Duplex Homes: What you need to know about buying or building a duplex home
Photo: Duplex Home Designed and Build by one of our Builders - Metricon.
What is a Duplex?
A duplex is a multi-family home that has two units in one building — regardless of how those homes are arranged. Units can be side-by-side or stacked on top of each other.
Duplex buildings also have two separate entrances for each unit. This means each tenant has their own entrance. An example of a duplex is a house with two doors side-by-side that enter into different living spaces in one home, one upstairs and one downstairs. These two separate units are typically similar in size.
There are other types of housing that have multiple homes within one building, like a triplex and fourplex. But the term duplex is reserved exclusively for multi-family housing with two homes.
The biggest difference between a duplex and a townhouse, apartment or condo is ownership. Duplexes are owned by a single person and both units are typically rented out.
Sometimes, the owner lives in one and rents out the other. This situation can be appealing to new landlords who may find the extra income from the other unit helpful in paying the monthly mortgage.
The landlord may live elsewhere and rent both units.
Living in a duplex is popular for a few reasons.
One, duplexes offer many of the benefits of a standard residential home like a yard, garage and privacy. Duplexes are typically more affordable than a single-family home (but this really depends on the area).
The affordability of duplex rentals may allow you to rent in a higher-value location than you would normally be able to if you were planning to rent a single-family home.
Of course, you'd have a neighbour living right next to you, but if you're looking for things like outdoor space and an in-unit washer and dryer, it could be worth it.
Duplexes are a great investment property for house owners since they can live in a house with different entries either side by side, on the same floor or different floors. Living in a duplex whether you buy or rent has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Pros and Cons of a Duplex Property
Affordable: Duplexes are less expensive and most of them are located in an affordable neighbourhood. They give you an inexpensive means of buying a house.
Privacy: Duplexes have large spaces with high-end specifications. The yards can be divided into two thus maintaining some privacy with the neighbour.
Get additional income: If you own the duplex, you can live in one area of the building and rent the other area of the building. If you took a mortgage to acquire the home, the rental money is used to pay off the mortgage.
Accommodate two families: Duplex gives you the opportunity to allow a family member to stay in one of the apartments. They will be able to stay close.
Lower insurance cover: If you live in one area and rent out the other then insurance cover is less costly since you can take an insurance policy for the single building instead of two single-family home insurance policies.
More space: They have more living space compared to apartments. Some have yards, gardens or even garages that can be shared among the residents.
Freedom: Living in a duplex gives you the freedom to customize the house by painting, planting flowers or gardening in the yard making you feel like it’s yours.
Alternative location: Duplex complexes are located in towns, suburban areas and other areas in the country. This makes it easy to live in a duplex within the location of your choice.
Noise: Duplex houses have common walls and if not well insulated, it results in noise from the units.
Lawn care: It is your responsibility to tend to the lawn in the yard. This requires dedication of your own personal time or hiring someone to do the work for you.
Create inconvenience: If the home-owner lived in the other part of the complex, they may make you feel uncomfortable and have no personal space because they may have the attitude that the entire complex is their own.
Build Cost: Consider that the initial cost of building a duplex property may also fare higher because you’re essentially building two homes. For example, the cost of building a Duplex will be higher than constructing a single unit. However, given that duplex investments have the ability to generate two revenue streams, they typically make up for this outlay.
Is a Duplex House a Good Real Estate Investment?
Yes, a duplex is a good rental investment property for any property investor at any stage in his/her real estate investing career.
Even the disadvantages of an owner-occupied duplex investment strategy can be avoided. Just be aware of them beforehand.
The final question: Is a duplex house a good positive income property investment strategy for you?
If you want to pay a low down payment, eventually make more rental income, and start investing in multiple investment properties within a few years, then yes! A duplex house is a great real estate investment for you.
How to Invest in a Duplex House
We at Positive Income Properties have available stocks of duplexes in NSW and QLD from trusted and credible builders.
If you think that a duplex is the right type of property to invest in, let’s talk and we will give you all the ins and outs to help you decide.
There’s more to know about Duplexes than is available online.
You need to discuss your needs as a homeowner/buyer or a property investor so you can be guided accordingly.
DUPLEX VS DUAL KEYS
A Duplex is 2 residences that have separate titles built on one block of land, a financial advantage over owning 2 blocks of land and 2 houses as a lesser cost from the rental returned.
A Dual Key property is one residence that has been built to accommodate 2 families. The advantage over Duplex is there is no special council approval needed and therefore is cheaper for a similar rental return to a Duplex.
You can sell one side of a Duplex if they have separate titles ( which cost money to get approved ) while you can not do so with a Dual Key.
Alternatively, if you are still doing your research, You may download our FREE "Where, How, & What Property to Invest In this 2021 - Your Ultimate Guide to Property Investing in Australia", which we will launch soon! - (You may sign up ahead of time for the FREE Webinar and Resource.