Your guide to owning multiple homes in 2024

Published Date: August 21, 2023

A luxury home with a pool overlooking the ocean, a place you can enjoy when owning multiple homes.
You’re ready to buy your another home, but are you aware of the financing options and tax implications of owning multiple homes? From cash payments to traditional mortgages, there are a variety of ways to make your second home dreams come true.Whether you’re searching for a dreamy beach house or a condo in the city that can earn you extra income, you’ll want to know the pros and cons of owning multiple homes in 2024. Read our guide to get started.

Advantages of owning multiple properties 

A graphic sharing the pros and cons of owning multiple homes.
The advantages of owning multiple properties make it an appealing avenue for wealth building, income generation and portfolio diversification. Although owning multiple homes comes with many responsibilities like property management, the following benefits can make it all worthwhile.

1. Earn rental income

Owning multiple homes gives you the opportunity to create a sustainable and passive cash flow stream. Each additional property adds to the total rental income, which can help cover mortgage payments, property taxes, maintenance costs and other expenses associated with owning multiple rental properties.

2. Diversify your portfolio

Rental income from multiple homes also offers diversification. It allows investors to spread their investments across various locations and property types, increasing the likelihood of continued cash flow even if one property faces temporary vacancies.

3. Enjoy a vacation home (or two)

Perhaps the biggest advantage of owning multiple homes is the freedom to travel and make the most out of your properties. Whether your vacation home is in another state or down the street, you can indulge in your home away from home at your leisure.

Disadvantages of owning multiple properties 

Although owning multiple homes can potentially help you earn extra income, diversify your portfolio and grant you access to new vacation spots, there are a few drawbacks to keep in mind. Let’s take a closer look.

1. Risk illiquidity

Real estate is generally considered a less liquid asset compared to stocks, bonds or cash. When you own multiple properties, it can be challenging to quickly convert those assets into cash if needed. Selling a property may require significant time and effort, especially in slower real estate markets, potentially leading to delays in accessing funds. And since owning multiple properties can tie up a substantial amount of capital, this limits diversification opportunities across your other investment assets. 

2. Take on more expenses

With each additional property comes a multitude of costs, such as mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, maintenance, property management and utility bills. These expenses can add up quickly, putting a strain on your finances. Owning multiple properties may also lead to higher transaction costs, such as real estate agent fees and closing costs, if you buy and sell properties frequently.

3. Manage multiple properties

One significant disadvantage of owning multiple homes is the challenge of property management. As the number of properties increases, so does the complexity and time required to manage them effectively. With multiple homes, the workload and responsibilities can become overwhelming for individual owners, especially if you are managing properties in different locations. 

Considerations for owning multiple homes

A graphic sharing five considerations of owning multiple homes.
Owning multiple homes can be a rewarding investment strategy with careful planning. Here are some things to consider before taking the leap.

1. Financing options

Financing for multiple homes can vary depending on individual financial situations and investment goals. Traditional mortgages are common, but they may become limited as the number of properties increases. Here are a few ways to finance your next home purchase:
  • Pay in cash: If possible, paying in cash avoids the headaches of financing.
  • Apply for (another) mortgage: Even second and third homes can qualify for traditional mortgage financing.
  • Apply for portfolio loans: If you’re interested in buying an investment property, you can qualify for portfolio loans through your lender.
  • Form an LLC: Forming an LLC may qualify you for real estate investment loans and less expensive buy-ins due to fractional ownership.
  • Leverage existing home equity: Consider leveraging your equity in your primary residence to help you finance your other home purchase.
Regardless of the method you choose, maintaining a strong credit profile and demonstrating a reliable income stream are essential to secure favorable financing terms and ensure you can afford another home.

2. Property management 

By renting out the property to tenants, you can offset some of the ownership costs, such as mortgage payments, property taxes and maintenance expenses, while building equity in the property. However, successful rental income generation requires proper property management, including tenant screening, regular maintenance and prompt response to tenant needs. With careful planning and a proactive approach, using a second home as a rental investment can offer an attractive source of passive income. 

3. Tax implications

The primary tax considerations revolve around usage of the properties. For example, if one of the homes is designated as a primary residence, homeowners may benefit from capital gains exclusions when selling.However, if any of the homes are used as investment properties, different tax rules apply. Rental income generated from investment properties is taxable, but it opens the door to various deductions, including property-related expenses and potential depreciation.On the other hand, vacation homes and second homes used for personal enjoyment may have limited tax benefits, with deductions subject to strict usage rules. Consult with a qualified tax advisor who can provide detailed information based on your individual circumstances and type of ownershipNow that you’re aware of the pros and cons of owning multiple homes, you can explore the advantages of co-owning property. If multiple homes are in your future plan but not quite in your budget, co-ownership may be perfect solution. Through this model, you can own a second home, pay for the time your family uses it, and share the cost of ownership among other owners. Unlike a timeshare, however, this model offers real estate ownership. And with a fully managed co-ownership program like Pacaso, co-owning a second home easy and hassle-free.

Owning multiple homes FAQ

How many mortgages can you have?

The number of mortgages you can have depends on your financial situation, creditworthiness and the lender's policies. Technically, there is no set limit, but each additional mortgage may become more challenging to obtain due to debt-to-income ratio restrictions.

How many rental properties can you own?

The number of rental properties an individual can acquire depends on their financial capacity, investment goals and ability to manage the properties effectively. In theory, as long as an investor can afford the down payments, mortgage payments and maintenance costs, they can continue acquiring rental properties.

Is owning multiple homes a good investment?

The answer depends on various factors, like the potential for generating rental income, your current financial commitments and your ability to maintain multiple properties.

Why would someone own multiple homes?

Owning multiple homes can potentially generate rental income or provide your household with an exclusive vacation home. Having multiple homes also allows for a variety of destinations, providing the flexibility to enjoy different climates and experiences throughout the year. On top of that, co-ownership of a second home can reduce the financial burden of owning multiple homes on your own.

How can I manage multiple properties effectively?

If you own more than one home and find it difficult to manage them effectively, consider hiring a property manager to maintain your properties.

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