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Get Lowdown On Duplex Ownership  

1. Is duplex ownership really profitable?
3. Who would want a duplex?
(These articles are excerpts from the book Duplex Secrets Revealed)

3. Who would want a duplex?

A duplex can be appealing to many different people. A first time home buyer. Any renter. A college student. An elderly person. Anyone who wants to make an investment. Anyone who wants to stop paying rent.

First Time Home Buyer

As a first time homebuyer, a duplex offers a great financial opportunity in which a tenant helps the owner meet your monthly payment. This is the route I took after receiving sticker shock from the rents in Austin. Since rents are high, I receive a large check, $910, each month to help pay one of my duplex mortgages. Overtime, my rents continue to increase while my mortgage payment stays the same.

Quite possibly, over an extended period of time, the rent from one side will completely pay the mortgage for the entire duplex! Although this is rare, it is possible. If you wanted to eliminate your mortgage as soon as possible, you can get one roommate, and total rents may completely cover your mortgage! This technique is covered in more detail later in the book.

A duplex is a great alternative to buying a single family home because the effective "rent" is much lower. It is lower because a tenant’s rent could pay more than half of the monthly payment depending on the area. In addition to paying less rent, all the amenities of a single family home are achieved - more floor space, front and back yard area, and a garage. The chance for gardening and adequate living space for pets has great benefits.

You will have the convenience of taking care of your property (easy access if maintenance is required) and keeping an "eye" on my tenants.

Any Renter

This category of "any renter" really includes first time buyer because a new first time homebuyer is likely renting now. But it also includes the renter who plans to continue renting, either temporarily or indefinitely. Renting temporarily means the renter is trying to save enough money to purchase a home. To rent indefinitely could imply the person is unsure of where their job takes them and has no plans to buy any time soon. Either way, I included "any renter" to cover people renting apartments, condos, houses, rooms, lofts, trailers, dorms, really, any type of dwelling. Although a renter may not be looking to buy yet, living in a duplex can be advantageous. Rents may be lower than apartments (definitely true in the Austin area) and much more is offered - a yard, a garage, and generally more space.

In general, I believe anyone renting should seriously consider buying a duplex for the numerous advantages mentioned above, for building equity, for generating monthly income from rents, and simply to stop wasting money on rent. Any renter can become a duplex owner.

A College Student

As a college student, a duplex can be extremely profitable. One side of the duplex may be rented in addition to receiving rents from one or two roommates who live in the same side as the owner. Not only will the rents completely cover mortgage but also a positive cash flow will usually result! This situation is typical of parents who buy duplexes in a university area so their college son or daughter can live effectively rent-free and attend school. Parents realize even greater return on investment if they have two or three kids and all of them live in the duplex while attending school.

Graduate students also stand to benefit due to the extended period of stay in one area. This alleviates the tendency to move once a year and settle down before starting another semester of school.

An Elderly Person

The elderly are another group of people who like duplexes. Often a relative or friend lives on the other side which makes for a "safe and nearby" security. At the same time they can continue living independently in their own home. Another side benefit is an elderly person who primarily stays at home can serve as a "watchdog" or home sitter during the day.


Many real estate investors enjoy purchasing duplexes. They offer excellent cash flow and serve as an excellent long-term investment. Rents will continue to rise over time (due to inflation) while mortgage payments stay constant and eventually reach zero. Weather or not an investor owner occupies his or her duplex, they invest with the same goal in mind - to produce a nice profit on investment of savings.

(These articles are excerpts from the book Duplex Secrets Revealed