Triplex houses are when you have one building with three separated living areas, and each are complete with a kitchen, bathroom, and living areas. It’s similar to a fourplex home in that you have multiple families or tenants residing in one building and a triplex gives you multiple options for revenue streams. And building or investing in a triplex property is not only for urban situations, they make sense for the suburbs and rural areas too.
When you hear the term triplex, you normally picture a rectangular home with the entrance on one side with matching units stacked on top of each other, and lots of stairs. Modern ones have big beautiful windows facing the front, and each unit sort of looks the same. But that is not what they have to be, if you can think outside of the box. A triplex home can also be a single family home where you make the basement, first floor, and second floor each an individual apartment.
The basement can be for a young professional, the first floor a two bedroom unit for a young family, and the top floor is ideal for a college student on a budget. Now you can charge a premium for the basement as you’ll be able to rent it at a premium for short term housing and the renovations and repairs in between tenants won’t interrupt the long term tenants on the first floor. The first floor becomes your long term rental unit where you may not bill as much, but the income is steady because the rental agreement can be annual keeping you afloat for in-between periods where the basement is not rented out. And the attic apartment is ideal for a budget rental that a student can afford. Just make sure to have strict rules about noise and penalties so you don’t disturb the tenant on the first floor.
Urban or suburban areas aren’t the only place a triplex home can thrive. When you get into the country, housing can be limited and triplexes are amazing for affordable options. Servers in restaurants, truck stop cashiers, and other lower income professionals need affordable homes. By converting a standalone home that has been on the market into a triplex, you can create affordable housing that they’ll appreciate and be able to move into. An added bonus is that you’ll likely have a yard that can divided it up by unit and become a selling point. The yard becomes a value-add and something the person may not have been able to afford on their own.
Triplex homes have another interesting layout, but it is more common in suburban settings than urban and rural. It is similar to the duplex where a house is split in two, and like the name implies, it adds a third home to the structure. These look more like rowhouses, but they stop at three units. In the suburbs you can find them as townhomes within a community, or side-by-side structures where the developer or investor wanted to maximize potential profit by including as many units in a tricky lot as possible.
The benefit of the side-by-side layout is you can have much larger homes that look more appealing, have multiple floors for the resident or tenant to enjoy, and it feels more like an actual home. Some people love having a staircase as it breaks up the home giving the residents the feeling of private space. This is especially important for people with children or that work from home with roommates or a significant other who also work from home, and everyone needs “alone time.”
Triplexes are always an interesting choice if you’re a real estate investor, or an agent looking to build a passive income stream. You can be creative with the types of leases you have, have unique listing features single family homes do not have, and build reliable income when you want to diversify your income portfolio. And the design of a triplex is only limited by your imagination, and local zoning laws of course. If you found this post helpful, subscribe to our newsletter below for more tips and information.