A Great Idea – Why Don’t More First Time Home Buyers Purchase a Duplex Instead of a Single Family Home…?


Why don’t more young buyers look at buying a “duplex” as their first home…? 

Heck I don’t know why either, but I’ve got the “pro’s & con’s” here.

But first,  go to  6819-6821 Trovita Way, Citrus Heights, Ca to get the “investor” flyer. 

As you can see from the numbers it’s got a decent return if this was going to be just another “cash flow” investment.

Some Pro’s here:

  • Lower down payments for an “Owner Occupied” Duplex are the same as a Single Family Dwelling.  They even qualify for FHA Loans…
  • Your out of pocket expenses for the example above would be approximately $1,000 for a 3 Bedroom, 2 Bath unit that has New Paint, New Carpet, Doors and Appliances…!
  • Equity built up – The other tenant is paying you each month.  Even though you’d have $1,000 out of pocket, you’d still have $300 going towards “principle” reducing the amount of debt you owe.
  • You can later rent the unit you live in, go buy another home keeping this Duplex as a part of your long term financial plan.

Ok… Ok… Here are the Con’s:

  • Most Duplexes are clustered in the same neighborhood with other duplexes and don’t have that “Single Family Home” feel
  • You may not like living so close to a neighbor.  

But My Opinion..?   is… “hey, you don’t have to live there forever” – you’ll be glad you did in the “long run”.

So… An ideal Duplex then would be one that is in the midst of primarily Single Family Homes – By the way, there is one like that on my website at www.theduplexguy.net/ed_hot_picks – It’s the one in Carmichael on California Avenue

  • Yards are not as large as a Single Family Home. 

But My Opinion..? is… “hey, you’d be surprised at how neat a Duplex would look with some great landscaping”.  

You could include adding patios or how about a French Door overlooking the back yard from the Master Bedroom?   Now Yea…, that would cost some $$$, but since you are going to live there, why not “doll it up”…?  

Besides when you do move…? trust me, you’ll get top dollar rent with a qualified tenant fast.   So please, don’t be afraid to fix up a Duplex “in and out”  like you would a Single Family Home. 

Curb Appeal would be the one big thing you can do to really enhance this type of invesment, so keep that in mind.


Buying a Duplex to “live in one side and rent the other” really is a great way to start out if you are young.   I haven’t even gone on here about the additional tax breaks that may also be available to you.

It just boils down to whether or not you want to live in a Duplex or prefer a single family home.

Just another idea here.  Give it a thought….

Drop me a note at favinger@rwnetwork if you’ve got some questions… I’d be happy to help.