Is owning a duplex or going after an apartment building better for you? A duplex is, as the name indicates, made up of two separate units, usually side by side, within the same structure. An apartment is typically a single residential unit within a larger building containing several or many similar units. Of course, we’re all aware of this difference, but it is that from which many other major differences flow that many people may not be aware of. So let’s take a look at 5 key differences between owning a duplex vs. an apartment building in Cleveland. And to get a good handle on these differences, we’ll examine them from a tenant’s-eye point of view.
Most of the time, duplexes are larger (having more square footage) than apartments. Duplexes are just two units in one building while many apartments are crammed into one structure. And this makes a duplex more attractive to people looking for a roomier place.
So when it comes to owning a duplex in Cleveland, keep in mind that “[t]he average size of a unit in a duplex in the U.S is slightly over 1000 square feet, which is more than enough to accommodate a family. On the other hand, the average size of an apartment in the U.S was 941 square feet in 2018, 5% smaller than it was in 2008.”
In addition, duplexes usually have more outdoor space, often both a front yard and a back yard. With apartments, the only outdoor space is usually the common area(s). Ultimately, size matters a lot for many prospective tenants.
Another of the major differences between owning a duplex vs. an apartment building in Cleveland is that with duplex tenants usually have more freedom and flexibility with respect to customizing and personalizing. There are far fewer neighbors, and so the need for restrictive rules and regulations is much smaller.
Many apartments, on the other hand, often have very restrictive rules. In fact, in some of them, tenants aren’t allowed to repaint walls, let alone have pets.
So depending on the area and neighborhood, owning a duplex may be a better option. Be sure, then, to contact a Cleveland agent to find out about the local market and local demographics. To find out more about this, just call or text (440) 628-1321.
Privacy is another area where differences arise. Owning a duplex in Cleveland means that you can offer tenants more privacy. Tenants may share a driveway and the back yard, but they have only one neighbor in the building.
An apartment affords far less privacy chiefly because “there are more neighbors to co-exist with. Outside [the] apartment, there is no personal space, and [tenants] always have to be mindful of others.”
4. Features and Amenities
And then there are features and amenities to consider. Duplexes often have features similar to those found in a traditional single-family dwelling, sometimes having in-unit laundries, private driveways, and even garages.
An apartment, on the other hand, doesn’t have these features, but often offers other amenities that make up for this lack. It’s a toss-up then whether owning a duplex or an apartment is better when you consider that apartment living often offers a pool, clubhouse, organized events, and special safety/security measures. In addition, apartment buildings often have a variety of types and sizes of units, giving you “a wider selection to work with.”
5. Availability and Location
Also, when it comes to the differences between owning a duplex vs. an apartment building in Cleveland, you have to factor in availability and location.
Duplexes are typically not easy to come by. “They are not as readily available as apartments since they are generally bigger in size. If you want to live within or in close proximity to an urban area, you have a better chance of finding an apartment rather than a duplex.”
Apartments, on the other hand, are more readily available, and they are typically closer to or within urban areas. Availability, but especially location, makes them more attractive to people who work or go to school in the city and want to live near their job or school so that they don’t have to waste a lot of time every day on a long commute.
Making the Right Choice
These are the major differences between owning a duplex vs. an apartment building in Cleveland, but by no means all the differences. As an investor, you really need to be aware of all the differences in order to make the best investment decisions regarding the properties you purchase. And that’s where your experienced Cleveland real estate agent comes in.
A good local agent can help you understand more of the differences, analyze the local market, and even calculate income potential. Thorough knowledge of these things is a must.