What is a duplex and should you build one?
It is possible to build two homes for the price of one. Meet the duplex.
So, you’ve got your block of land, and now, you’re trying to decide how best to maximise the space.
Have you considered a duplex? That way you’re getting two houses, essentially for the price of one.
What is a duplex?
A duplex is a residential building containing two homes that share a common wall but sits on separate titles. So, a duplex looks like one house, shares the same roof, and are mirror images of one another.
Because there’s two separate entranceways, the style of build provides homeowners with dual occupancy listed on your title, providing income opportunities, or the chance to have family next door. Best of all, they can be cheaper to build.
Essentially, building a duplex allows you to divide one piece of land into two. And you can subdivide, meaning you’ve got two separate properties on the one block.
This means that a duplex can help homeowners unlock hidden equity in their property by changing their single occupancy into a dual occupancy.
Cameron Barr heads up the design and construct initiative for property investment firm, iBuildNew. He says the duplex design appeals to downsizers and investors mostly, but that if you’ve got a block of land, it’s definitely worth contemplating if it might work.
Bear in mind, building a duplex is not a DIY type of project. You’re going to need to call in the experts.
“A dual occupancy could work well for some people, depending on their situation,” Barr says.
What are the benefits?
The benefits are endless. For starters, a duplex approach enables the home buyer to contemplate purchasing in exclusive neighbourhoods and build at a lower price.
A duplex can also be a great approach given that adult children are struggling to get into the booming property market. This means multi-generational families can essentially live under the one roof, while also having privacy.
Barr adds: “There can be real merit to building a duplex. Sometimes the person building the duplex will live in one side, and sell the other side, or invite their adult children to live in the other home next door. If they’ve got young children, that means they’ve got babysitters under the same roof, which can be handy,” Barr says.