View Full Version : Anyone own half of a duplex?
07-19-2005, 05:28 PM
Our realtor is taking us to see a property that is a 1/2 duplex tomorrow (we're in the market for a condo or townhome, and this falls into that category). Many people own properties like this here in Chicago, but I don't know any of them.
My question is this: with these types of buildings, there is no assessment fee. So, how is the lawn done? Half and half? And how is the scavenger paid? And if something huge needs to be fixed (like the roof, something covering both sides of the property), is that split in half? I am kind of clueless here...
I think I told you I don't know for sure but as far as I know it is 50/50...there must be some clause in the contract...Will you tell me what you find out?
That would be cool if we could avoid the condo fee!! Or have a super teeny tiny fee. That would attract buyers.
07-22-2005, 09:17 AM
we own one unit of a two-family home and for things like shoveling snow, mowing the lawn, watering the garden, etc. we just sort of swap chores as needed. maybe one morning they'll get out there to shovel the walkway and driveway and maybe the next time it snows we make sure to get out there first. they maintain the garden out front and we maintain the lawn and rosebushes out back. we've split costs on relatively low-cost "common" items and services like the snowblower and getting dangerous tree branches cut, and we get a common water bill that we split according to % of square feet (their unit is 60% of the total square footage of the house so they pay 60% of the water bill). we get along pretty well with our neighbors so all of this works without any headaches.
we do have a common bank account that has some special high interest rate. we agreed to put in some money (like a few hundred) each year, sort of on the honor system. but we haven't yet had to discuss really expensive things like a new roof, so we haven't had to tap into the account... so i can't give you advice on that -- although it's probably a good idea to consult with a lawyer about what you might do in that situation.
07-22-2005, 11:53 AM
Thanks for the info ladies! The realtor explained everything in detail. Actually the lot on one side belongs to one owner and the lot for the other half of the property belongs to the other. miel You're right, mutual costs are split 50/50. The reason that there is no assessment is because it is not part of a complex. Many times, townhouses/duplexes are in "complexes," so it's not JUST that property... it would be silly to have an assessment fee for only two units, but Eric and I have decided that we will have a special fund that we pay into monthly in case of emergencies. Also, the back yards are fenced separately, so that makes the back yard easier, and the front yard is coordinated with plants, etc. The water is not a half meter, so the city charges by six months, $127 for water and garbage- no difference in price, so we can use as much water as we like. laurenc Thanks for your info, too. I was wondering about shoveling the common walk! :) Sounds like you have a good system in place.
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