Although they have become quite common, a lot of confusion still persists, with regard to the duplex house meaning. As they are often confused with two-story homes, let us help you decipher the difference between a duplex and a two-story home.

What is a duplex house?

A duplex house is a residential building constructed on two floors. It has a single dining room and a single kitchen. It has a common central wall and consists of two living units, either side-by-side or on two floors, with separate entries. While there are two floors, it is sold together and owned by an individual. It may have separate entry points for both floors.

Duplexes generally have a kitchen, hall, and bedrooms on the lower floor while the upper floor houses the master bedroom. A duplex always has two floors and never three or four floors, in which case it would be called a multiplex.

Duplex homes may even house two families, where each floor is a separate dwelling altogether. Duplexes can provide healthy rental returns because the owner’s family can always rent out one section of their property to tenants. In such cases, the entrance will be separate and a common wall will divide the large house into two.

Difference between two-story house and duplex

A duplex house can be a two-story structure but not all two-story buildings are categorized as duplexes. In duplexes, the floors are connected through a staircase, while two-story properties may be independent of each other and may or may not be connected.

Difference between duplex and villa

A villa may or may not be a two-story property and is usually larger than a duplex house. Both are used for residential purposes. A villa is generally the first choice for those who want total privacy. In fact, the villa concept dates back to the Roman era, when the rich and the famous moved to the countryside during the summers. Today, villas may be independently owned homes in a plot of land but yet are within a gated community. Villas also offer amenities such as a clubhouse, gym, pool, etc., unlike a duplex.

What is the difference between a duplex and a townhouse?

A townhouse can have more living spaces but a duplex typically has only two. Further, a duplex is first purchased by an owner and then rented by a tenant. This is not the case for a townhouse as individuals directly on the property. Thus, owners of a townhouse can bring about changes in the property but a tenant in a duplex cannot do so without the permission of the owner.

Difference between duplex and penthouse

Unlike a duplex that is a two-storeyed property, a penthouse is always located on the top floor of a multi-story building or apartment. These units are expensive, as they offer a good view and are generally the only unit on that particular floor design. All the units that were supposed to be on this floor, are consolidated into one.

What are the different types of duplex homes?

A duplex house can comprise living units designed side-by-side or as two floors. Usually, they are available in the following categories:

  • Standard duplex: It is a two-story house, where one floor is connected to the second floor by stairs. The lower floor comprises the living room and the kitchen while the upper floors include bedrooms and the kids’ rooms.
  • Ground duplex: These are duplexes built on the ground floors of apartments, wherein the lower floors face a garden and include the bedrooms. The upper floor comprises the living room and kitchen. It is suited for homeowners who prefer gardens and have pets.
  • Low-rise duplex: It is a duplex house that includes spacious balconies and an attic on the second floor. Usually, it is built over a smaller area, as compared to other types of duplex homes. 

Why choose a duplex as your first home?

A duplex has several benefits and here are some reasons why you should choose it as your first home:

  • A duplex provides individuals with tax benefits and fetches added revenue. Owners can buy a duplex, live on one side, and rent the other. This increases the owner’s returns from the investment they made on the property.
  • Both, the buyers and tenants of a duplex, enjoy greater mortgage facilities in a duplex. The owner can recoup some of the interest paid on the mortgage if he rents a portion of it, rather than owning the entire property on his own.
  • A duplex can be used for several purposes. In case you want to set up an office, you can simply set it up on one floor and have a home office.

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