Buy a duplex or single family?

2 Replies


My husband and I recently decided to sell our house and buy a duplex to house hack. We are having a very difficult time finding a duplex that is in decent condition, in a good area, for the right price. We have a realtor that has been working like crazy getting our house ready to sell and showing us properties to buy. We don't know what to do. What if we can't find a place and our house sells? Should we just buy a single family home? We wanted to move anyway to get into a better school district for our kids. We originally weren't planning to do that for a few years until our kids were school age, but maybe we should now to take advantage of the high real estate prices now? We are really confused and conflicted. Any advice is appreciated. 

We recently considered doing the same thing in our San Antonio market, but our research prior to making the jump led us to abandon the idea. We live on 3 acres with good neighbors and a nice house that has significantly appreciated, which would make us some pretty solid gains if we sold. However, we could not find a duplex or triplex that we were comfortable moving into - the ones we did like did not make sense financially. They were too expensive and netting too low of rents for what we would be wanting to live in, if that makes sense. We found that it was a better move for us to leverage one of our existing single family homes into two single family homes, staying in our current house.

However, if you were looking to move school districts anyway, you could look into another single family home or even a live-in flip that you would come out ahead on in the future? Maybe nothing crazy that needs a ton of work, but something you could enjoy upgrading or could rent out in the future if you chose to relocate again.


With school districts being top of mind, I would focus in on areas within NE ISD and Northside ISD unless you already have a specific school district in mind. You can find some 2-4 units within the East and Southern ISD's that have some attractive numbers, but as Michelle pointed out, this may not be an area or school district you would like to live within. With that being said, you can certainly find some duplexes within both the NE ISD and Northside ISD school districts that meet or come close to the 1% rule. Tell us more about your criteria and some of us can better point you in the area's you will want to focus in on? The 2-4 unit market opens up as we move into summer, so you should start to see an increased inventory but still expect some stiff competition. Best of luck!