Pros and cons of buying or building a duplex home

With COVID-19 tipping the country into recession, some feel hesitant to buy or sell due to the economic uncertainty. However, depending on your circumstances, this could be the perfect time to consider your options within the market and seek out the best ways to potentially make your property investment work for you.

If you are in the market to buy or build, a duplex home or dual occupancy could be a good option. Defined as “two separate homes built on the same title,” duplex homes are alternatives for homebuyers who are looking to live and invest. 


Duplexes are unique in their structure and becoming more popular as their architectural stance has upgraded to a more liveable standard. Holding unique benefits, duplex homes are growing as an independent market within real estate and are being considered by first home buyers. That said, duplexes are very individual and should be carefully considered before purchasing.



There are definitely positives when owning and living in a duplex home:

 A duplex home offers you monetary relief if you do choose to rent a section out to tenants. From a homeowner’s perspective this is highly appealing, as the bills necessary can be split in half and the tenant’s rent can help you pay off the mortgage. 

 Generally speaking, duplex homes range in a lower price bracket than single houses. Therefore, you may have the opportunity to buy in your dream neighbourhood, even if it seemed out of your budget. In most cases, duplexes are valued for a higher resale price compared to traditional homes as  potential buyers reap the benefits of separate homes with their own kitchen, bathrooms, entrance/s and utilities.

Depending on the neighbourhood, you may find yourself feeling safer living in a duplex home. Living with tenants can provide extra security but due to living in separate sections of the house, you avoid invading each other’s privacy. 

A duplex maximises a piece of land’s potential without adding additional holding fees, insurance costs or other associated costs like subdivided land. It may also increase tax depreciation and returns on investment.


With the  benefits of owning a duplex home comes the disadvantages, such as:

 There is no way to avoid the fact that when you live in a duplex home you live close to your neighbours. Yes, there are divided sections but you will never be able to regain the same privacy when living in a traditional home. With privacy comes space. As you have essentially divided one house into two, therefore minimising the amount of space for a household. 

 At times, duplex homes bring more paperwork. Not all local councils allow the building of duplexes. This may force you to have to consider other neighbourhoods than the ones you were hoping to buy or build in. 

 Duplex houses may be cheaper than two free standing homes however, if you aren’t leasing the second dwelling, you may experience higher maintenance costs and other associated expenses as you, essentially, own two separate homes.   

 All things considered there is a lot to be said about the positives of buying a duplex if you’re in the property investment game.

Thinking of subdividing and developing your own land with a duplex or townhouses? Perhaps you’d like to look into buying a duplex. Give us a call and speak to one of our knowledgeable property consultants about your options.

Published on 1st of January 2021 by Michelle Leftwich
Michelle Leftwich
Michelle Leftwich


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