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Condo vs Duplex: What’s the difference?

Alyssa Strom
Category

Buying

At Side by Side, we love duplexes and multi-family properties. However, they are not the perfect fit for everyone. Everyone’s preferences and situations are different, so here are some main differences and pros and cons of duplex and condo properties.

Pros and cons of buying a condo

An ideal option for those looking for minimal maintenance and upkeep. Condos are individually owned units that are part of an association of other owners (HOA). Units typically share at least one common wall with other units.

Benefits of buying a condo

  • Lower individual maintenance and repair budget
  • Building Amenities (i.e., workout room, pool, dog washing stations)
  • Community style living

Disadvantages of buying a condo

  • Monthly HOA fee (covers shared amenities like trash, water, snow removal, capital improvements like roofs and siding)
  • Possible unexpected expenses for assessments on building repairs and maintenance
  • HOA restrictions (i.e., no rentals, pet restrictions)

Pros and cons of buying a Duplex

Two homes within the same building with one owner. The units may be on multiple levels (up/down) or side by side with a shared wall. A duplex, commonly called a multi-family property, because more than one family lives in separate units within the same house.

Benefits of buying a duplex

  • Reduced or no mortgage payment (House Hack! Live in one unit while your renters pay your mortgage)
  • Use residential financing to build your rental portfolio (cash flow = income!)

Disadvantages of buying a duplex

  • The purchase price is higher than single-family units. More money down will be required.
  • More than one unit requires a higher maintenance and repair budget
  • Limited inventory

If you are ready to discuss what purchase makes the most sense for your situation, we are here to help! We love talking about real estate and helping you create a plan for success. Our mission is to help buyers attain financial independence through real estate investing and to help you find the property that best fits your goals.

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