How Do I Make My House A Duplex?

dual occupancy melbourne houses
Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    You would not be the first person to explore splitting up a single-family home into two apartments in order to increase the amount of money that may be made from the property each month. What are the steps involved in converting a single-family home into a multi-family dwelling? How does one go about purchasing a home with the intention of subdividing it into many apartments after the fact? And even if it were, would it be practical?

    It is possible to accomplish this to your own home the majority of the time, and purchasing a home with the intention of converting it is frequently a fantastic option. However, there is no way to know for sure about the property you want to convert until you have asked yourself the appropriate questions about it.

    We have compiled this information along with this list of questions to assist you in determining whether or not the cost of converting an existing single-family home into a two-family home is worthwhile for any particular residence. See our list of available builder services melbourne to help you make an informed decision for your treatment.

    Do you think duplex apartments offer a lot of charm and character? Do you currently live in a house and have plans to convert it into a duplex in the near future? If this is the case, then it is undeniably a wise choice to go with that option. Duplex apartments are excellent housing solutions for families with children who are older, who require private space of their own, or simply for those who wish to add an additional source of income in the form of rental charges. These families and individuals can benefit from duplex apartments in a number of ways. You will be relieved to learn that converting a single-family home into a duplex is not a difficult undertaking and can be accomplished with relative ease provided that the important considerations are effectively managed. The following is a list of helpful hints that will aid you with the task at hand.

    duplex homes

    What Is A Duplex Apartment?

    Regardless of the layout of the individual residences, a multi-family home is considered to be a duplex if it contains two separate living units within the same structure. The units can either be placed next to one another or stacked on top of one another.

    In addition, there are two separate entrances leading to each individual apartment in duplex buildings. This indicates that each tenant has their own entry to their space. A house that has two doors side-by-side that lead into different living rooms within the same house is an example of a duplex. One of the doors leads upstairs, and the other leads downstairs. These are two distinct units, but they are often of comparable dimensions.

    In addition to duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes, there are several other types of housing that contain multiple homes within the same building. However, the term "duplex" can only be used to refer to multi-family housing that consists of two separate dwellings.

    There is a possibility of misunderstanding between a duplex and a twin home. Twin homes are actually two separate half-houses that share a same lot. A property that contains both a single-family home and a duplex is called a lot. It is possible to have duplexes that are owned by separate people, but each owner has an ownership interest in the unit, which indicates that there is shared lot ownership.

    What Is The Difference Between A Duplex And An Apartment?

    The ownership structure is the primary factor that differentiates a duplex from a townhouse, apartment, or condominium. Both units of a duplex that are owned by the same person are often rented out to separate tenants.

    Sometimes the owner will choose to live in one of the properties while renting out the other. New landlords, who may find the additional revenue from the other apartment useful in paying the monthly mortgage, may find this situation desirable because of the potential for increased monthly income.

    It's possible that the landlord lives in a different location yet still rents out both units.

    Should You Live In A Duplex?

    There are a few factors that contribute to the growing popularity of duplex living.

    To begin, duplexes provide many of the advantages that are typical of single-family homes, such as a yard, a garage, and increased levels of privacy. In comparison to single-family homes, duplexes often have lower monthly mortgage payments (but this depends on the area).

    You may be able to rent in a place with a higher value than you would ordinarily be able to if you were planning to rent a single-family home because duplex rentals are more reasonably priced than single-family home rentals.

    It goes without saying that you would have a neighbour living right next to you, but if you're seeking for amenities such as an outdoor space and a washer and dryer in the apartment, it might be worth it.

    What You Need to Know When Turning Your Home Into a Duplex? 

    It is not a novel concept to convert a single-family dwelling into a duplex. This is something that investors have been doing for a very long time in order to assist maximise their earnings. However, the movement is currently making big waves among homeowners who are looking for innovative strategies that will help them lower their mortgage payments.

