According to the National Multifamily Housing Council, nearly 1 in 5 households live in a duplex or quadplex building.
If you've been on the hunt for a new apartment but want the look and feel of a house, you've probably come across a duplex apartment.
Duplexes provide a similar living experience as you would find in a house. Many duplexes may come with a garage for parking and have an outdoor space, such as a patio or backyard.
Unlike a house, however, duplexes may require residents to share common areas with neighbors.
A duplex is a multi-family home that has two units in one building — regardless of how those homes are arranged. Units can be side-by-side or stacked on top of each other.
Duplex buildings also have two separate entrances for each unit. This means each tenant has their own entrance. An example of a duplex is a house with two doors side-by-side that enter into different living spaces in one home, one upstairs and one downstairs. These two separate units are typically similar in size.
There are other types of housing that have multiple homes within one building, like a triplex and fourplex. But the term duplex is reserved exclusively for multi-family housing with two homes.
Duplexes can also sometimes be confused with a twin home. Twin homes are basically half-homes on their own respective lot. A duplex is a property on one lot. You can have duplexes that have different owners, but they have a condo ownership interest, meaning there is shared lot ownership.
The biggest difference between a duplex and a townhouse, apartment or condo is ownership. Duplexes are owned by a single person and both units are typically rented out.
Sometimes, the owner lives in one and rents out the other. This situation can be appealing to new landlords who may find the extra income from the other unit helpful in paying the monthly mortgage.
The landlord may live elsewhere and rent both units.
Living in a duplex is popular for a few reasons.
One, duplexes offer many of the benefits of a standard residential home like a yard, garage and privacy. Duplexes are typically more affordable than a single-family home (but this really depends on the area).
The affordability of duplex rentals may allow you to rent in a higher-value location than you would normally be able to if you were planning to rent a single-family home.
Of course, you'd have a neighbor living right next to you, but if you're looking for things like outdoor space and an in-unit washer and dryer, it could be worth it.
When renting, you have lots of different options, from single-family homes to standard apartments to duplexes and other multi-family homes.
To find a place you feel proud to call home, you must honestly examine your wants and needs and try to integrate those into your search.