What Is Duplex Living?
The search for
a new home can be equal parts exciting and nerve-wracking! There
seem to be endless real estateterms that you need to learn to find
the ideal place. During your search, you may have come across a few
In a nutshell, a duplex is a single-unit property that has been
divided into two living spaces. Known as multi-family homes, they
typically look like large detached houses. There are three main ways
to tell them apart from a standard apartment:
. Shared spaces
. Number of units
A condo or apartment block is typically owned by a group,
corporation or investors. Meanwhile, a duplex is owned by one
person. The owner may live in one half of the duplex and rent out
the second half, occupy both units or rent out both of them.
Unlike an apartment block, a duplex has two separate entrances, one
for each living space. The two living areas are entirely independent
of one another, except for a single shared wall. Duplexes can stand
side by side, or they can be stacked. Either way, the living space
is generally more or less the same size.
The front and backyards are the only parts of the space that may be
shared. However, they’re often partitioned to allow both residents a
Number of Units
A duplex will only ever have two units, whereas an apartment
building comprises several units housed
within a single block. You can also find triplex and quadplex
houses, similar to duplexes but including three and four units.
Duplex vs. Twin/Semi-Detached Home
At first glance, a duplex looks very much like a twin/semi-detached
home. Both feature a single building that has been split into two
The difference is that a duplex sits on a single plot of land, and a
single entity owns the entire building. Meanwhile, each half of a
twin home is owned independently and sits on its own plot of land.
Duplex Pros and Cons
So far, a duplex seems like a pretty good idea. It feels more like
living in a detached home than a standard apartment while enjoying
some of the benefits of a condo. But there are some potential
caveats. So, let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons.
A duplex can represent a fantastic middle-ground, especially in
high-density areas where affordable detached homes are rare.
. All the benefits of a standard house: With amenities such
as a yard, garage, and the privacy of a
fully independent living area, a duplex offers almost
everything that a single-family home does.
. More affordable: If you’re looking to rent,
duplexes are typically more affordable than single family
homes, allowing you to get more bang for your buck and
find a more affordable option in a desirable
neighborhood. And if you’re looking to buy, the income
you obtain from renting out one of the units
(or both) will help offset your mortgage payments.
. Just one neighbor: With only one neighbor nearby, the
chances of upsetting each other are
drastically reduced. Plus, you’re less likely to bother
each other with noise with just one shared wall.
. Suitable for large families: If you’re looking to be close
to your relatives, a duplex can be an
excellent option that offers both proximity and
. More space than an apartment: Duplexes typically have more
space than apartments, which can
be a great option for families or people who need a lot
There are some things to be aware of before you sign on the dotted
. Problems with shared spaces: While you’ll only be sharing
the front and backyard, this can lead to
tension from time to time. Parking issues can arise,
and different lifestyles can cause upset when it
comes to things like garden parties. However, in many
duplexes, even the outdoor areas are
partitioned for additional privacy.
. Common area upkeep: You’re generally not responsible for
maintaining common areas in an
apartment building. However, in a duplex, you’ll need
to do your part.
duplex living can be a great option for people who are looking for
more privacy, space, and affordability than apartment, but who do
not want to commit to the cost of a single-family home. However, it
is important to weigh the pros and cons carefully before making a