    Homeowners who rent out a portion of their residences can reduce the amount of money they need to put towards their mortgages by charging their tenants an amount equal to half of what they pay themselves for their normal mortgage payment. Or, the homeowner might keep making their regular mortgage payments and put the rent money towards the principal of the loan, which would result in the home being paid off faster.

    Before you begin big remodelling projects and putting up walls, there are a few things you really need to be aware of. This notion may be interesting, but that doesn't change the fact that you need to know these things. When converting a single-family house into a duplex, there are a few key aspects of the project that need your attention.

    Zoning Issues

    Your house is probably zoned as a single-family dwelling, but you can never be sure. Therefore, before you can make it into a structure for two families, you need to check with the local zoning commision to see whether you can have your zoning altered. Only then can you turn it into a two-family dwelling. This may be simple or difficult to accomplish, as well as cost nothing or a lot of money, depending on where you reside. You will still be necessary to obtain the appropriate licences in order to carry out the job in a lawful manner, regardless of the factors that have been discussed.

    Requirements for a Two-Family Dwelling

    When it comes to determining whether or not a house is suitable for human habitation, each state and municipality has its own regulations. In order to ensure that the second half of your house satisfies the standards, you will need to take the necessary precautions to ensure that it is furnished with all of the essentials that are required of a house. Although you should check with the building authority in your area to confirm the standards, the following are typically considered to be among the fundamentals:

    • Every dwelling is required to have its own front door (in some cases, two doors leading outside)
    • There must be at least one bedroom, one bathroom, and one kitchen in each dwelling (or kitchen area)
    • Each home should have its own electricity metre, gas metre, and water metre.
    • You should check with your local building department to ensure that your duplex complies with the fire codes in your area to ensure that it is safe for occupants. A two-family property may also be subject to different fire code requirements.

    duplex dual occupancy melbourne

    Lender and Home Value Issues

    You are not required by law to inform your lender of your plans to convert your single-family house into a multifamily dwelling; nevertheless, they will learn of your intentions if you ever ask for another loan from them, such as one for the purpose of making home modifications or a home equity loan. Because having two residents in a home is a riskier proposition than having just one, your lender may view this modification in a negative light if you make it. Because of this, the likelihood of your loan being approved may decrease. Planning to build a home? MJS Construction Group brings your building project alive!

    The alteration may raise or lower the value of your home, depending on the neighbourhood in which it is located. If it goes up, then the likelihood of your lender being willing to deal with you increases.

    Tax Changes

    If you make this modification to your property, you should anticipate that your taxes will also shift accordingly. To begin, you should get ready for an increase in the amount of property tax you pay. However, because the other half of your home is an investment property, you will be able to make a wide variety of deductions that you aren't qualified for with your primary residence. These deductions include things like mortgage interest, property taxes, and charitable contributions.

    You'll be able to deduct utilities, property taxes, maintenance costs, mortgage interest, HOA fees, and insurance charges on your duplex apartment. It's even possible that you could be eligible for a homestead exemption on the principal residence you occupy.

    Do I Want to Buy a New Home or Convert an Existing One?

    Consider giving some thought to your answer to this significant enquiry. It is possible that the investment of time and resources required to convert a single-family home into a two-family dwelling is not worthwhile in many locations. Please read this essay all the way through if you choose to proceed in this direction. You will need to give careful consideration to everything that has been covered thus far.

    It's possible that you'd save money in the long run if you turned your current house into a two-family dwelling. Often, it is. You have already completed the closing procedure and have invested both time and money into ensuring that your home is habitable and up to code standards. You won't have to spend as much time or money on the first expenses, as you would if you bought a brand-new house.

    Regardless of the path that you choose to take, you will be required to acquire more knowledge regarding topics such as zoning, the building department, and other requirements imposed by the municipality, as well as funding.

    Am I Zoned for a Two-Family Structure?

    First things first, examine the zoning. Some locations won't make a distinction, but most will. If your property is not zoned for a two-family dwelling, you will have to investigate the possibility of having the zoning changed.

