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