Profile picture for ash16

is buying a duplex a smart move to save money for dream home if i live on one side a

if i rent out one side and live on the other is that a smart move to buy a duplex to save money for a dream home instead of paying rent till then
  • May 28 2010 - US
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Answers (8)

Profile picture for AvetteGaiser
I designed and developed a tri-plex in 2004 and I live in the lower (daylight basement, 2500 sq. ft. unit) on a lakefront on the central Oregon coast.  It was the only way I could retire in style!  It is barrier-free so I can age in place.  With an elevator, I will always have handicapped access.  My renters pay the mortgage and most of the taxes.  I write off all expense I spend on this property.  With interest and tax write offs, I pay no taxes on my income.  I also own a duplex free and clear in another town.  Life is good.  I will never own a single family home again.,  Too expensive!  I also have wonderful tenants mainly because I do my "due diligence".  I check criminal and credit.  Try this...you will like it!
  • August 29 2013
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Profile picture for sunnyview
A duplex is a great way to get into real estate as a first time owner as long as you make sure that it has decent cash flow and that you decide if you will self manage or not. Buying a duplex cuts your monthly expenses (if done right), allows you to claim all tax deductions as an owner and gives you flexibility to move if you need to relocate for  job without having to sell. Look into it.
  • May 29 2010
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This is a smart decision. It will save you money on the long run. But, also consider the headache of being a landlord. My suggestion is that if you're single consider buying close to a College or University. You will always have renters.
  • May 29 2010
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Totally depends on who you rent the other side to..In the Los Angeles area, in some areas you can convert the duplex to a SFR with permits, so you could actually buy a duplex then convert it to your SFR when funds allow...
  • May 28 2010
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In my experience it is usually much harder to market a duplex than a single family home.  The real questions would be is the duplex you buy a good enough deal.  If you are looking into buying a duplex you have to understand that it is an investment property and you must view it as a business decision.  You should have an entrance and an exit strategy factoring in all costs. Including carrying cost, effort of finding a formidable tenant, and maintenance.   Becoming a landlord is not easy in any stretch of the imagination so you need to also decide if you want to take on that responsibility.   
  • May 28 2010
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Profile picture for Matthew Allan
Probably the first variable I would consider is what percentage of the mortgage is paid by the rental.  If having the rental reduces what you would normally pay for your own living space, then that would mean you could put aside extra money for the dream home.  That said, if you need to put down a lot of money to buy the duplex, and home prices depreciate, then you'd be moving in the opposite direction, equity-wise.  So I'd say first figure out how the rental incomes will help, then check with a local REALTOR to see what your market is doing.
  • May 28 2010
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Profile picture for Debbie Holmes
It can be.  If the market is rising or your share of the expenses are low.  It is often the way people get started with being homeowners.  It also will give you a taste on whether you want to be a landlord.  If you like it you can rent the second half out when you move.  If not you sell it.  There are enormous tax advantages to owning your own home and owning rentals... So if you pay a lot of taxes owning a rental property can be advantageous. 
  • May 28 2010
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There are a lot of variables. Your Realtor should be able to help you assess your particular situation.
  • May 28 2010
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