What Is the Definition of a Duplex?

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A duplex is a two-unit dwelling that is legal to rent out to two separate individuals. Often, the mortgage of a duplex is similar to a single-family dwelling. Consider purchasing a duplex to offset mortgage payments with advice from a mortgage specialist in this free video on real estate.

Part of the Video Series: Real Estate Financing
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Video Transcript

Hi my name is Stetson Lowe and in this clip we're going to talk about the definition of a duplex. A duplex is a two unit dwelling that is legal to rent out to two separate individuals or families. There's two types of duplexes, there's up and down duplexes where you have a main floor apartment and a basement apartment or a main floor apartment and an upper level apartment. Or you have a side by side duplex which is just what it sounds like, there's one unit on one side and the other unit attached to the other side. These are the two types of duplexes that can be found. There is also nonconforming duplexes that are attached at all, but two separate apartments on one property or tax ID. Typically two unit properties are pretty easy to finance and fall under the same guidelines as a single family property for FHA and conventional financing. The credit score restrictions and down payment is similar to that of a single family residence. Duplexes are a good investment for first time home buyers who don't want to take on a full property or mortgage payment by themselves where they can purchase the property and rent out a portion of it to bring an income to help offset their mortgage payment. And I see a lot of first time home buyers going the duplex route or people who are looking to get into real estate investing and want to start on a small level. A duplex is a great way to start.

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