Duplexes and townhouses share some beguiling similarities. They are both multi-family complexes and more affordable compared to detached houses. But while townhouse are shared by more than one neighbour, half duplexes will be shared by just one other tenant or family.
“The best way to think of a half duplex is two homes under one roof—they may be placed side by side or one on top of another, depending on the lot and layout” says Ariane Benjamin. “These homes are ideal for those looking to break into the housing market or upgrade from the condo lifestyle,” explains Vancouver Townhouses realtor Ariane Benjamin. “They’re also really popular for people who are downsizing and looking for compromise between a detached house and a condominium.”
How Duplexes Differ from Townhouses
The easiest way to distinguish a duplex is to picture a single home that’s been neatly divided in two. It sits on a single parcel of land, but holds two completely private units—each with its own kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms, as well as separate entrances for each of the owners. In addition, there will be separate hot water tanks, heating, electrical panels, etc.
While the lines between duplexes and townhouses often seem blurred, duplexes tend to be more spacious—and therefore more expensive. Owners may enjoy perks like a single-car garage, larger outdoor space, and just one common wall, which means that in Vancouver these properties will often surpass the million-dollar mark.
The Feel Of a Detached Home
“For people who still can’t quite afford a single lot home in Vancouver, but don’t like the idea of shared living or a strata rules, a duplex can be a wonderful compromise,” says Ariane. “They offer the feeling of a detached home, which makes highly sought-after by families that are growing—or downsizing.”
Duplexes Hold Greater Investment Value
Duplexes also have a slight edge over townhouses for investment purposes. When it comes to property improvement, townhouse owners may not have the freedom to introduce renovations and customization the way freehold and duplex owners do. This means there is less opportunity to improve the property in order to maximize investment returns.
“When comparing duplexes to townhouses, it really comes down to your individual priorities—are you looking for a home, an investment, or some compromise between the two?” says Ariane. “Whatever it is, at Vancouver Townhouse, we work to help you understand the differences between various multi-residential homes and lots, so you can make the best decision for your family and your future.”