, and is committed to putting the company on the right track. Choosing the ideal property management firm requires asking the right questions. In addition to asking questions, you should try to obtain verifiable information to support your answers.
- Fair management costs
When it comes to payment, you must be meticulous and cautious. Ensure the fees and commissions are reasonable and do not represent a substantial portion of the SFR investment income. Negotiating a fee that will not impact your operating income is also a good idea. A portion of the costs may be subtly indicated in the contract because certain SFR property management companies are clever. Asking the property management company to publish all of their charges before you agree to the contract is in your best financial interest.
- Professional Job History
Because you would have to deal with national, state, and local rules, selecting an experienced and reputable SFR property management business can be highly complicated. Once you have narrowed down the pool of SFR property management firms you plan to meet, ask them for a track record demonstrating how they have handled the challenges of managing SFR properties and renters. Moreover, it would be ideal if you learned more about their experience in the industry, market knowledge, marketing plans, and other factors. Request referrals and reviews if at all feasible.
- Implement accountability
You must evaluate the amount of accountability of the SFR property management firm. You can inquire about the property management businesses and how they can provide assurances to support the caliber of their service. You can also ask about their turnover and vacancy rates. Ask how long it typically takes for their client’s SFR property to find a tenant as well. Additionally, the percentage of their tenants that renew. These inquiries ought to be made in advance because they are crucial. You do not want to enter a situation impulsively and be surprised by adverse circumstances.
Employing an SFR property manager committed completely to your unit’s day-to-day operation will be a wonderful investment, especially if you have a busy schedule and want to concentrate most of your energies on expanding your business. A competent SFR property manager will ensure that all your renters are paying their rent on schedule and in full. A professional SFR property management firm should also maintain SFR properties regularly. SFR property management companies will lessen your load and guarantee that all your rental units are operated to their full potential. Lastly, a crucial aspect of managing SFR properties is bookkeeping. The cash flow is maintained, and taxes are brought to a minimum, thanks to good recordkeeping. A competent SFR property manager will ensure that your accounts are handled correctly. Still, suppose they do not provide accounting services themselves. In that case, they can recommend where you can hire a reliable bookkeeper on the side who will benefit your SFR investment.
So, Should You Invest In An SFR?
When considering if SFR property investment is the correct choice for you, there are many factors to consider. It would be best if you first thought about potential approaches to buying your first home. There are several funding choices. However, the one you choose will strongly impact your goals and how quickly you can buy additional SFR property.
The duties involved in property management must also be taken into account. Several investors in real estate choose to assume the position of an owner or a landlord, particularly when beginning with an SFR home. There are numerous benefits and hurdles to this. For example, traveling between houses to oversee renters and maintenance might be a headache if you own multiple SFRs in various places. Consider your availability and the expense of hiring an SFR property management company.
SFR properties can provide considerable potential compared to other real estate investing methods. They do not, unfortunately, provide the same safeguards as multifamily ownership. You forfeit the entire cash flow for an SFR home if there is a vacancy. Several apartments in multifamily buildings can offset some of the lost rental income caused by vacancies. There are no alternative units to assist you in making up for your deficit with SFRs.
It is important to remember that SFRs are acquired one at a time. Scaling your portfolio may require more time. Having stated that, there are several strategies for overcoming these possible difficulties. New investors can succeed in the SFR real estate market by selecting the appropriate funding source and effectively selling their homes.
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