Buying a Duplex vs Buying a House: The Pros & Cons

12/10/2020 . By Champion Homes

Buying a duplex can be a great alternative to buying a single-family house, particularly as real estate prices are expected to grow in Australian cities in 2020. Recent changes in NSW housing regulations encourage the building of more medium-density dwellings in the state. This has unlocked land for building duplex properties, giving home buyers and investors more choice and market flexibility.

However, there are a number of factors that you should consider when purchasing a duplex and it’s important that you are aware of both the advantages and disadvantages. 

Pros

Buying a duplex is affordable 

Rising prices in most Australian cities have made it increasingly difficult to buy a house. This is particularly so for potential first homeowners. Buying a house in the suburb where you want to live may not always be possible as repayments for a detached house home loan may be unaffordable. However, buying one half of a duplex house is far more affordable and will give you an option that comes with more financial freedom.

Flexibility to rent out

Being an owner-occupier of the duplex and renting out the other half will help take the pressure off the mortgage repayments. Rental money can be used to pay off the mortgage, or you can add your own regular contributions to pay off the mortgage quicker.

Caring for an elderly family member

Do you have an elderly family member who you’d like to care for without intruding on their independence? Purchasing a duplex may be the answer. The family member has their own living space but you are close by in case of an emergency.

Value

Buying a duplex is beneficial both for its price tag and its investment potential. Purchasing one that is located in the right area will see its value appreciate over the years. Investors can expect to receive an excellent return in a strong market.

Flexibility for retirees

Purchasing a duplex home also gives retirees the flexibility to downsize. A duplex gives them the smaller space they desire while giving them the option of renting the other half, perhaps to a family member.

Cons


Privacy

Duplex homes share a common central wall and noisy neighbours may be disruptive. Privacy may be disrupted where there is one driveway, or where access is at the back of the house. This may mean putting up with them walking past your property to enter their front door or garage. Buying a duplex with the correct design is vital to maintaining privacy.

Need to negotiate with your neighbours

Home insurance will need to be negotiated with your neighbours, as one overarching policy will be needed for the duplex property. While this is usually not a problem, talks will still need to be made between the two sides of the duplex. 

This also applies to any renovations. You will need to discuss any work you intend to do with neighbours beforehand.

Duplex titles

Is the duplex titled separately? This may affect its resale price tag, as one title limits the market to owner occupiers and investors.

Many of these disadvantages can be overcome with a good design – one that ensures privacy, heaps of interior space and easy shared access for both occupiers. At Champion Homes we have been building homes in the Sydney region for over two decades. We also give you great value with our duplex wishlist upgrade, making it easy to tailor your duplex home to suit your needs and taste. Contact us here to ask us a question or book a no-obligation consultation with our experts. 

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