Buying 1/2 of a duplex???

Just today, I was presented with a deal to buy “1/2 of a duplex.”

This is the second time I’ve heard of this. The first time, I thought it was just somebody crazy or trying to pull something creative.

However, I’m now wondering if this is just another way of calling it a townhouse?

Are there any downsides to buying something like this, for a rental… if the numbers make sense? (I can buy it a little over 35% off retail value, and it needs only minor cosmetics).


I owned one of them for a while NE off Cameron and I 83 on McKie Cove. Nothing more than a condo or townhome with big yard. Painting, roofing, other exterior maintenance could be a problem if neighbor does not want to help pay. Do not know much more to add, I hope some of the guru’s that post here can add some more.

Thank you,

Ted P. Stokely Jr
11505 Sw Oaks
Austin, Texas 78737

512-301-9171 home
512-587-6177 mobile

It’s just a zoning issue. There are a number of properties like that in Austin and Pflugerville. My guess is that it would be similar to a duplex in that it will have less appreciation, but as long as the numbers make sense, why not?

It might be wise to have someone knowledgeable review a survey, easements, and zoning. Other than that, I don’t think there’s much additional risk, assuming there are separate meters for utilities.

Thanks, Tim.

Yeah… it turns out it’s zoned a townhouse. Which makes more sense to me, than calling it a duplex. And yes… there are separate meters. (Whew!)

Thanks for your input.

  • Adam.

Hi Guys -

These seem to be more popular in some areas than in others, but they’ve been around for awhile. One important point – two 1/2 duplexes usually sell for more than one entire duplex.

Duplexes sell at a major discount in many parts of the country because they are out of favor at the moment. They’re too small for the real players and aren’t seen as “flashy” enough for most newbies. They are “unloved” for want of a better term.

I hate to admit it, but I’m not usually interested in them either (at the one or two deals at a time level),but a while back I came across two packages of duplexes (over a hundred units each – one 148 units and the other 160) for sale at an attractive price.

My game plan was to take these “unloved” units and resell them as single-family townhouses(half duplexes). After all, less than five blocks from one of these developments were new “patio” and “zero lot line” homes starting at $105K.

Although the timeframe was fairly long – about 30 months from start to finish – the end result was well worth the trouble.

Just something to keep in mind when you come across these things.

Take care,

Eric C