Owner Occupied Duplex
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Owner Occupied Duplex (by Jeff [OH]) Mar 13, 2018 2:46 PM
       Owner Occupied Duplex (by Deanna [TX]) Mar 13, 2018 2:57 PM
       Owner Occupied Duplex (by DanNBoston [MA]) Mar 13, 2018 2:59 PM
       Owner Occupied Duplex (by JenZ [CT]) Mar 13, 2018 3:07 PM
       Owner Occupied Duplex (by GKARL [PA]) Mar 13, 2018 3:38 PM
       Owner Occupied Duplex (by razorback_tim [AR]) Mar 13, 2018 3:39 PM
       Owner Occupied Duplex (by LindaJ [NY]) Mar 13, 2018 3:43 PM
       Owner Occupied Duplex (by WMH [NC]) Mar 13, 2018 3:46 PM
       Owner Occupied Duplex (by J [FL]) Mar 13, 2018 4:29 PM
       Owner Occupied Duplex (by Katherine [TX]) Mar 13, 2018 4:45 PM
       Owner Occupied Duplex (by Jane B. [MA]) Mar 13, 2018 5:57 PM
       Owner Occupied Duplex (by toni akin [CT]) Mar 13, 2018 7:53 PM
       Owner Occupied Duplex (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Mar 13, 2018 8:18 PM
       Owner Occupied Duplex (by Robert J [CA]) Mar 13, 2018 9:31 PM
       Owner Occupied Duplex (by Baman [AL]) Mar 14, 2018 3:29 AM
       Owner Occupied Duplex (by Vee [OH]) Mar 14, 2018 6:15 AM
       Owner Occupied Duplex (by David [KY]) Mar 14, 2018 7:56 AM
       Owner Occupied Duplex (by John... [MI]) Mar 14, 2018 7:59 AM
       Owner Occupied Duplex (by plenty [MO]) Mar 14, 2018 7:37 PM
       Owner Occupied Duplex (by Jeff [OH]) Mar 15, 2018 7:05 AM
       Owner Occupied Duplex (by Nellie [ME]) Mar 15, 2018 8:31 PM
       Owner Occupied Duplex (by J [FL]) Mar 16, 2018 7:38 AM
       Owner Occupied Duplex (by Annie [IN]) Mar 16, 2018 8:08 AM

Owner Occupied Duplex (by Jeff [OH]) Posted on: Mar 13, 2018 2:46 PM

Long time lurker, first time poster and would love to hear the opinions of such an experienced group.

I'm looking at buying a duplex and living in one side and renting out the other. I make enough to cover the full mortgage without a renter, and the rent of one unit would be a bit more than the mortgage.

The math makes sense in my head, it's the practical issues of sharing a wall that gives me pause.

Have any of you owner occupied? Success stories? Horror stories? Suggestions?


Owner Occupied Duplex (by Deanna [TX]) Posted on: Mar 13, 2018 2:57 PM

I haven't owner-occupied, but my first question is-- how's the parking? Do you each have your own dedicated parking area? Do you have to coordinate with each other to get your cars out?

Parking is one of the fastest ways to turn reasonable adults into squabbling children. :) --96.46.xxx.xx

Owner Occupied Duplex (by DanNBoston [MA]) Posted on: Mar 13, 2018 2:59 PM

I have done what you are asking. Never had a problem. Some potential issues could occur if you have a tenant issue.

Screen, screen, screen and do not be their friends. Keep it a business relationship

Set the rules and maintain those rules. Trash, common areas, yard use etc.

You'll be able to keep you eyes on them and after a few years maybe move on to the next property.

