What’s the difference between a duplex and a twin home?
Many potential duplex and twin home buyers get a little bit thrown off by the different terminology that flies around so freely in the multi-family home space.
However, it’s important to know the difference between these two particular kinds of properties. They are not the same thing, and you definitely don’t want to get caught up thinking that they are.
A duplex is a multi-family home. In a duplex, there are two units with (typically) two sets of tenants – one living in each side. A duplex has one owner that’s responsible for renting out and maintaining the entire property.
A twin home, on the other hand, also has two units. However, twin homes are technically classified as single family homes because twin home owners own just one half of the property.
While twin homes share a wall in the same way that duplexes do, the owners are each responsible for their own half of the property and have little to do with anything that goes on on the other side.
In fact, a twin home shares some similarities to townhomes in this way.
Which Should I Buy?
You might think that “The Duplex Doctors” would recommend duplexes for everyone and neglect the benefits that twin homes offer, but the truth is that duplex ownership isn’t for everyone. While we do believe in the unique benefits duplexes offer their owners, we know that it’s important for buyers to understand the whole picture before they make a decision.
Buying a Duplex: The Benefits, Risks, and Challenges
Buying a duplex is a lot like buying a single-family home – they can be financed in similar fashions, they’re competitive price-wise, etc.
However, buying a duplex is a lot different than buying a single family home. Many people buy duplexes because of the financial reward associated with them.
What does that mean?
The thing about renting out one side of a duplex is that doing so generates rental income. Generating rental income can be quite lucrative, and many duplex owners choose to live in one side of their duplex while renting out the other half – thus creating the opportunity to live with a very small liability for the mortgage payment.
In some scenarios, one side of a duplex even generates enough revenue for the owner to live for “free” on the other side while utilizing the rental payment to cover the mortgage.
That being said, it’s important to also consider the implications of buying a duplex before running out to do so – buying a duplex does involve taking on the responsibility of tenant management, and that should always be considered before you count a duplex as a get rich quick scheme.
If you’re interested in buying a duplex, we’d love to talk more with you about that.
Buying a Twin Home
Buying a twin home is significantly more straightforward than buying a duplex. In fact, twin homes can easily be considered as quite similar to a regular single family purchased. Twin homes can be financed like single families, taxed like single families, and so on.
The only difference, really, is that you’ll share a wall. Most twin home owners are responsible for their half of the property. That means they take on the task of repairing their side of the roof, maintaining their half of the yard, and doing any of the work that needs to be taken on inside their own unit.
There are some unique benefits and challenges offered by sharing a wall, but for the most part, twin home purchases can be approached similiarly to the way single family homes are approached.
Hopefully this article cleared up any confusions you had about the duplex vs. twin home scenario. The fact of the matter is that most people who search for “twin homes” are actually looking for duplexes.
If that’s the case for you, we’d be happy to get in touch for a free consultation to see about how a duplex could benefit you.
Also published on Medium.