Central Austin Duplexes

Are you torn between buying a home or an investment property? Are you interested in living in Central Austin but concerned you won’t get much for what you want to spend? Consider a duplex.

Advantages to buying a duplex

Some benefits to buying a duplex are:

  • As long as you have renters on the other side, someone else is helping you pay for your mortgage. This can increase your buying power.
  • Many duplexes in Central Austin have at least one unit that’s a 2 bedroom if that’s what you’re looking for.
  • Many duplexes have yards.
  • You’ll be able to write off some of the work you do (as related to anything with taxes, it’s highly recommended you talk to your accountant).
  • While some people not want to live next to their tenants, it does mean you can keep an eye on them and how they’re treating your property.

Being a landlord

Of course, being a landlord has some extra responsibilities. Basically, if you don’t hire a property manager, you need to be the one who is hands on. You need to keep up with maintenance and handle vacancies as they come up. There is also additional liability/exposure in being a landlord. You’ll want to talk to your insurer about changes and potential extra costs to your insurance plan.

Central Austin Duplexes

Duplexes in my pocket of Austin (Zilker and Barton Hills) are an interesting entry into the neighborhood. Price per square foot they’re, on average, about $50/SF less than home sales. And, if you have a renter, you’re getting someone to help you pay the mortgage. When you’re ready to move up (a term used in real estate to refer to moving up the real estate latter), you can rent out both sides if you’d like. Or, some people convert their duplexes to a single family residence.

Financing a duplex

Financing a duplex is pretty easy. Duplexes even qualify for FHA loans. (Again, talk to a Realtor and lender regarding your specific circumstances. Things can change these days!)

Choosing a duplex

As with all properties, pick wisely. Have the duplex inspected and understand your full cost of ownership, which includes repairs, upkeep and maintenance.

I have two owner/agent duplex listings coming up. Contact me if you’d like more information!

Owner / Agent – Laura “Ole” Olesen
REALTOR®, CNE, GRI, MBA
c. 512.663.5776

8 comments to Central Austin Duplexes

  • I love seeing the duplexes in Central Austin that have been remodeled. Can’t wait until yours hit the market Ole!

  • Good points above – especially for central Austin homes. And some of the duplexes in central Austin feel and look like single family homes – even better.

  • Great info, I have a friend who is trying to sell a Duplex in East Austin so I will send her this article. Wow, $50/sf less on average than the homes for sale in Zilker and Barton Hills, very good to know!

  • Excellent information for anyone looking for investment property. Hard to pass up the price too…PPSF of $50 less on avg than homes is great!

  • I love your article on Duplexes Ole. I own duplexes in another town and would love to find the right one here for me to buy. I am alway looking. I agree that they are a great investment. They are usually sold as soon as they hit the market. Any tips on how to catch them when they are listed?

  • Jana, I have lots of tips…. starting with work with a Realtor. You can also target duplex owners with “are you selling?” mailings.

  • This is a good idea for first time home buyers. They can have help paying the mortgage payments and save up to buy their next home.

  • Duplexes are great investments. I never fail to mention the fact that if one side is vacant, the other side is still paying their part of your payment. However, this is not much of a problem in the Austin area. The fact that there is usually a garage and a small yard makes them more desirable than apartments for some people.