What is the difference between a duplex and a duet home?

Can you tell the difference between a duplex and a duet home? This is either a duplex or a duet - how will you know which it is?The difference between a duplex and a duet home is not obvious, and many people may think they are the same thing.  Duplexes and duet homes both involve two attached residential units.  But legally and financially, the difference between a duplex and a duet home is huge!

Below we’ll review:

  • Video explanation of the difference between a duplex and a duet home
  • What is a duplex
  • What is a duet home
  • How do you know if a property is one or the other
  • Can the type or classification be changed?

The photo to the right is of a San Jose home I sold a few years back.  You cannot tell from the image, but there is a front door off to the right of the single car garage door, and back around on the left side, near the double car garage door, there’s another front door. There are 2 units. It is a duplex or a duet home?  You cannot necessarily tell by looking!

 

Video explanation of the difference between a duplex and a duet home

 

What is a duplex?

A duplex is a multifamily home, in the same category as a triplex or fourplex, meaning there are multiple living units.  Most of the time, they are attached to each other, but not always. But what is truly distinctive is the way they are bought and sold.  With multifamily homes, such as a duplex, all of these dwellings are sold together. (The units are not sold separately.)
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