Interested in apartment buildings?

by | Jun 20, 2014

Hi Rise Apartments

Hi Rise Apartments

The following is a description of the different classifications of residential multi-unit properties. If you service investors or are interested yourself in these types of properties then this article is for you.

Common Classifications of Residential Investment Properties

1. Garden

2. Mid-Rise

3. High-Rise

4. Others

Garden Apartments

Located in suburban or rural areas where land is less expensive, garden apartments are generally one- and two-story properties, consisting of one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. Most units can be accessed from the outside of the property, using an exterior stairway to gain access to the second-story apartments. Rarely do garden apartments have elevators. Most units have individual utility meters and individual air-conditioning units. Garden apartments rarely have more than 25 units per acre and have extensive landscaping and parking. The property usually has a central laundry facility and might have one or more swimming pools

Mid-Rise Apartments

Located in the suburbs and on the edge of urban areas, mid-rise properties generally run from four to nine stories, consisting of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom units. Most units are accessed from a central hallway, which might be serviced by an elevator. Although the units have individual utility meters, the building might have central air conditioning. These properties often have parking structures, a central lobby area, and recreation facilities—often including a swimming pool, tennis courts, or an exercise room.

High-Rise Apartments

In the major urban areas, where land is scarce and expensive, high-rise properties are built, sometimes to a height of 30 or more stories. They contain a high density of units for the amount of land they occupy. Studios, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom units all have access from the central hallway, which is serviced by an elevator.

Located in urban neighborhoods, these properties often take advantage of city skyline views and offer their tenants proximity to employment, security, recreation, and other amenities.

Other Types of Residential Properties

There are many other types of residential properties, including single family, duplexes, triplexes, and four units. These properties do not have professional management, often being managed directly by the owner of the property, who might own several of these small properties.

Lender Classifications of Apartment Buildings

Lender Ratings of Residential Investment Properties

1. Class A: Newer, Institutional Grade

2. Class B: Older, Institutional Grade

3. Class C: Older, Declining Area

4. Class D: Older, Declining Area

Lenders have developed general classifications of apartment buildings so they can communicate among themselves and other members of the industry with some level of uniformity. The classifications are Class A, Class B, Class C, and Class D.


The Institute of Real Estate Management of the National Association of Realtors (IREM) prints an annual publication titled Income/Expense Analysis: Conventional Apartments. For this publication, IREM® gathers actual income and expense records of apartment owners throughout the country and then prints summary information that is used by property managers and owners to measure the financial results of their properties against the financial experience of similar properties. Information about IREM® can be found at www.irem.org.

IREM® has many valuable publications regarding residential real estate management. IREM® groups multifamily properties into four categories, primarily based on the construction of the properties: Garden style, Low Rise, Low Rise–25 units and more, and Elevator.

For more information please visit MyInvestmentServices.com, call 1-800-931-2605 or email Gary@WinRealtyAdvisors.com

Written by Gary Wilson, June 20, 2014 (Content in this article may be from outside sources including Real Estate Continuing Education)

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