What Is a Duplex Apartment – Everything You Need to Know


Suppose the benefits of living in a luxurious sound appealing to you, but you are not yet fully ready to invest or own property, then without any doubt. In that case, a duplex apartment is the one to go for, especially if you prefer to live in a dense urban center where property prices are high. Now, you may be wondering, what is a duplex apartment? Don’t worry if you do not know. Please go through the article as we have everything you need to know about this home-style before taking the final call. 

What is a duplex apartment

A duplex, not to be confused with a twin home, is a two-family home with two units sharing a common wall in a single building. They can be side by side or on top of each other and usually have the same square footage.  Each duplex unit has its entrance, kitchen, bedrooms, and bathrooms, although it is most likely that there will be a shared backyard, garage, or storage area.  A duplex usually has a single owner living in a unit and renting the other out. However, that is not always the scenario. A duplex is perfect for families with multiple generations as you can live together while also maintaining privacy. Duplex projects are becoming increasingly popular, filling the demand for affordable housing that many are looking for. There are also triplexes and quadplexes, which are exactly what they sound like; three to four separate units in a large building. 

What are the different types of duplex

A Duplex has different definitions in the United States. In New York City, a duplex is a single-unit apartment spread over two floors connected by a staircase. These are called ” Maisonettes” and are a much more spacious and luxurious option. However, the common definition is as mentioned above; separate units in a single building, side by side or stacked vertically. Outside spaces are usually shared, and for those who love socializing, this might be their best choice.   An important distinction between common duplexes and maisonettes is ownership. A duplex is a unit in a building consisting of two teams owned by a single individual or entity. On the other hand, a maisonette is a separate unit in a building more often owned by corporations, investors, or groups. 

What are the pros and cons of living in a Duplex Apartment

Here is a list of things to consider before deciding to rent or buy a duplex apartment:


  • A Duplex apartment is more affordable than a regular house and thus allows renters and buyers to live in a better neighborhood than they usually would have.
  • Maintenance costs and labor is shared among the units. 
  • Duplexes will enable you to live close to your loved ones as they can live in the other team.
  • You have your driveway or garage, which is not available in apartments.
  • If you own a duplex, you may rent out one or both units for extra income.
  • Duplexes are usually more spacious than apartments, giving you room to live freely.


  • Privacy is scarce as you will share a wall or ceiling with your neighbor.
  • Your neighbor may also be your landlord, which can be stressful.
  • You will have to share certain spaces such as patios, yards, and even laundry facilities.
  • Mowing the lawn and clearing the snow will be your responsibility.
  • Amenities like a gym or a pool won’t be available.

Is a duplex apartment best for you

To figure out if a duplex apartment is the ideal option for you or not, you must first ask yourself what things you are looking for in a home. Such as, if you are looking for square footage, privacy, and access to outdoor facilities while still being cheaper than a traditional home, then duplex apartments are for you. Besides, Duplexes can also be a more cost-effective way of buying your own home as you can always rent out the other unit to help pay the mortgage. 


Higher living costs and other socio-economic issues have made buying or renting single-family homes tougher. Duplexes are becoming increasingly popular as they perfectly fill the gap between apartment living and single homes. Hopefully, all your queries regarding what is a duplex apartment are clear now. So, if the pros outweigh the cons for you, then definitely Duplexes are your best bet for a comfortable living experience.

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