An apartment is a style of housing designed for one person or a small family. The specific type of apartment known as a duplex is a little different. Blending together the convenience of an apartment and the privacy of a single-family house, a duplex is one of the hottest trends of today’s housing market. This has a lot of people asking, “what is a duplex?”

If you want to know the answer, you may also be considering renting or purchasing a new home. A duplex could be the right choice for you; no matter what you decide as you browse through listings, it is best you know the difference between a duplex and other types of housing designed for singles or small families.

What is a Duplex Apartment?

An apartment designed to house two different single-family units in a single building, on one lot, is known as a duplex. A duplex apartment commonly has features you would expect from any other type of an apartment, including ownership by a sole proprietor, laundry, driveways, landscaping, patios, porches, and more.

Common features of duplex architecture include a shared wall, floor, and separate entrances into the same “house.” From the street, the duplex may look like one home, however, with enough curb appeal, a unit may take on the appearance of two very distinct homes albeit within a single structure.

Types of Duplexes

The most common type of duplex apartments is one entire building sharing a side or floor with another resident.

  • Single-Story

These are the types of duplex apartments that are one story, ground level units. These types of duplex units are convenient, especially for families with children because they offer easy access to the streets, are simple to move into, and can be customized for every type of style preference.

 Duplex Apartment

  • Two-Story

This duplex apartment design includes units that are separated by a floor/ceiling. This accommodates many different lifestyles and diverse tenant needs. This is also referred to as one unit up, one down style.

  • Side-by-Side

These duplexes are multi-level. With two separate bi-level units, there is a shared wall to create a style comfortable for a private living of both residents.

An advantage of the dual construction includes units with private bedrooms and bathrooms. Many buildings also have additional square footage on the lot where the duplex is built.

A Duplex Versus a Townhouse or Condo

People shopping for a new home may decide to rent or purchase single-family housing. Before making the decision to live in a duplex, compare it to a townhouse or condominium. This is the best way to find the right home for you based on a combination of amenities including privacy, landscaping, and affordability.

  • Duplex

May look like a single home or bi-level; is owned by one person; a tenant may not have the right to make changes to the unit.

  • Townhouse

Traditionally, this row style building has a narrow design with three or more floors. Can be found in a city or small town.

  • Condominium

Commonly a multi-unit building with shared floors, ceilings, and walls. May also have special ownership rights.

Is Duplex Living for Me?

Every city offers its own charm, but there is no place like New York City. There, a Maisonette or New York style apartment, also known as a Manhattan duplex, is commonly considered to be an affordable option for single and multi-family living in Manhattan. These duplexes can also be some of the most expensive properties in New York City.

Architecturally, a Maisonette is a single occupancy unit in a tall two-story apartment building, including a spiral staircase. However, In your city, a duplex may have a completely different style, curb appeal, and custom look based on your design.

Call the office real estate agents in Gilbert to find your next home in the Phoenix area. Not only will you get to shop the best selection of Arizona real estate properties, but you will also get tips from the pros on how to find the right duplex apartment for you.