While the National Association of Home Builders reports that duplexes have never been as popular as they were in the 1920s and the 1930s (as far as new construction is concerned, anyway) there are plenty of people making a mountain of money in real estate with duplexes fleshing out their portfolio.
A little bit different than single-family homes but usually residing in the same neighborhoods (and offering many of the same amenities), renters love duplexes because they get the home life experience – a garage, a yard, a basement, privacy, etc. – without having to spend money on a mortgage.
Now, obviously, not all duplexes have garages just the same way that not all single-family homes have garages.
But with more than 5 million duplexes all over the country there are definitely millions of these properties that have plenty of space for extra storage and to park a car or two.
Do Duplexes Have Garages?
As we touched on a moment ago, it’s impossible to know exactly how many of the more than 5 million duplexes in the United States have garages on the property – attached or detached – but is not unreasonable to assume that a significant amount of them will.
Again, these properties are basically single-family homes that have been conjoined at the hip another.
They offer the same homestyle living that a single-family property would without the mortgage expense, without having to pay taxes, and without (necessarily) having to handle house maintenance or yard upkeep, too.
It also doesn’t hurt that duplexes are almost always situated in exclusively residential neighborhoods.
This means there’s plenty of room on a lot to put a single or double car garage (and sometimes even a larger detached garage/shop), the kind of amenity you would have been almost impossible time enjoying at a traditional apartment or condo building.
Duplexes with garages almost always rent at slightly higher figures, too.
They offer better storage and security options to the individuals renting but also help make a duplex situation even more attractive to tenants – and that’s going to put more cash in the pockets of real estate owners on a more consistent basis.
If you’re in the market to add a duplex to your real estate portfolio it’s not a bad idea to double check to see if there’s already a garage on the property or the potential (and space) to build one.
How to Divvy Up Garage Access in Duplexes
The only obstacle you may have to navigate with a duplex garage situation is divvying up the access to the individual tenants.
This usually isn’t a problem if you are going to be living in one half of the duplex itself.
In those kinds of situations, you almost always have as much of the garage space to yourself as you like and the ability to sort of enforce those boundaries as much as necessary.
You can allow your tenants to use any of the free space you have available as you see fit, making sure that nothing “overflows” in the space you set aside for yourself and your loved ones.
Where things get a little bit sticky, though, is divvying up access when you will not be living in the duplex itself.
When you have to tenants that have to share a single garage space equally there’s always the potential for minor fireworks and disagreements.
This is why it’s so critically important that you get out ahead of these issues as much as possible, really laying down the boundaries, reinforcing them as much as possible, and consistently referencing a written agreement to those boundaries that you’ve put on paper before tenants were allowed to move in.
A 50-50 split of garage space in these situations usually mellows things out quite nicely, with everyone feeling as though they got a fair shake.
This may or may not always be possible though, so do your best to be as equitable as you can be while still reinforcing those firm boundaries you’ve established from the beginning of your landlord/tenant relationship.
At the end of the day, there really shouldn’t be much issue dealing with duplex garage situations.
It’s always a nice bonus to have whenever you are renting a property (more space and storage is always appreciated), so hunt those properties down whenever possible!