    If you want further information about rezoning, you should contact the municipal building department in most circumstances. Check with the city hall to find out who you need to talk to if the town the property is located in does not have a building department explicitly.

    When you have finished talking to the appropriate individuals, describe your plans for the property to them. They will inform you whether or not the property has the appropriate zoning for that use. If it isn't, you have the option of inquiring about the steps necessary to have it rezoned.

    What steps will need to be taken in order to have your property (or one that you are interested in purchasing) rezoned? Everything hinges on the particulars of the municipality in which you reside. It may require little more than filling out a couple of paperwork if you live in the Possum Grape area of Arkansas. If you live on Long Island, the procedure can be unreasonably pricey or it might be too much work for you to handle.

    Some communities will need you to make the house acceptable before they will rezone it; other municipalities may rezone it on a temporary basis, and then make that zoning permanent if you make the required adjustments in time. You will, however, need to submit applications for the appropriate permits in either scenario. In addition to that, you will have to make alterations to the house.

    Pros Of Living In A Duplex

    • Only one other unit to deal with: You likely won't have access to amenities that are common in apartment complexes like a pool or tennis courts. But living in a duplex means you only have to share common spaces with one other unit as opposed to a whole complex of people.
    • Being close to your neighbour: A duplex means you'll be in close proximity to your neighbour, but fully private and completely separate units. While this may seem like a negative to some, it could be a benefit depending on one's situation. For example, if you want to be close to relatives, you could rent out one unit and have your relatives in the other.

    The Cons Of Living In A Duplex

    • You and your neighbour will most likely share the yard and driveway, which could be a problem if your neighbour makes inappropriate use of these places or doesn't respect your personal space. Sharing may not always be the best approach to care for one another. Another possibility is that your next-door neighbour is also your landlord.
    • It's possible that your next-door neighbour is a whole nightmare: Even while this is true for any rental, whether it be a duplex or an apartment, the fact that you have a disagreeable next-door neighbour (with whom you share a wall) may make things more challenging. Having this knowledge will assist you in establishing the expectation, and it will ideally assist you in avoiding any unpleasant scenarios from occuring.
    • Potentially additional responsibilities: Given that duplexes are often privately owned properties, you can be expected to complete tasks such as yard work, shovelling snow, gardening, and general tidying up around the exterior areas.Building a Duplex for Beginners: Tips for Success

    Get Professionals Involved Early On

    Even if you have prior experience in the property investment industry, the creation of duplexes is a very different animal. When you get specialists involved early on, it will save you time and assist you avoid making rookie errors. To ensure that your construction goes off without a hitch, you might want to think about getting in touch with the following experts:

    • Town planner
    • Professional architect
    • Professional builder
    • Financial expert
    • Lawyer/solicitor

    Do Your Research

    Make sure you have all of your questions answered about the piece of land you plan to acquire for your duplex investment before you go ahead and make the purchase. Have conversations with knowledgeable people to confirm that the local council's zoning regulations will enable you to construct there. Keep in mind that duplexes are allowed in just some neighbourhoods, so make your decision carefully.

    Your parcel of property must adhere to the zoning regulations, and it should be located in an area that will ensure a satisfactory return on your investment. Locations that are experiencing rapid population expansion and have high rental yields will provide the best return on your investment. Before beginning construction on a duplex, it is essential to perform some research if the end goal is to have a duplex that generates a high rental return. Attend some open homes, have a conversation with a real estate agent, and do some research to find out what buyers and renters are looking for.

    Budget Responsibly

    Building a duplex comes with a significant amount of associated costs, particularly for first-time builders. If you don't make a budget from the beginning, you could end up in some serious financial trouble because of things like council fees and holding charges. The rapid creation of equity that duplexes offer is one of their primary benefits, but this benefit can only be realised if the construction costs are kept below reasonable limits.

