The term is quite common in real estate terminology, but it needs to be pointed out that “duplex” means something different in New York. Most states define a duplex as any two-unit dwelling connected by a common wall or floor. This is essentially a multi-family home. These are often purchased so the owner can rent out the adjoining apartment. In New York City, a duplex means a two-floor apartment connected by a stairway and elevator in Manhattan and Brooklyn. In other words, it is what you get when you combine two condo or co-op apartments into one. Sometimes the bottom level can be a basement but not always.
Most were constructed when the owner of a co-op or condo apartment purchased the unit above or below their home and redesigned it for their own needs. You can also find some connected side to side, but they’re less common than top-to-bottom conversions.
What are the benefits of owning a duplex?What are the benefits of owning a duplex?
Space and lots of it! Duplex apartments come in many different sizes. The most desirable being those in which the square footage of the top floor closely matches or is identical to the lower level. Families covet these, especially as they allow for maximum use of living space and the novelty of a two-story layout. In addition, separate levels mean separate rooms and living areas, so you’ll get a little more privacy than in regular apartments.
Considerations when buying a duplexConsiderations when buying a duplex
Having that extra level sounds great, but you need to consider that you’ll need to use those stairs daily. They add an impressive look, but they’re more of a space saver than an ideal mode of transport between floors. Most come in a spiral form, so you can forget about dragging a king-sized mattress up and down one. You’ll also need extra caution when using them after a late night of adult beverages. If you’re not thrilled by this, perhaps a duplex isn’t for you. You can always get around this by finding one that includes an elevator. It all comes down to a personal choice, so think about it before deciding.
Triplex apartmentsTriplex apartments
Although rarer than duplexes, it’s also possible to find triplex apartments. As the name implies, these are apartments that cover three floors. These types are usually only located in buildings where each story is taller than usual. Although it’s possible to find parts of the original design, it is more common to find ones that have been renovated to connect the three floors.