What to Look For When Buying a Duplex in Minneapolis


Whether you are looking to invest in your first multi-family property, or are looking for a new investment property in Minneapolis, it’s essential to make sure you’re buying the right type of duplex. 

Our team of experts is here to make sure you are making the right investment. Check our out list of the top features to look for when buying a duplex in Minneapolis.

Why You Should Invest in a Duplex

First, let’s cover the elephant in the room. You might be worried about buying a duplex and worry that it’s not a good investment. As the top seller of duplexes in the Twin Cities area for a decade, we have some insights to share that will put you at ease.

The bottom line is that it comes down to the property. Some duplexes are awesome investments, and some are not. So, pro tip – work with experts like us to help you select the right investment property! Some criteria to look at are the quality of the school district, the safety of the neighborhood, and where you can build equity. 

If you’re looking to buy, check out these current properties that are for sale:

Duplex for Sale - Minneapolis

Duplex for Sale - St. Paul

Duplex for Sale - Northeast MPLS

Duplex for Sale - All Twin Cities

Duplex for Sale - South Minneapolis

Duplex for Sale - Powderhorn Park

Duplex for Sale - Nokomis

Tips for Buying a Duplex in Minneapolis

Now that we’ve laid the groundwork, let’s get into some tips that you can use when narrowing your list of Minneapolis duplexes. Of course, to get the full story on a property, you should always reach out to our team!

#1 Tip for Buying a Duplex in Minneapolis

Make Sure the Duplex is Zoned for Multi-Family Use

This is a critical first step and a mistake many potential buyers make. You don’t want to buy a property and then find out you can’t rent it out! Instead, work with your realtor and do your due diligence to ensure you can rent out the property in your neighborhood. 

Typically, if the house was built as a duplex or multi-family home, you should be OK. But, if it was converted from a single-family home to a duplex, then it could get sticky. Make sure you do your homework before making an offer!

#2 Tip for Buying a Duplex in Minneapolis

Check the Rental Rates in the Area

Before making an offer, find out what the comparable rental rates are in the area. You don’t want to end up with a large mortgage and then find out that you can’t charge enough in rent to cover the payment. 

If you’re going to be living in part of the duplex, this might not be as big of a concern, but if you’re using it as a total rental property, then it can be more of a priority to get the monthly rent checks to cover the whole mortgage payment.

#3 Tip for Buying a Duplex in Minneapolis

How Many Updates Are Needed?

When purchasing a property, determine how much you want to, or can, spend on updates and repairs. If you need to perform a full kitchen remodel on a unit to attract renters, or redo a bathroom, those projects can be extremely expensive. 

It’s essential to have a remodel budget in mind when looking at properties so you know which ones are worth buying and which you should let go.

#4 Tip for Buying a Duplex in Minneapolis

Check the Utilities

When looking at a property, check to see how the electricity, water, and gas are metered. If they are metered separately, then you can have the tenant handle their own utility bills. However, if they are together, then you will need to determine how to have the renters pay for their portion of the utility bills. Typically, you would roll this into the price of the rent. Depending on how much energy the renters use, you could end up paying more than your share. However, having a flat fee added to the rent could also be appealing to some renters, and could make your property more desirable.

#5 Tip for Buying a Duplex in Minneapolis

Parking Availability

An area a lot of potential buyers overlook when touring a property is the parking situation. It’s easy to focus on the interior of the home, check the roof, ask about the age of the furnace and air conditioner, and then forget to think about the practical issue of, “Where are we going to park?” 

If there is a garage, determine if you will offer it to your tenants, and how many cars can be parked in the driveway. You should also check to see if street parking is available.

#6 Tip for Buying a Duplex in Minneapolis

Noise Levels

Before buying a property, check how noisy it is in each of the units. This is especially important if you are going to live on the property. Do a test to see how much noise travels through the walls, the floors, and ceilings to see how much you are going to hear from your tenants. If you have small children, this can be very important to know before buying a duplex. It can also impact the type of tenant you want, as a renter with small children will be a lot noisier than a single adult. 

Let Us Help You!

If you’re looking to buy a duplex, call us at 612-332-9000. We can help you find the right multi-family home for your budget and your situation!

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