Apr 21, 2011

Homebuyers: How About a Duplex . . . or Triplex . . .

Kudos to SmartMoney, which in its April, 2011 issue came up with one of those topics that makes you say, "Why didn't I think of that?"

tin_shingles.jpgThe article is called (in the print edition) "All in the (Multi)family," by Charles Passy, and points out that, with house prices and mortgage rates low, and rents relatively high, now is an excellent time to buy a house with more than one living unit. You live in one unit, and rent out the other(s).

What's particularly great about this strategy is that buying a duplex is seldom twice as expensive as buying a, uh, one-plex -- while you can sometimes cover more than half the mortgage with the rental income. And unlike other investments, this is a fairly reliable source of regular income.

What's not so great about this strategy is that you'll have to add "landlord" to the list of responsibilities in your life. For an idea of what that's like, see Nolo's article, "What It's Like Being a Landlord."