First off, the “huge lot” thing you think is a great deal will end up costing you a lot as land is not a depreciable commodity, only the structure itself. Use the city assessor to break out the land value. While you’re using the assessor make sure their aren’t any junior liens, mechanics liens, back taxes, or any other judgements against the property. (You may need a title company to find the liens and title encumberances, but the assessor will definitely have the tax information).
Also, you said that the unit was “converted” into a 4 unit? What was it converted from? Are there four seperate electrical boxes and heating units? Are the utilities included, or are the tenants responsible for them? (That one is major).
The property is generally considered too small, but if you wish you can do a COCR (Cash On Cash Return) or a ROI (Return On Investment) analysis. You can even figure out the properties cap rate (Capitalization Rate). I generally start using those methods of analysis on bigger properties (8 units and up), but it wouldn’t hurt you to learn about it early on.
For the simpleton or novice investor just use the 1% Rule. If you don’t know that rule I am going to make you look it up.
Personally, I aim for at least $100 profit from each unit I own a month. This profit does not include property appreciation and can be in the form of cash flow or principal paydown or a combination of the two. If you’re a newer, smaller investor your margins may have to be slightly inflated, say, $200 a unit.
So with that all being said, hell yes you have a good deal on your hands, all things equal. If you can make $2500 a month (this is the amount you’ll be looking at if you rent out the garage at a reasonable rate and factor in a 10% vacancy rate, which is really only 5% right now in my area and will get lower as the interest rates continue to rise)… go for it! If you pay the investment property recommended 20% down at the current 6.875 fixed 30 conforming rate your monthly payments will be $945. Property taxes probably in the $300-400 a month range, insurance, water bill, blah blah blah…
It’s a great deal, assuming the property isn’t going to fall down anytime soon. Go! Seal the deal! Else someone like me is going to move in and take it away from you!
(I know I am joking around, but it really is a good deal. You should easily cash $200 a unit each month, not even including equity buildup.)