Your National Resource For Duplex Ownership

National Resources for Duplex Owners

Welcome to DuplexChick, your online destination for duplex ownership information.

Whether you're thinking of buying your first duplex home, or an experienced investor looking to sell, DuplexChick can provide you with up-to-date market information, tips on investment property ownership, and when youíre ready to buy or sell, help you find a Realtor who specializes in these unique properties right in your area.

Considering Buying? See how a duplex specialist can help you get a better deal

Considering Buying?

While every Realtor can sell you a home, not every agent can do the necessary financial analysis to find a duplex that is a good investment. Click here for a neighborhood duplex specialist who can help you meet your financial goals.

Sign Up For Our Free Duplex Buyer's Guide

Considering Buying? See how a duplex specialist can help you get a better deal

Considering Buying?

Unlike single family home owners, duplex owners facing foreclosure must also contend with potential tax consequences. Whether you are an owner occupant or duplex investor enduring the stress of being behind on mortgage payments, or needing to sell even though you owe more than your duplex is worth, a short sale can help reduce damage to your credit and tax obligations.

During this stressful time, let one of our Realtors who is an expert carry the load.

Thinking of Selling?

What If I Need To Sell? Regardless of market conditions, learn the tips and tricks to maximize your equity!

Sign Up For Our Free Duplex Seller's Guide

Kari Lundin, Keller Williams Realty Integrity

7401 Metro Blvd Suite 350, Edina, MN 55439 tel. (612) 290-5998

Featured Articles

To Every Investment Property There Is A Season 01.30.15

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real estate investment cyclesHigh rent, low interest rates and even lower vacancy rates have made these fat and happy days for Minneapolis duplex owners. After all, properties are cash flowing at record rates of return, the overall quality of tenants in the marketplace seems to be high, and they seem to stay for a long time.

In fact, life is so good for Twin Cities landlords, it’s hard to imagine things could ever change.

And yet, history proves there is a season for everything, and in the end, all markets are cyclical. Stocks go up, stocks go down, demand for products increase prices, production increases to meet demand, and prices go down. Demand for housing increases as populations grow, supply rises to meet that demand, and then supply exceeds demand.

The same may be true for real estate investment properties.

Our record high rents are driven largely by a recession and housing crisis which made not only loans with which to purchase property difficult to obtain, but also cast doubt on the value of owning housing in the first place.

There comes a time, however, when the price of rent rises past the cost of home ownership, however, and that’s when tenants begin to take note. And as they realize en masse the savings of owning rather than buying, landlords see both vacancy rates and renter’s concessions rise.

For example, many long term investment property owners in the Twin Cities remember the peak of the housing market, when rental ads began with the words “first month free”, “free Internet” and “free cable” in an effort to attract tenants.

In fact, as far back as 1876, the author and political economist Henry George observed that real estate markets can be summarized into four categories:

  1. Recovery- As population increases, so too does the demand for goods and services. This demand is typically fueled by government intervention in the form of low interest rates. As things improve, companies expand their businesses, hire more people and buy more equipment. This increases the demand for locations where this increased economic activity can take place, which causes vacancy rates in every class of real estate (office, retail, industrial, residential, etc.) to fall.
  2. Expansion - This occurs when companies have purchased or rented most of the existing available properties. As unoccupied properties become scarce, rents rise. It takes a long time to build new inventory. By the time these new developments are ready, the economic expansion has been underway for five to seven years. And during this time, rents have been increasing so fast that now, investors build these increases into their economic forecasts. It’s at this point that properties are sold for what they may be worth in the future, rather than the fundamental economics of what they are. This is the hallmark of a boom.
  3. Hyper Supply - As long as occupancy rates are below normal, rents rise, which makes new construction feasible. However, the first sign of a change is a rise in the amount of unsold inventory and vacancy rates. This is a result new construction begins to satisfy the market’s need for real estate product. Rents no longer rise, but begin to decline.
  4. Recession - The second indicator of trouble is vacancy rates rise above the long-term average. As a result, new construction stops, but those projects already well under way are completed. Higher inventory leads to lower occupancy and lower rents, which reduces revenue for property owners. The third indicator of trouble is an increase of interest rates; a result of the Federal Reserve attempting to fight inflation. As vacancy rates rise and revenues fall, foreclosures follow. And the cycle starts all over again.

While no one is forecasting a spike in vacancy rates in the coming month and year, it is important to remember that like everything else, real estate is cyclical. And so it stands to reason that “first month free” signs are somewhere up ahead.

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Can Your Friend Manage Your Minneapolis Duplex? 01.28.15

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Duplex Property ManagementSometimes, life’s circumstances require a duplex owner to move far from their property.

When that happens, owners are faced with a dilemma. Should they sell? Hire a management company? Or ask a friend or family member for a favor?

Over the last 8 years, many duplex owners have not been willing to consider the option of selling. There are many reasons. The market may have declined to the point where they would sell for less than they owe, triggering a short sale. Or, rents may have been so high that the duplex was suddenly a very good investment.

When the latter was the case, many duplex owners faced another choice. Should they hire a professional management company? After all, the radio ads promoting property managment services make it sound so easy. Sign with them and they’ll take care of everything while you just collect the cash.

Of course, those companies charge a fee. Locally, that runs around $80 per unit per month; a figure which can mean the difference between positive and negative cash flow for many duplex owners.

So that’s where the favor comes in. A friend or family member may be willing to take on the task of watching over the duplex on behalf of the owner.

But is that person required to have a real estate license?

After all, property management and leasing are considered real estate brokerage services under Minnesota real estate licensing law. Any property manager who is going to lease,list, procure prospective tenants, negotiate, assist or offer to perform any of those acts is required to have a real estate broker’s license.

There is an exception. Employees of the owner or manager of a residential property (like a duplex, triplex or fourplex) who lease units in the property are exempt from the license requirement.

While this may come as a relief to many duplex owners, it may be wise to encourage to ask the friend or family member to take classes offered either by the Minnesota Multi-Housing Association (MMHA) or the Minneapolis Police Department’s Rental Property Ownership Workshop to ensure compliance with all fair housing and rental property laws.

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Minnesota Landlords Face Annual Deadline 01.22.15

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duplex owners face state deadlineIt’s almost the end of January, which means Minnesota landlords are facing the deadline for issuing Certificates for Rent Paid (CRPs).

All rental property owners and managers must issue a certificate to anyone who rented from them in the previous year.

The CRPs must be provided by January 31, 2015 if you either paid taxes on the property or made payments in lieu of taxes.

Renters need this form in order to file for what’s often called the “renter’s refund”, more formally called the Homestead Credit Refund and Renter’s Property Tax Refund.

Failure to issue the CRP on time may result in a fine of $100 for each incident, so it’s best to get them done.

 

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