Last Updated on 11/30/2022 by Mark Verhoeven
What is a Duplex?
Two living units are joined to each other in a duplex house plan, either next to each other as townhouses or condominiums, or above each other as apartments. A building with two attached units on two separate properties, on the other hand, is commonly referred to as a duplex in portions of the Northeastern United States.
The term “duplex” is not extended to three-unit and four-unit buildings, as they would be referred to with specific terms such as three-family and fourplex or a more general multiplex. Because of the flexibility of the term, the line between an apartment building and a duplex is somewhat blurred, with apartment buildings tending to be bigger, while duplexes are usually the size of a single-family house.
The definition of a duplex varies depending on where you live in the United States, but it usually consists of two to four dwellings, each with its own door and usually two front doors that are close together but separate—the term ‘duplex’ refers to the number of units, not the number of floors, because in some areas of the country they are often only one story.
Considerations when purchasing a duplex
You may believe that owning a two-family house or duplex and finding a renter to assist you cover the mortgage bills is a terrific idea. However, you should think about how such a scenario would affect your life, your income, and your level of privacy.
- If you buy a two-family home and rent out one unit while living in the other, you can boost your finances.
- Keep in mind that you may be subject to tougher mortgage requirements, as well as a loss of privacy and more difficult tax filings.
- You must keep up with maintenance for the entire building as a landlord who collects rent.
- Depending on the area, it may be more difficult to resale a two-family home than a single-family home.
- Decide if you’ll share a backyard, utilize it exclusively for yourself, or give it to your tenants.
Converting a duplex into a single family home
Yes. You can purchase a two-family house and convert it to a single-family home. Many two-family structures were formerly single-family homes, and they can be converted again. If you’re shifting walls or staircases, be prepared to spend money on improvements, which may include hiring structural engineers. Depending on the size and scope of the modifications required to convert a two-family property to a one-family home, it could be costly to renovate.
Location: Greenville, South Carolina
Education: MBA University of South Carolina
Expertise: Mortgage Financing
Work: CEO of Mortgage Rates Today and Author
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