We Bought a Duplex

Last month I wrote about my thoughts on deciding to buy or rent in our new home city.  I am pleased to report that we found and purchased a duplex property!  I can’t begin to tell you how many properties we looked at during the last several weeks.  Our realtor did a great job and above all, was very patient!  It was helpful to look at so many places because the differences between every property was significant.  Features.  Location.  Price.  We had several things to consider overall.  In the end, we decided to delay our single family home purchase for a couple more years — choosing to become landlords instead.

As the name suggests, the property we purchased is a 2-unit multi-family home.  The purchase price was $185,000, but after all the inspections, fees, and closing costs, the final outlay was closer to $189,000.  I’ll share more financial details in a future post.  Back to the property — it’s a two-story, split-level entry construction that was built only 5 years ago.  Each side has 1250 sq feet of living space with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen, living room, laundry room, 2 car garage, front porch, and a deck.  Combining the two sides, there really is a good amount of space to the place.  It should appeal very well to young families and old alike.  The neighborhood is a small street ending in a cul-de-sac, where all 10-12 buildings are the same.  A small neighborhood of duplexes.

We just signed the paperwork this week and are the official owners, but we will not be moving in immediately.  That step gets delayed about 5-6 months since both sides of the property are fully rented.  I suppose it is good and bad.  Good that the place is already earning an income from day #1, but bad that we have to find alternative housing for ourselves in the meantime.  As part of the purchase, the existing lease agreements and terms were transferred from the old owners and into our names.  We are legally obligated to honor those terms until the initial lease agreement term ends, at which time we can choose to renew month-to-month or give notice that we want someone to move out.

The plan is to give notice to the tenants whose contract will come due first.  After they move out, we will go in and clean-up the place and make some improvements to our own desire.  Then we’ll move into that one side and call it home.  Looking at both agreements, the first opportunity to give that notice will not take place until September.  Between now and then, we have signed a short-term apartment lease with another property company.  That will be our home for a little while.  But you can believe I am already counting down the days until we get to move into our new duplex!

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