Purchasing a duplex can be a great way to find a new home and help pay for the costs of the mortgage. You can rent one part of the multifamily home to cover the costs of owning a home, and you can build wealth by owning property. However, there are several things to consider before investing in this type of real estate. If you plan to live in the multifamily home you purchase, here are a few things to look at before you buy.
Living in a duplex means you are sharing at least some of the space with a tenant. As you inspect each property, look at ways you and your tenants can both maintain a sense of privacy. For example, separate driveways may be a better alternative to a shared driveway with side-by-side garages. A building with a large backyard can be fenced off to create two separate yards. Find ways you can keep the homes a bit more separate so it doesn't feel as though you and your tenants are roommates.
Mortgage And Expenses
While owning a duplex means you'll have income to help cover the cost of your mortgage, homeowners insurance, and property taxes, you want to make sure you can afford the property without a tenant. Your renters may decide to break their lease, or you might have time finding new tenants at the end of a current lease. If being without rental income will make it impossible for you to cover the cost of the mortgage and expenses, you may want to rethink your purchase.
Of course, renting out part of the duplex means you are taking on the role of landlord. This means you'll be responsible for repairs and upkeep. Even with the best of tenants, unexpected repairs can pop up without notice. Be sure you are prepared to take on this role, and be sure that you have the ability to pay for repairs. You may consider opening up a separate bank account for your rental property so you can keep emergency repair money saved up and separate from your household income.
Your real estate agent can help you find a multifamily home for sale that meets your budget and privacy needs, and he or she may even be able to help you find a property management company that can provide assistance with arranging repairs and maintenance services. This can take some of the landlord burden off of your shoulders so you can enjoy your new home.