Looking for cheaper residential property in the real estate market? A duplex could be the answer. Read on to find out everything you need to know about duplexes, including:
How do they differ from other properties like houses, townhouses and apartments?
The pros and cons of buying a duplex.
Answers to duplex FAQs.
A duplex is a property that has two separate residences with a standard roof but a common wall that divides them. Each residence has its separate entrance and its own self-contained facilities (kitchen, bathroom, living areas, bedrooms, etc.).
A duplex differs from a townhouse in terms of the number of residences (two versus multiple).
Duplexes have their pros and cons. Let’s look at the advantages first.
This is arguably the most significant benefit if you’re looking to buy a residence for yourself. Australian property prices are at record levels, and housing affordability is low. Duplexes are often around half the price of freestanding houses in the same area. They are especially popular among first home buyers for that reason.
If you’re an empty nester who finds that your home has become too large for your needs, duplexes can be an excellent downsizing option to help you live a lower maintenance lifestyle. There is usually much less yard work to do since your duplex block is smaller, as well as a smaller home to clean internally.
If you buy into an apartment or townhouse complex, on the other hand, you’ll have several. Duplexes can therefore give you a greater sense of privacy than living in an apartment or townhouse.
You won’t if you buy an apartment. This land can be great for pets or outdoor entertaining.
You do have these fees if you live in an apartment or a townhouse.
If you one both residences in a duplex, you can use one to give your older teenagers and young adults more independence before they move out while still keeping an eye on them. More and more young Australians are living with their parents well into their 20s due to reduced housing affordability.
You could also have elderly parents move in so you can take better care of them as they get older.
If you buy both residences in a duplex, you will have double the rental income of buying one for half the property cost. This can have a significant effect on both your investment return and capital growth prospects.
This can be a great way of making sure your tenants are looking after your property, as well as helping you to pay off your mortgage and take advantage of investment property tax deductions.
Of course, there are potential drawbacks to owning a duplex as well.
If you want to make any external changes to your single duplex residence, you will need to consult the other owner for approval (but you obviously won’t if you own both).
This is especially the case if your residence is at the back of the duplex, rather than side-by-side or at the front. If your residence is at the back, your neighbours may have to walk or drive past your place to get to their home.
However, you will have this same issue if you buy an apartment or townhouse. You won’t if you buy a freestanding house.
For example, paths and driveways (like you would with an apartment or townhouse as well, but you wouldn’t if you bought a freestanding house instead).
Building insurance for a duplex must cover both residences. Owners of both residences must agree on the insurer and total coverage.
Not usually, but you should always check before you buy.
This depends on whether there are separate titles for each residence or not. If there is, you can buy one of the two duplex residences.
If there isn’t a separate title on each, they can be bought together.
It depends on your needs and wants. Both types of properties have their pros and cons.
Again, it depends on your needs and wants, as well as what you can afford. If you can’t afford a house in the area where you want to live and a duplex is available, it’s certainly an option to consider.
This depends on the features of the property and its location. They can be cheaper, but they can also be more expensive. It’s crucial to do your research into the area where you want to buy so that you know accurate market values.
Yes. It will depend on how the land is zoned. You would need to get development approval from your local council for both the construction of a duplex and its design. The size of the block will be a key consideration. You will need to pay fees for council assessment and approval, just like you would for any other type of residential construction.
Buying a duplex can be a great way to buy a cheaper property to either live in yourself or to rent out to tenants as an investment.