What are Duplexes?

For people without much knowledge about duplexes, the assumption may be they are not a great housing option and are suitable only for busy city-dwellers or crowded college towns. Though they may not be as exciting as a five-bedroom mansion with a sprawling backyard, duplexes can be a rewarding investment. If you take care in choosing the right one, a duplex is the answer to a variety of unique housing situations.

Investing in a duplex is similar to any other home purchase. There will, however, be some distinct differences and additional questions to be considered. As with any home purchase, it is important to know what you are looking for, how much you want to spend and how you plan to use the property. Working with a real estate agent and doing some research on the housing market in your area will also be beneficial. Here are some ideas and tips to get you started on buying your new duplex.

How It Works

A duplex is a house shared by two families. This type of housing will be divided by a common wall and may or may not be two stories. Depending on the design, a duplex may include two identical floor plans or an asymmetrical layout where one side is larger than the other.

Owning a duplex carries the same responsibilities as owning a single-family home, plus a few additional ones. Inside repairs and some outside maintenance of both spaces fall to the owner. This means in addition to your own bathrooms and air-conditioning you are also expected to handle the other half of your duplex. With a duplex, you take on the additional task of managing a tenant. You will be the one to choose the tenants, collect monthly rent and evict them if things go bad.

If you are interested in owning a duplex, you see past the possible problems and visualize the positive aspects. Working with a local real estate agent, you will be able to find the duplex that fits within your budget and has all the characteristics you want. Your real estate professional should also be able to provide you with information concerning the rental history of particular buildings and information about duplex ownership in general.

Who It Works For

Various groups of people are well-suited for duplex ownership.


The most common type of duplex owner is the real estate investor.

Duplexes will be less expensive to purchase and maintain. Therefore, they

are a good profit-earning property regardless of whether the owner lives in the duplex.

First-time buyers

First-time home buyers can benefit from the feeling of their own home without a large mortgage. They will also earn renter’s income, which can be applied toward a larger home. When you do decide to move, and if you keep the duplex, you will continue collecting the extra income.

College students

College students or their parents are also a good match for duplexes. Two friends may want to split the cost and have the feeling of a real home. Or, parents buying a duplex can house their child in one half while renting out the other. In turn, rent will help cover the cost of the duplex and the parent will build equity in the process.

With the right research and appropriate considerations, you will be able to find the best property for you. A duplex could be a wise investment.

To learn more about real estate housing options and real estate in general, visit Coldwell Banker Valley Brokers, who specialize in real estate in Corvallis Oregon and throughout the state of Oregon.


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