What You Need to Know Before Buying Your First Duplex Home

Most homebuyers choose single-family homes as their first home. The idea of freedom and privacy is what entices them the most about standalone homes. But for those who want to start investing in real estate and could use a little help paying their mortgage a duplex can be a wise investment. Duplex homes have their fair share of pros and cons.

Doing your own research and weighing the perks and drawbacks can help you finalize your decision of buying or skipping a duplex home purchase.

The Good of Buying a Duplex Home

With a duplex, you can live in one unit and rent out your other unit. You get to build your wealth while being a homeowner at the same time. You can get a part of your mortgage payment from your tenant’s payments or even live for free if it can accommodate the whole amount of your monthly mortgage.

Buying a duplex can be a great way to enter real estate investing and an easy way to enter the property rental industry. You can shop for mortgage lenders and see which lender can offer you the best mortgage rates and terms in buying your first duplex. Even homebuyers who are qualified for VA home loans can buy a duplex provided they certify that they will be living in one of the units.

Another great thing about buying a duplex is that you can attract quality tenants. This is since only respectful tenants would be willing to rent a unit with proximity to their landlords. They can enjoy your immediate availability in case they need your assistance while you can get that peace of mind knowing your property is in the hands of more cautious and respectful tenants.

Some retirees are downsizing as part of their plans of aging in place. One of the most popular types of homes they are investing in are duplex houses. This is since they get to enjoy their retirement while still earning at the comforts of their home.

Did you know that duplex-type homes usually have good resale value? These also appreciate quicker than single-family homes.

A row of new homes with fenced yards along a sidewalk.

Why Some Unsure About Choosing a Duple Property

Some are hesitant to buy a duplex because they value their privacy so much. Others are afraid to rent their unit and have to deal with late-night tenant calls. Some are also not keen on taking all the responsibilities that come with being a landlord.

Usually, the pros outweigh the cons of owning a duplex home. This is since you can always screen your tenants first to make sure you’re renting the unit to good tenants. If you find that being a landlord is not for you, you can always hire a pro to manage your tenants on your behalf.

What to Consider Before Choosing the Location

In real estate, location is everything. Since you also plan on renting out your other unit, you will want to buy a duplex that is near areas that are 100% year-round occupancy. This will make it easier for you to find tenants that are looking for a long-term lease.

It is usually harder to find a duplex than a single-family home in your location of choice. To make things easier for you, you can consider hiring a real estate agent. Find one that is knowledgeable when it comes to buying duplex homes.

You don’t need to worry about the fees since it is usually the seller that pays the real estate agent for selling their property. You can tell them your budget, and they can help you find a duplex for sale in your location of choice. Just make sure you tell them what you want to make it easier for them to find the right fit.

Choosing a Property

Once you found a couple of duplexes that match your criteria and budget, you must check each property and weigh in the pros and cons. Consider the location, neighborhood, neighbors, and surrounding amenities. Once you found the one, don’t skip a home inspection.

Not all lenders will require a home inspection. In VA loans, a VA appraisal is required since you need to find a structurally sound, safe, and sanitary home for this type of mortgage. Even if a home inspection is optional, it will be wise to invest in hiring a licensed home inspector.

If after the home inspection, you find that certain repairs are necessary, you have the option to push through with buying the house, back out, or negotiate with the seller. You can ask them to pay for some or all of the repairs or negotiate the price to make way for the repairs.

These are but considerations you need to keep in mind before deciding to buy a duplex. This can be your ticket to real estate investment and build your wealth while fulfilling your dream of becoming a homeowner. If you think you’ve got what it takes to own a home and a rental unit at the same time, then a duplex can be the perfect real estate for you.

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