Multi-Unit Residences

Real Estate Broker/Owner with MBA Broker Consultants CalBRE Broker #00983670

A duplex is a 2-family home located on a single lot (parcel) and owned by one owner.  Each residence has its own separate entrance.  On the West Coast, a duplex is usually 2 houses side-by-side which are attached with a common wall.  But in the Midwest, a duplex refers to a house with a residence on the main floor and a separate residence upstairs.  A "duplexes" is also known as a “two-family house”.  And a "flat" can refer to a residence within a multi-unit house.

A triplex has the same characteristics as a duplex, except that it consists of 3 units. It may also be referred to as a “three-family dwelling”.  A fourplex, also known as a quadplex or quadruplex, is a 4-unit building, also owned by 1 person but rented out to 4 separate families.

Most first home buyers will not be shopping for a multi-unit residence because the values are higher than a single family home, or because many duplexes/triplexes/quadruplexes are older homes in more dense neighborhoods.

And any building which has 5 or more units is typically considered commercial property; in other words, an apartment complex. These properties do not offer residential financing as they are designed for investors, not for owner-occupied home owners.

Read more in our book, "Buy Your First Home",

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Posted by

Regina P. Brown
Broker, Realtor®, M.B.A., e-Pro, GREEN
California DRE # 00983670


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Comments (2)

Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

Regina: This is very important information, and that agents who sell them know the difference between a duplex and multi unit.

Apr 09, 2016 04:56 PM
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

 Good morning Regina P. Brown . There are a lot of multifamily units on the market in our area. Thank you for sharing this information with us.

Apr 09, 2016 06:54 PM