Buying a Duplex in Minneapolis – A Step by Step Guide

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We’re The Duplex Doctors – we’re passionate about helping people to maximize the value of buying, selling, or investing in a duplex. We’ve shown over the decades that investing in duplexes can be a way for regular people to start building a real estate portfolio which can help them become a millionaire with tax-advantaged passive income.

How Do You Get Started in Buying a Duplex?

What’s the initial step in buying a duplex? Well, if you’re about to make an investment, then the first thing you want to do is learn about how to make the most of it.

We Help Buyers Do One of Two Things:

  • Purchase a Duplex to Live in Half and Rent Out the Other
  • Purchase as a 100% Rental or Investment Property

The Case to Invest in a Duplex

Why buy a duplex? A duplex is one of the safest ways to enter the world of real estate investing. There are a number of advantages with rental real estate that contribute to making it such a great investment, but the hardest part is getting started. For a first time real estate investor, there is no better choice than a duplex.

Duplexes Offer:

  • The Ability to Use Low Down Payment FHA, VA, or Conventional Financing
  • An Opportunity to Use Projected Rent Payments in your Approval Process (Allowing you the Ability to Buy More)
  • Diversified Risk Through Owner Occupation
  • Fulfillment of the 1 year FHA Occupation Requirement while Offsetting with Rental Income
  • The Ability to Gain 2 Years of Landlording Experience for the Next Property while Using OPM (Other People's Money)
  • Gaining More than One Unit per Transaction
  • Relatively Easy, Long Term Financing
  • Strong Value when Leasing

The key – and most difficult portion of buying a duplex, is finding a great value. No matter what you search or where you look, you may have a hard time finding many duplexes at all. The Twin Cities Market is low on inventory for both traditional and multi-unit housing. Why?

Because duplexes are selling fast. Many aren’t even getting as far as being listed online. They’re selling in the first moments that they hit the market.When you do find a great value, though, a duplex can easily become your first (or next) profitable real estate investment.

A Step by Step Guide to Buying a Duplex:

1 – Gain Wisdom with The Duplex Doctors

While duplexes are one of the easiest and most rewarding real estate investments a person can make, it’s critical that prospective buyers get their heads around what’s going on and educate themselves.We’ve really appreciated the Bigger Pockets resources for our clients, and the Robert Kiyosaki “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” series.There are gurus all over the internet trying to get you to buy their multi-thousand dollar program, claiming that they hold some secret information.Coaching, education, and wisdom is the key here – you need to become competent. We’re here to come alongside you in that process.

2 – Pre-Approval & Financing

Need a duplex lender that knows all about house hacking; rental real estate; and the duplex, triplex, and quadplex investment world?  We’ve been the #1 seller of duplexes in Minneapolis for 5 years. We’re the team that the Twin Cities looks to as leading duplex experts.We know that the right lenders can serve as a critical guide while you get pre-approved.

3 – Identify your Real Estate Professional (Work with the Duplex Doctors, Of Course!)

Duplexes are often sold before they go on the MLS system, which is why we hope you reach out sooner than later so that we can keep you in the loop of the sellers that we have coming in.We’re the Team to Partner with Because:

  • We Specialize in Duplexes with First Time Home Buyers
  • We Exclusively Sell Duplexes, Multi-Families and Investment Properties in the Minneapolis-Twin Cities Region
  • We’re People-Focused and Dedicated to Serving You and Your Best Interests
  • We’re Hungry to Transform Your Life!

4 – Define Your Sandbox

We’ll help you work from a plan so that you can find a property that doesn’t just make you a landlord, but that sets you on the road to becoming financially free - just by owning a duplex!We actually dislike all the hype you hear about get-rich-quick schemes, but we know that a well-executed real estate investment portfolio can utilize the bank’s money, other people’s rent checks, and a tangible asset to create equity and cash-flow.

In other words, real estate can actually make you rich if you do it correctly.Each investor needs to identify what they will and will not consider, which we call “defining your sandbox.”As a Prospective Investor You Should Consider:

  • Where Do You Want to Invest?
  • Which Neighborhoods Would You Buy In?
  • How Much Should You Spend?
  • Will a Triplex, Duplex, or Other Property Work Best for your Pricing and Regional Requirements?
  • What Kind of Property Condition are you Interested In?
  • Do You Want to Rehab?
  • Will you Do a Fixer-Upper Style Purchase Where you Transform a Mediocre Property into a Gem?
  • Or, Do You Prefer a Property that is “Turn-Key” or Move-In Ready?

Once you identify your Minneapolis or St. Paul duplex sandbox, we’ll help you find the best property possible.

5 – We’ll Search With You and For You – That’s Why We’re the #1 Seller of Duplexes in Minneapolis

We monitor the duplex and triplex market daily through the MLS system.You rarely see duplexes on the traditional real estate websites because Zillow, Redfin, Trulia and other sites are always a step behind the actual MLS listing. We get up-to-the-minute information on listings, pricing, and offers. But we don’t just hear about listings, we understand which ones are the good and which are the bad. We know the Minneapolis and St. Paul duplex market intimately. Not only have we been the #1 buyer and seller of duplexes in Minneapolis for several years and counting, but we’ve also built our own portfolios of investment duplexes, triplexes, and other properties.We are the preeminent guides for duplex buyers, and we’ll help you find one that aligns with your sandbox, budget, and goals.

6 – Do the Math Critically

House fever is real, and the investment bug can cause some irrational thinking.We’ll work alongside you to ensure that your numbers look attractive. We’ll scrutinize the deals you're attempting to put together so that things head in the right direction. We want your duplex investment to be profitable, not just passable.

7 – Make an Offer

This is where the expertise of The Duplex Doctors can really shine. Negotiations and positioning are critical when making an offer on a duplex. A Number of Factors Play into the Way an Offer Should be Made:

  • Condition of the Property
  • Tenant Lease Conditions
  • Cashflow
  • Additional Offers
  • Inventory Scarcity
  • Quality of Financing

Our goal is to maximize value for our clients, which means that we position ourselves wisely.Again, no other realtor has more experience than The Duplex Doctors in duplex, triplex, or investment property. Which means, of course, that we bring a lot of expertise to the negotiating table.

8 – Due Diligence

Professional inspectors are absolutely necessary, but we try to to apply our professional eye to things prior to inspection.We are not inspectors, but we’ll often be able to identify major problems even before the inspection process, avoiding any unnecessary inspections or wasted dollars.That being said, a professional inspection is critical, and we’ve worked with dozens of inspectors that work specifically with duplexes and multi-unit housing. These inspectors know what to look for, and can catch many critical issues before you become liable for it.

9 – Close on the Property

This is when things get exciting, but it’s also when a great team shines. Title, liens, lease agreements, and other factors will need attention. We’re here to help you navigate each step.

10 – Rent Out the Unit

Not only do we have our own portfolios of rental duplex real estate, but we have years of experience in placing tenants which provides us with the ability to coach our clients with helpful resources. Should you use Renters Outlet, Renters Warehouse, or another placement agency? Depending on your organizational skills and goals, you have the choice to use a turn-key rental solution or do things yourself.We think that professional billing, warnings, and systems will attract and sustain a higher quality tenant.  Because professionalism in billing and systems are so critical, we often recommend landlords use a professional service.


Buying a Minneapolis duplex, St. Paul triplex, or any other rental real estate in Minnesota is a lot of fun when you work with The Duplex Doctors. We're Minneapolis Duplex Specialists.

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