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Multi-Residential homes included duplexes, triplexes and other multi-unit properties up to apartments. These are generally considered to be investment properties. Duplexes are often purchased by those who want to live in one unit while renting the other side. This helps defray the cost of mortgage, utilities and other cost associated with operating a household.
Smaller multi-unit properties up to 5 units can be purchased and mortgaged under the same terms as single family units – but over 5 units you will need a commercial mortgage. In most cases multi-residential homes are not eligible for mortgage insurance and you will have to have a 20% downpayment. Some lenders can offer 5% downpayment on duplexes.
When purchasing a multi-unit, even a duplex, you should think carefully and decide if you really want to have to deal with tenants. Running this type of property is a business and especially if you are planning to live in one of the units, you may want to consider if you want to be as close to tenants as they will have easy access to you when they have complaints or problems.