How to Live Mortgage-Free: An Owner-Occupied Duplex


Owner-Occupied Duplex: Buying a Duplex and Living in One Side

We know it, you know it, everyone knows it: living is expensive. You don’t have to take on an extravagent lifestyle to realize how burdensome your day to day (or month to month) payments can be.

In situations like these, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you’re stuck and that you’ll never find a place to live without sacrificing a great location.

However, there is a way to live practically mortgage-free. We’re not talking about the risky business of buying a house at an auction and trying to flip it, and we’re not talking about living in a tiny home either.

In our opinion, the absolute best way to get your mortgage largely paid for is to live in an owner-occupied duplex.

By living in one side and renting out the other, you’ll find your payment minimized—sometimes entirely taken care of—by the tenant you rent out to.

Why isn’t this option more popular if it sounds so great? To be honest, we’re not really sure. Maybe duplexes will be the next big revolution in affordable living, or maybe they’ll fly under the radar forever. Who knows!

The Benefits of an Owner-Occupied Duplex

Investing in duplexes requires care to ensure that you’re getting a deal that’s feasible and practical for you, and that’s why we’re here to help.

If you’re in the Minneapolis – St. Paul area of Minnesota, we’d love to work with you. We’re duplex specialists, and we focus solely on selling multi-family properties here in the Twin Cities.

Unlike other realtors, we know the duplex business inside and out, and we know how to navigate you through the buying process to help you find the right deal.

Pre-Qualifying Benefits

If you’re considering being an owner-occupier living in a duplex, renting out the other half of your property can start to provide you with massive benefits before you even move in!

As you work with a mortgage lender during the pre-approval process, you’ll find that many are able to consider up to 70 to 75% of the anticipated rental income that will be generated from the tenant to help you qualify for your mortgage.

That means, of course, that you can qualify for more when buying a duplex as opposed to a single family home.

If you’re interested in learning more about that, feel free to read our Step by Step Guide to Buying a Duplex in Minneapolis.

Mortgage Payment Benefits

How to Live Mortgage-Free in Minneapolis: An Owner-Occupied Duplex

As an owner-occupier in a duplex, it can be a great feeling to know that your tenant is helping you pay off your mortgage.

Some duplex owners are even able to live on just the cost of utilities and repairs. In other cases, duplex owners pay just a fraction of their mortgage payment while living in great Minneapolis and Saint Paul neighborhoods that are highly desirable.

By taking on just 2 total units, duplex owners are finding that there’s no better way to get started in real estate investment. While properties with more units to fill are riskier and filled with more tenants that may require your attention, duplexes that are owner-occupied only have one unit of tenants to work with.

Additionally, with these tenants living under the same roof, it’s much easier to address their needs without the necessity to drive to and from the property.

Okay, But Mortgage-Free?

Yes, mortgage-free living is very possible when buying a duplex. By finding the right property, in the right neighborhood, at the right time, for the right price – you’ll be well on your way towards your goal.

Of course, that’s not all as easy as it sounds. You’ll definitely need to carefully crunch numbers (or work with an agent that does) to make sure that the deal works out in the way that you’d like it too.

There aren’t any hard statistics out there about this kind of thing, but in our estimation, a huge portion of those who live mortgage-free in the US are bound to be landlords in some way, shape, or form. And the easiest way to become a landlord is by getting started with a duplex – they’re typically the most reasonably priced properties with multiple units and often include ways to finance via the lowest down payment options.

It’s been said that being wealthy is less about making money and more about reducing expenses. Very few people have a monthly expense that’s larger than their mortgage, so why not work on taking care of that cost in the pursuit of financial freedom?


We’d love to work with you to set you up with a Minneapolis or Saint Paul duplex investment opportunity. We work in neighborhoods like West Seventh, Nokomis, Powderhorn Park, Payne-Phalen, and more! Wherever you’re looking, whether in or around the Twin Cities, we’d love to talk more about the opportunity to live free from your mortgage payment.

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