buying a duplex

Duplex Homes – 5 Reasons to Buy a Duplex.

#1 – Duplex homes have a lower barrier to entry.

Buying one side of a duplex is a great entry point for a first time home buyer or someone who needs a more affordable entry point in a certain market. On average a duplex unit is more affordable when compared to single family home with similar number of beds and baths, square feet and condition.

#2 – Duplex homes are homes with cash flow.

Buying a duplex and occupying one side gives you the ability to have a cash flow source while having the utility of a home. Remember this cash flow is in addition to the affordability advantage you have from living on one side of the duplex. These cash advantages can take care of various expenses.

#3 – A duplex home gives you faster home equity.

If the goal is to earn home equity then living on one side and renting the other side provides you with the ability to make double mortgage payments each month effectively halving your mortgage term. This reduces the interest paid and accelerates your home equity which can be borrowed against if needed.

#4 – Duplex homes allow for unique living situations.

The duplex housing style opens up options for unique situations. Say for example you need to take care of someone in your family who needs close supervision,  but is also situation where both parties, yourself and your family member require privacy and space. By living on one side and having your family member live on the other side, it solves that dilemma.

#5- A duplex home gives you a great rental for the future.

A great aspect of buying a duplex and living on one side as your first home is that when your ready to move to your next property, you will have a ideal rental property. Not only will you have the knowledge of  running a property and but you will also know how it feels from both the landlord and tenant perspective.

Buying a College Duplex.

There are many occasions where buying a duplex makes sense, but with this post we will focus on one particular scenario; buying a duplex for college living. Buying a duplex for college living is a great option since there is usually a high level of renters in a small geographic area. College students are looking for roommates and friends travel off together for higher education. This is an ideal situation. Not only will you most likely have one to two paying roommates, but you will also have another unit collecting rental payments. Here is a some first steps for both the entrepreneurial college student and for the parent of a freshmen or sophomore college kid:

College Student:

  • Look for duplex properties within a 5 mile radius of campus.
  • Contact a bank, or loan officer and see about your financing options.
  • Talk to people in your classes about a nice place to live close to campus and determine if you could handle collecting rent from them. (The heavy drinking party animal that likes to punch holes into drywall would be someone to avoid.)
  • Get a sense of your college environment. Where are the party areas? Where do you grad students live?
  • If financing is unavailable or the terms are very bad based on your credit history, talk to your parents or family members and propose it to them.
  • Be professional and be honest with yourself. If you are too shy to ask for rent, then this is not for you.

Parent of College Student:

  • First determine if your college student is responsible enough to collect rent and able to be a landlord. Everyone thinks that their child “has so much potential”, but it is about maturity, not just ability.
  • Look within a 5 mile radius of the campus. Let your child scope out the place before doing anything.
  • Determine your financing options.
  • Ask your son or daughter to describe their tenant prospects. If they are going to live with someone that they know from high school, make your conclusions about your son’s or daughter’s ability to collect rent each month from them. Be professional, just cause your kid says they are “cool”; still do your due diligence.

Another thing to consider when looking at a duplex, is to get the right type of insurance. If your helping out your college aged kid a quick thing to do to save on home insurance is to combine the auto and home policy of the duplex with your kid’s car insurance, which will save money on both. If you are looking in Indiana for example shop Indiana Car Insurance rates online and then get home quote with the same insurer and look at the difference.

Being a landlord will always have its risk but buying a duplex for college could have great benefits.

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