Houses come in many shapes and configurations, and one type that is popular with extended families or budding landlords is a duplex. It is not only one house – but two houses. The units or apartments might be stacked one atop the other on separate floors or they might be side by side with a shared wall. A duplex can also be called a multifamily dwelling because more than one family could live in this type of building.

What exactly is a duplex?

A duplex may sometimes confused with a twin home, but they are not the same type of real estate. A twin house might look like a duplex, which is two separate homes sharing a wall. But with a twin house, the lot line usually runs through the common wall. On each side you have an individual house on an individual lot, even though they are connected.

But a duplex is different. Rather than owning just one house, you are the proud owner of two. A duplex will most likely cost more than a single-family house at the outset. But if you rent out the other apartment, this money can drastically offset your mortgage and expense and potentially make duplex living cheaper than what you would pay as the owner of a free standing house.

A duplex is a popular option for individuals who want to keep family members nearby or who want a steady income from a rental property that is not too far away to manage. It could also be a great real estate investment or a creative option for a first time home buyer.

The positives of a duplex

A low cost: When you live on one side of a two-family duplex, it is more affordable than living in a single-family home with a similar number of bedrooms and square footage.

Assistance with mortgage payments: If your monthly mortgage payment on a duplex house is one thousand seven hundred dollars, and you rent out the other duplex unit for nine hundred dollars, You will need to come up with only eight hundred each month to make the payment. Or you can pay off your mortgage even faster by making extra payments on the principal. This will move you closer to the ultimate goal, which is rental income.

Nice tax deductions: Unlike with a single-family home, with a duplex you could deduct certain house expenses for property maintenance and yard work because it is an income property. This could make upkeep on your duplex easier to afford. Just make sure to check with a real estate tax pro before you make an offer on a particular multifamily property because specifics always be different.

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You could keep family close: If your family includes someone who is old or is just starting a new career, he or she could live in or rent the other half of the unit. The family member could maintain a degree of independence while not going too far from the nest.

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Courtesy of Cuselleration