Buying a duplex home is an option that many people do not consider when looking at real estate options, especially first-time homeowners. However, these duplex houses are actually a smart investment choice that can prove to be beneficial for you in the future. Of course, like any real estate investment, you need to have a solid knowledge about what works and what doesn’t. To make matters easy for you, Graana.com, Pakistan’s smartest property portal, has listed the pros and cons of living in a duplex.
What Is a Duplex House?
A duplex is a multi-storey house with two attached living units in the same building. They are either next to each other or above each other like apartments. Both living units have separate entrances but they share a common central wall.
Types of Duplex Homes
There are different types of duplex houses, which are as follows.
Single Storey Duplex
In the single storey duplex, the building has two units that are stacked next to each either. There are no stairs in this type of duplex.
Double Storey/Side-By-side Duplex
In this type, there are two storeys that are stacked next to each other. There is a common centre wall and separate entrance for both families living in this type of duplex.
Double Storey/Up-and-Down Duplex
This type of duplex has two separate units that are above each other. In this type of building, you may have to share the entrance with another family. However, this can depend on the design of the duplex house.
Duplex vs. Apartment
One of the biggest advantages of living in a duplex is that they have more space compared to an apartment. You get more privacy as well as additional amenities that you typically would not find in an apartment (such as a washer/dryer). However, the one major difference between both is that you won’t be able to find duplex houses in the city as easily as apartments. They are commonly located in the suburbs and outskirts of the urban areas.
A duplex is a great real estate investment option that has numerous benefits compared to traditional single-family houses or apartments. However, living in this multi-storey building has its own advantages and disadvantages that you should consider before making a decision.
Pros of Living in a Duplex Home
Following are some of the advantages of living in a duplex house.
- More Space than an Apartment
- Cheaper than Renting a House
- More Privacy
- Front or Backyard to Enjoy
- In-House Washing Area
- Single or Two Storeys Residential Unit
- House-Like Amenities
- More Customization Freedom
- Less Costly
- Ideal for Joint Family
More Space than an Apartment
The best thing about having a duplex house is that you get more living space as compared to flats or apartments. There are attached garages, gardens etc. that can help residents live more comfortably.
Cheaper than Renting a House
The perks of living in a duplex are similar to living in a rental unit but at a much lower cost.
You have a lot more privacy in a duplex unit as there is only one neighbour who is living next to you. You don’t have to share any spaces or elevators as you do in an apartment.
Front or Backyard to Enjoy
In most apartments in the city, you don’t get an open outside area to sit with friends and family. On the other hand, a duplex usually has attached balconies.
In-House Washing Area
In apartments, there is a shared area to do your laundry. But, in the case of duplexes, you have your own private area for washing and drying your clothes.
Single or Two Storeys Residential Unit
The duplexes can be of a single storey or double storey – in either case, you would not need to climb a lot of stairs or wait for the elevator to reach your place, like how it is with apartments.
Many duplexes offer the amenities you get in a traditional house such as a backyard, garage, laundry area or a driveway. These amenities aren’t available in apartments and, when they are, the buying or renting costs are usually expensive.
More Customization Freedom
Most apartments are owned by a property management company that doesn’t allow the tenants to make changes in the apartments. However, duplexes are owned by private landlords, which makes it easy for you to make changes to the interior.
If you want to experience the luxury of buying a property in a quality neighbourhood, then you should go for duplexes. They are less expensive than an entire house and offer many amenities that you don’t get in apartments. So, it is better to buy these houses as they don’t use up all your finances. If you have taken a loan to buy the property, then you can rent out the house to get a monthly income for paying the loan instalments.
Ideal for Joint Family
Duplexes are great for joint family systems as they get to live together but also get the privacy that they need.
Cons of Living in a Duplex Home
Below are some of the disadvantages of a duplex home.
- Not Easily Available
- Doing Maintenance Work Yourself
- Living Next to your Landlord
- More Expensive than Apartments
Not Easily Available
Duplexes aren’t easily available in the real estates market like apartments and traditional houses. Most of the duplexes are located on the outskirts of urban areas, which is why you won’t find them in the main city. If you’re looking for a place that should be close to the city, then it is better to look for an apartment.
Doing Maintenance Work Yourself
These duplex houses are owned by private landlords and it is their responsibility to carry out all the maintenance work. However, any delay from the landlord’s side would result in the tenant taking care of the maintenance work instead.
Living Next to your Landlord
Many duplex owners live in one of the units to pay for the mortgage or to get rental income. With landlords living in such close proximity, there is a high chance that it can lead to conflicts. Hence, it is important to know about your tenant rights beforehand.
More Expensive than Apartments
Duplexes offer more space and amenities compared to apartments but they usually are much more expensive. So, if you have a limited budget and want to live near the city, then you should probably buy or rent out an apartment.
Duplex houses have a common wall, and if it is not well insulated, there is a high chance that you would have to put up with noise disturbance from the neighbouring unit.
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