Whether you’re moving out of your parents’ home for the first time, or you’re looking to downsize after your own kids have flown the nest, you’ll always want to get value for money from your residence.
So, if you had to choose between the two, are you going to want to opt for a duplex, or an apartment?
Here we’ll look at the pros and cons of both types of residence, leaving you with answers to ponder on the question of which one is cheaper and not just that, but which option is better for you and your personal circumstances.
Are you Buying or Renting?
This is the big question. What would save you money as a renter in either type of residence could prove to be costly if you were to buy your property.
Real estate is always a sound choice if you’re looking to make an investment, and a duplex is a popular purchase.
By buying one building, you’re buying a place a to live and a place that’ll make you money, if you rent out the other unit.
Note: This post may contain affiliate links which will take you to online retailers that sell products and services. If you click on one and buy something, I may earn from qualifying purchases. See my Affiliate Disclosure for more details.
This can be especially helpful if you have a mortgage on your duplex. By renting out one of the areas, you’re taking off a huge portion of your mortgage payment every month.
Of course, you may choose to put a family member in the other unit, but generally speaking, landlords choose duplexes as investments because they make money from their own residence.
You must also remember that if you own a duplex and rent out one half, you’re responsible for maintenance as a landlord. So, it’s always an idea to factor in costs of repairs and upkeep.
And what if you’re a renter?
Between the two, you may find that a duplex appears more expensive at first. This is due to the fact that you’re usually renting a larger space.
Duplex units usually occupy half a house, be it split vertically or horizontally, which means more square footage.
It stands to reason that the larger the space, the more rent you’ll pay.
But it’s important that you consider not just the rental cost, but what you’re getting for your money.
Duplexes generally come with more space outside, and even a garage so there wouldn’t be the same scrapping for a parking space as sometimes happens with apartment blocks.
The amenities you’ll find in a duplex tend to work out better value for your money.
Apartment facilities are often shared between more people, whereas in a duplex even if the amenities are communal, such as a shared laundry room, you’re unlikely to be sharing with more than one other party.
That said, there’s plenty of peace of mind to be had in an apartment when it comes to needing urgent maintenance or repairs.
Duplexes are unlikely to have maintenance office on-site, so unless your next-door neighbor’s a plumber or an electrician, you may find there’s a delay in your repairs.
It’s important to factor in all these extras, but you may still find that duplexes turn out to be even better value for money for the renter than apartments.
The Cost is Not Always Financial!
Don’t forget that you can rarely put a price on such things as privacy and space.
Many choose to live in a duplex over an apartment even if it’s not always a cheaper option, simply because there are fewer people in the same block.
Apartment living can remind people of a dormitory, and residents run the risk of suffering neighbors on multiple sides of their space.
Living in the middle of an apartment block can mean sharing walls with several other tenants, so if you like your quiet, you might well prefer a duplex.
People prefer duplexes for their privacy while still maintaining a sense of community, because even though it might be quieter, there can often be a sense of comfort to know there’s someone else in the building.
Which is the Best Choice?
So, are duplexes cheaper than apartments?
We’ve seen that there’s no easy answer! Everyone’s circumstances are different.
But by taking everything into consideration, you’ll find there’s more to the cost of your property than your rent or mortgage alone.