Good luck- go for it and don't overpay --98.216.xx.x

Owner Occupied Duplex (by JenZ [CT]) Posted on: Mar 13, 2018 3:07 PM

Sounds like a no-brainer. Call the local housing authority or whatever is in the town and find out if the apartment needs to be inspected, etc. before renting it out. That would be my word of advice in the lessons learned column. In my town, each apartment has to have a certificate of occupancy before renting between each tenant. If you don't you could be fined. I doubt it is like that in Ohio. BTW, I would much rather someone be next to me than above me! --32.211.xxx.xx

Owner Occupied Duplex (by GKARL [PA]) Posted on: Mar 13, 2018 3:38 PM

I have a rental where a portion is rented to a residential tenant while I use the other portion as office space and I rent the office space as well. As far as the residential tenant is concerned, it's worked out pretty well. For starters he's a decent tenant and is quiet. Where you reside at the place, the screening effort needs to be 4 or 5 times rather than 3. --64.121.xxx.xxx

Owner Occupied Duplex (by razorback_tim [AR]) Posted on: Mar 13, 2018 3:39 PM

I did this for 7 years. Had no issues. Still have the duplex. Its a cash cow. --166.137.xxx.xx

Owner Occupied Duplex (by LindaJ [NY]) Posted on: Mar 13, 2018 3:43 PM

In NY you can deny tenants in a duplex that you live in for more than in just a rental. If you don't want kids, you have the option with owner occupied, you can't with just a rental unit otherwise.

As owner, if you want you can do more sound proofing or upgrading that a tenant would not be able to do. The down side is that you actual see the day to day living that a tenant does, but that could be good too.

You can probably get a better rate on a mortgage and if you stick it out a year or two, and look for a better unit as you learn the ins and outs of renting. Then upgrade yourself --96.236.xx.xx

Owner Occupied Duplex (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Mar 13, 2018 3:46 PM

My kids did this for several years. They still have the duplex, now have their own SFH. Do it! --50.82.xxx.xx

Owner Occupied Duplex (by J [FL]) Posted on: Mar 13, 2018 4:29 PM

If you don't mind seeing them all the time I think it could be even easier than a unit in a different neighborhood. If you aren't a total pushover, and if they have any kind of brains, they will know they can't get away with flagrant lease violations.

If you don't screen properly and rent to someone on a handshake it could turn into a nightmare obviously, especially if they're involved in domestic violence and such things, but it doesn't sound like you're the type of person who makes those mistakes.


Owner Occupied Duplex (by Katherine [TX]) Posted on: Mar 13, 2018 4:45 PM

We used to have a wonderful lady here, Clara(MI), God rest her soul, who started out just as you are considering many years ago.

I think she was widowed young, and bought a duplex, and rented out one side, living in the other. She swore by that strategy (and she used to give lots of wise advice around here.

If the numbers work, I say do it. If I had it to do over again I'd start out that way. --98.182.xxx.xx

Owner Occupied Duplex (by Jane B. [MA]) Posted on: Mar 13, 2018 5:57 PM

We started off with a three family (triple decker) in Cambridge, MA.

We had fun.

I'd do some privacy things, like fences, so you aren't sitting in the back yard staring at each other.

And choose someone you like.

Again, the friend part is difficult, because you will always be the "rich landlord." --99.249.xxx.xx

Owner Occupied Duplex (by toni akin [CT]) Posted on: Mar 13, 2018 7:53 PM

Jenz...what part of CT do your properties lie in that requires inspection between tenants? My rentals are in Killingly area and is not like that (thankfully because I have higher turnover in a downtown area). CT is one of the most tenant friendly states though, even though its the landlord that pays high taxes and water bills. --72.92.xxx.xx

Owner Occupied Duplex (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Posted on: Mar 13, 2018 8:18 PM

Screen really carefully and use a month to month agreement so you can get rid of the tenant if you make a mistake in your selection. --174.216.xx.xx

Owner Occupied Duplex (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Mar 13, 2018 9:31 PM

I know the feeling, sharing wall with noisy tenants. But I'm also a contractor with some savings behind every buy. I purchased a 4 unit wood frame building. Not only did tenants share a common wall but also a common floor/ceiling. Tenants started to move because of the noise. Some people were never taught to be considerate when the sun goes down. Other party all night. To deal with this I first had to learn how to manage problems an give tenants fair warning before I evicted them.

