Are you looking for an apartment duplex to rent? This definitive apartment duplex article will help answer all your questions, including what is a duplex, how is a duplex different from an apartment, what are the benefits, what are the downsides, and how to find an apartment duplex.
What is an Apartment Duplex?
You might be familiar with the term duo (or two) which is the Latin root of the term duplex. So, what exactly is an apartment duplex? An apartment duplex is generally defined as a single-building that contains precisely two housing units. Typically, a duplex apartment can be further characterized by the following features:
- Each unit in the duplex has its own separate entrance.
- Both units in the duplex are usually similar in size.
- The units in the duplex can either be stacked vertically or side-by-side.
How different is an apartment or townhouse from a duplex?
The biggest difference between a duplex, townhouse, and apartment, other than the number of units contained in the structure, is the typically way the property is owned.
- Typically, one person owns a duplex and the units are usually rented out. In some cases, the owner may live in one unit and rent out the other. This can be an appealing choice for some looking to earn a little extra to help with their mortgage repayments.
- Townhouses are referred to as single family dwelling unit. This is the same definition as that of a single family home. The main physical difference between a townhouse and duplex is that a townhouse typically shares one or more common walls with another single family dwelling unit. The residents of a townhouse, need not all be related, but typically they are. Duplex apartments share either a common wall and/or common wall and floor/ceiling. Typically, in a duplex, both dwelling units consist of unrelated families.
- Apartments are usually buildings with multiple families living in the same building. Generally, more than two units per building is considered an apartment (multi-unit) building.
- Townhouses are not typically considered an investment property, but bother duplexes and apartment buildings are.
What are the benefits of living in a duplex?
Some of the reasons why people enjoy living in a duplex apartment include –
- Affordability over Single Family – duplexes typically offer the comforts of a home like garages, privacy, and backyards, but are often more reasonably priced than a single-family residential home.
- Private Entrances – Access your home directly from private entrance
- Just one neighbor – you likely won’t have to deal with too many neighbors or too much noise since there’s only one other unit in close proximity to you.
- Less hassle of sharing spaces – since you only have another neighbor to deal with.
What are the possible downsides of living in a duplex?
Now that you’ve seen the benefits of living in a duplex, do you think it is the right choice for you? Consider the following –
- Often individually owned – If the duplex is individually owned, you are often dealing directly with the property owner versus a professional property management company. When something breaks, the individual may not have the time or resources to track down the proper vendor in a prompt fashion as it’s typically not their primary job
- Living Next to Landlord – If you don’t get along with that neighbor or Landlord, given the amount and proximity of common space, and limited options, it can prove be a quite uncomfortable living arrangement.
- More Maintenance Involved – Depending on the terms of your lease, you might be responsible or share in the landscaping care (lawn and snow removal) with your neighbor (as opposed to an apartment complex where everything is taken care of)
- Potential Noise – Although you only have one neighbor, if the duplex isn’t built well, you will hear your neighbor and that could be difficult to escape from.
How to make your duplex lifestyle easier?
Even though living in a duplex means you only have one other unit to deal with, it’s important to be clear about everything from the start to avoid conflicts later. Here are some ways to make your duplex lifestyle easier and questions to find out –
- Establish how common areas like the driveway and yard are to be used by residents of both units so you don’t get into each other’s space.
- Take the time to establish how responsibilities like backyard mowing, gardening, or shoveling are to be handled (check with the terms of your lease and landlord).
- Find out which unit you will be in (top or bottom) and what type of sound control measures are implemented in the construction (i.e. concrete or wood frame, and what type of flooring)
How to search for duplexes near you?
If you’re in the market to rent a duplex, you can –
- Start by looking at different listing sites to find available properties in your area.
- Look for features in the unit that are appealing to your lifestyle.
- Explore the neighborhood and establish whether it is right for you.
- Narrow down your choices based on neighborhood, price, and features you want.
Apartment duplexes are a great choice for many people, while others may prefer apartments complexes that offer townhomes for rent or an apartment complex that offers private entrances to mitigate some of the potential considerations in a duplex. Take the time to consider your own situation.