Finding Doubles in New Orleans
If you're not from here, you might know these types of homes as duplexes, but in New Orleans, we're all about doubles. They are an integral part of our local architectural landscape, and while over the years many of them have been converted to single family homes, doubles are still prevelant in many neighborhoods.
While occasionally you'll find one side that's been altered and added on to, the units are generally mirror images of each other, with a center wall that divides the two. Separate electric and water meters are the norm, but we still run across some shared water meters that make utility payments...interesting, to say the least. Owners who live in one side and rent the other will generally include water in the rent when there is a shared meter, but if both sides are used as rentals, it becomes a hassle to equitably divide water usage.
The most typical type of double is the shotgun double, but you may also find townhouse style homes that are divided into 2 units, like the one below.
Doubles remain popular with home buyers, particularly those that want to create rental income to offset some of their mortgage costs.
The increase in short term rentals like AirBnB has also resulted in a renewed interest in multi-family properties in New Orleans, since an owner occupied property has no restrictions on the number of days a year that a unit can be listed as a short term rental.