Why Buying A Duplex Is Very Similar To Buying A Single-Family Home

Many investors view buying a duplex as a big step in their investment strategy. You are moving from single-family properties to having multiple tenants. While there are definite differences between these types of properties, they also have similarities.

However, if you compare a duplex to two single-family homes, managing the duplex is simpler. The most obvious difference is that you will have two units on the property instead of one. That can mean two rent checks but also two tenants to manage.

What are some of the ways duplexes are similar to single-family homes? Read on to find out!

Similarities Between Buying a Duplex and a Single-Family Home

Purchase Price

The average duplex will cost more than the average single-family home. However, it is not that much more. Most duplexes cost within a range similar to what you might expect to pay for a single-family home. There is even less difference if you compare the price per square foot. It is like getting two units for the price of one.


Maintenance is one area where the two are alike in some ways and different in others. For example, with a duplex, you have one roof to maintain. Caring for the landscaping is also similar to a single-family home. Maintenance for the structure and yard will be similar. However, you have two kitchens, two sets of bathrooms, two electrical systems, etc.

Operational Costs

The costs of running the property as a business will be similar. The insurance will be slightly higher because you need to insure two units. It will cost less than insuring two single-family homes as rental properties. It is also one property to check on and maintain, like a single-family home. Some operational issues might cost more, but it is still a single property.


Since we are talking about investment properties, not a home you plan to live in, financing will be similar. A duplex might cost a little more, but lenders will treat the properties equally for approval. Rather than looking at the property as a place to live, they will evaluate it as a business. The lender will consider the property's revenue and compare that to the costs.

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