Then I sound proofed between unit walls and floors. Now i have better tenants and sound reduction in place making my building a nice place for anyone to live.... --47.156.xx.xx

Owner Occupied Duplex (by Baman [AL]) Posted on: Mar 14, 2018 3:29 AM

I did this for 5 years, lived almost rent free. The best duplex is one with private entrances so that you don't have face to face interaction on a daily basis as you come and go. Remember to keep that wall up between you and have only a tenant/landlord relationship. --172.11.xx.xxx

Owner Occupied Duplex (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: Mar 14, 2018 6:15 AM

You will have to be wise in the screening so you don't end up with the marvels of lousy tenant clogging drains, needing each light bulb replaced with 2 week intervals, loud motorcycles arriving at 1130PM. But depending on where you are located in OH you will want to team up with a local landlord group to fight against any registration/inspection fees since the 2014 federal court issue in Portsmouth that ruled these inspections unconstitutional but the cities change the name to keep causing the prices of rental costs to rise unrealistically. --76.188.xxx.xx

Owner Occupied Duplex (by David [KY]) Posted on: Mar 14, 2018 7:56 AM

My first property I ever bought was a really cool duplex. It was cool because it had an oversized 1 bedroom 1 bath apartment downstairs and a 3 bedroom 2 bath upstairs. How perfect is that? I lived in the small apartment and the rent from the upstairs paid for everything and then some.

Basement had a laundry room and separate entrances. I even ran cable upstairs since I payed for the cable television and offered them free basic cable which they loved and was a tax write off. I was able to keep an eye on the property living there and never had a problem.

Also being an owner occupant will open up some foreclosures investors cannot bid on till the owner occupant bidding phase is over with. Sometimes you can pick up a great deal on homes that have a 1 year owner occupant restriction. Also one other cool thing is you can tell people with Service dogs and ESA animals to take a hike. You don't have to accept them because you live there.

Then there are the tax benefits since you say you have a job that covers everything anyways. Make sure you have the right amount of dependents claimed to offset everything you can write off from the duplex and maximize your W2 earnings and get all your federal money back. For instance on that property I paid for all the utilities because they were not separated and I could write it all off. Also the lawn maintenance was deductible and all repairs. There are so many benefits to doing an owner occupant duplex. In fact every rental I own I have lived in while I rehab it. I move a lot =) Good luck --173.239.xxx.x

Owner Occupied Duplex (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 14, 2018 7:59 AM

This is exactly what I wish I had done when I was younger and we bought our first home. I could have been into rentals at least 5 years earlier. I say go for it! :)

- John...


Owner Occupied Duplex (by plenty [MO]) Posted on: Mar 14, 2018 7:37 PM

Just you? Or do you have a family or partner as well? --99.203.xx.xxx

Owner Occupied Duplex (by Jeff [OH]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2018 7:05 AM

Plenty: It's just me.

Anyone have experience sound proofing an existing home? --99.203.x.xxx

Owner Occupied Duplex (by Nellie [ME]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2018 8:31 PM

As an occupied duplex (up/down) all showings have the following statement made:

If you like loud parties or loud music you wont like it here. We are looking for quiet tenants. (The look on one 19 year old male face was priceless as he looks around the double living room. I could just see the parties he was planning in this space. I said that and his face just fell in disappointment.)

It has been very effective for 27 years. We also have a lease that we can give a 30 day notice to vacate if needs be. --64.222.xxx.xxx

Owner Occupied Duplex (by J [FL]) Posted on: Mar 16, 2018 7:38 AM

"Anyone have experience sound proofing an existing home?"

Jeff I own one side of a duplex (a different LL owns the other side with a separate deed).

Maybe the tenants on the other side have just been very quiet but there's never been any problem with noise carrying through the walls when I've been over there working on the unit (and I was over there a lot, including at night). --72.188.xxx.xx

Owner Occupied Duplex (by Annie [IN]) Posted on: Mar 16, 2018 8:08 AM

Wish we had done that years ago. If the numbers are good, I say go for it. It would be a great way to get started in RE. Good luck!!! --104.152.xx.xx

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