Half a duplex

5 Replies

Hi,

I have an opportunity to own 1/2 a duplex at 1800 sf for 50,000 in a low income area of Connecticut. Is it worth purchasing only 1/2 the house? I am concerned that if I put tenants in there I could get push back from the existing owners.

I appreciate your thoughts.

-Phyllis 

I've struggled with this question myself as I've seen several half-duplexes come up on the MLS here recently. I think it's really up to your comfort level. If you wanted to go forward I'd first see if $50,000 really is a good price based to what you want to get out of the property (yearly ROI, cashflow, etc.). If the owner on the other side has a problem with you renting it out...offer to buy them out! Then you'll have a FULL duplex! :)

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Hi @Phyllis Be and welcome to the site! I see you're from Sandy Hook...I'm from Newtown, I'm curious are you looking at a property in town or elsewhere?

This is just my opinion, but I would never buy into only 1/2 of a duplex for a few reasons. 

One of the biggest reasons is you never know what the owner of the other half plans on doing with their half of the structure, and how they plan on maintaining both the structure and the property.

Most importantly though, even if the owner of the other half is an amazing person, what happens when they decide it's time to leave. Will they be able to sell it to WHOEVER they please? This could be a terrible situation down the road. 

There are many more things to think about than the above. Who will maintain the property? Mow the lawn, plow the driveway, paint the house, replace the roof, etc, etc, etc. These things even cause problems in well-written partnerships where one of the owners does not want to put any time, money, or energy into upkeep of the property, which can be a huge hassle if you want to improve curb appeal and value.

I'm not saying any of these things will happen, but you always need to be aware of what may happen down the road. Always have an exit strategy. Personally, I would look for a $100,000 duplex and own the whole thing outright rather than putting in $50k to a risky situation. Good luck!

Duplexes don't sell that way in my area, but is it really any different from a townhouse or condo? I guess there is more interaction about the joint work that needs to be done rather than an HOA. Do you know if other duplexes in the area are mostly owner occupied or rentals?

I would knock on the door of the other side and have a talk with them.  Ask them what their plans are, what their ideal situation would be for the other side, what their experience has been and what their intentions are.  Maybe you can buy his side down the road, or sell your side to him down the road.

If you have other options that are less risky, I'd go that route, but this wouldn't be a deal killer for me.  I might use a professional property manager so that I don't get stuck managing the expectations and outcomes.

Hi All,

I really appreciate all the feedback vid gotten on this issue! I think I do need more information from the occupants on the other side as well as how the rest of the community is set up. I did get to see it and it really doesn't need much. 

Thanks again!

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