    Duplexes are comprised of two individual units; nevertheless, depending on whether or not each of those units has its own title, the duplex might have to be sold as a single entity. Think about the purposes for which you will be putting the duplex to use. Will you be:

    • Renting both units
    • Selling both units
    • Selling one unit, renting the other
    • Sell/renting one unit, retaining the other

    It is in your best interest to consult with a financial professional who is able to assist you in gaining an understanding of your current financial capabilities. These experts will be able to guide you through the potential repercussions of constructing a duplex for you.

    Perform A Feasibility Study

    Take the time early on in the process of developing your project to do a feasibility study to help ensure that the time and money you invest in it will be worthwhile. If you want to ensure that your project has a decent chance of being successful, you really must do this. After finishing the analysis, you will be able to decide whether or not it is beneficial for you to construct your duplex.

    Invest In Quality

    Investing in a nice rental property is essential if you wish to achieve a satisfactory return on your rental income. Because today's buyers and renters are more selective when it comes to their properties, it's crucial to pay attention to the trends that are currently in demand. The architecture of duplexes is evolving to become more sophisticated and up to date. Before you begin creating your own duplex, it will be to your advantage to first conduct some research into existing examples.

    Choosing the appropriate home builders is also extremely important when it comes to the design of the house. If you want exceptional outcomes, it is not necessary to hire the most famous people in the industry. However, you should make sure that the pros you hire have a number of successfully finished projects that they are willing to show you.

    To begin, it is essential that you determine whether or not the zoning permits that allow houses to be converted into duplex apartments are applicable in the neighbourhood where you currently reside. Whether you are aware of this fact or not, the reality remains that the policies that are in place in each state and in each neighbourhood are known to vary. Either having a conversation with the local counsellor or visiting the planning website of your state is a fantastic technique to acquire information regarding the policy that is applicable in your region.

    After you have familiarised yourself with the rules, the next step is to choose the kind of duplex that most appeals to you. There are two distinct categories of duplex apartments to choose from. The first variety consists of two independent units that share a wall with one another. The second variety is an apartment that has living areas that are organised into the shape of two levels, the basement and the first level.

    If you want to establish two independent units on the same level that share a wall, you will first need to divide the space into two halves so that you may do this. In addition to this, you need to make sure that the two units have the essential utility facilities installed in them. For example, both of the units ought to be furnished with conveniences such as a kitchen and a bathroom. If you're looking for a high-quality, affordable builder in Melbourne, you're in the right place! Check MJS Construction Group!

    If, on the other hand, you want to build two separate dwelling units on two different levels, you will need to start from scratch on the first level and equip it with full utility facilities. These must be accessible via stairs that lead up from the basement level of the building. This is undeniably a significant amount of building work, and in order to complete it well, you will require the assistance of a qualified interior decorator.

    It is important to note that many states mandate that duplex apartments have separate two addresses instead of a single address, and that in order to obtain these addresses, you will need to get in touch with the sewage, water, and electric providers. It is possible to accomplish this to your own home the majority of the time, and purchasing a home with the intention of converting it is frequently a fantastic option. Your monthly mortgage payments may be reduced by a large amount if you converted a single-family home into a two-family dwelling.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Duplex

    Cost of investment: Price per square foot of a duplex may be more expensive than buying a single-family home, depending on the location and the marketplace. Rental cash flow: Gross rental income from a duplex can be higher compared to one house.

    In most cases, Australian duplexes consist of one overall structure divided into two identical halves by a central wall. Duplexes can be covered by one land title or can exist as separate titles. The two homes can be sold together or individually, depending on the arrangement.

    If you're thinking of building a duplex in Australia, the average amount is anywhere between $550K to $1.3 Million, not including the costs of the land.

    Most duplexes are single or two-story structures that may have already been a single-family home. Duplexes are also typically larger, with the average duplex around 900 square feet.

    Duplexes offer a sense of high-end living as it provides more space and amenities. Unlike an apartment, living in a duplex provides more privacy as you will not be sharing some common services and spaces with any other family. With these benefit in hand, it allows you to get to more rent as compared to an apartment.

    Google Rating
    Based on 24 reviews
    Scroll to Top