Duplex vs Condos — Learn the Important Differences

Whether you are looking to purchase a home for yourself, family, or investment purposes, chances are you will get stuck between several options when choosing between a condo, duplex, or a townhouse.

However, one question people keep asking is what’s the difference between a condo and a duplex. Our team will explain the differences in this duplex vs condos article.

Duplex vs Condos

Duplex vs condos is one of the biggest discussions in the real estate market. If you are looking to buy a home, especially as a first-time buyer, a condo or a duplex is an incredibly cost-effective option.

Duplexes and condos are popular house styles that come with their advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, it’s somewhat impossible to choose one over the other because every individual has unique needs and wants.

What Is a Duplex?

A duplex is a structure with two units separated by a common wall. This structure can either exist side-by-side, where both units share a common wall, or up and down, where one unit is on top of the other.

A single individual owns a duplex, and you can purchase it with a single mortgage rather than separate mortgages as you would do when buying a condo [1]. Since a duplex has two units under one roof, it is generally less expensive to own than two separate single-family houses.

Owning a duplex has some economical benefits. You can rent one of the units while you live in the other one. Apart from that, it typically requires less maintenance and management cost.

Pros and Cons of Living in a Duplex

Inasmuch as living in a duplex comes with its benefits, there are some downsides too. Let’s look at the pros and cons below.



What Is a Condo?

A condo or condominium is a house that’s connected to another unit in a building or tower. It could be more than one unit adjacent to it. This is unlike a complex apartment that’s single with no common space.

An individual living in a condo share a common space with the other residents in the same building, like the backyard or front yard. The residents pay joint fees to have certain areas maintained and repaired.

A typical tower or building has several condominiums inside with gardens, lounges, and other spaces that add luxury. As we earlier pointed, these spaces are commonly shared by the individuals residing in those units.

Pros and Cons of Living in a Condo

Living in a condo has its advantages and disadvantages. Below are some of them.



Differences Between a Duplex and a Condo

Now that our experts have explained what duplexes and condos are, the benefits, and the drawbacks, we move to their differences. Knowing these differences will help you understand better the type of home that you want.


When it comes to purchasing a property, the cost is the first factor that comes to play. Although both options are affordable, purchasing a condo is less costly than duplexes. When you factor expenses, such as fees for maintenance and repair over a long period, duplexes are slightly less expensive.

(To secure your condo investment, you should also need to know all about the condo assignment sale here)


Condos usually have more amenities than duplexes. As a condo owner, you have access to swimming pools, gyms, lounges, etc.

That’s not the case with duplexes. You can only have these amenities at your disposal.

swimming pool


As a condo owner, you aren’t responsible for carrying out any maintenance, as the homeowners’ association takes care of everything with the fee that you pay. However, over a long period, the homeowners’ association fees will be higher.

As a duplex owner, the responsibilities of maintaining your home and carrying out repairs fall on your shoulders. However, you don’t have to pay any fee to the homeowners’ association, saving you some cost.


In terms of security, living in a condo is better, as there is better security. Because there are many condominium units in one building, the homeowners’ association in charge of the building ensures that security is top-notch and improved.

When you purchase a duplex, you are in charge of your security, leading to increased cost.

security cameras


Condos are located in a better position than duplexes, as most of them are situated close to some of the best neighborhoods in the city. When you own a condo, you will find commuting throughout the city easier, and you have access to major attractions and necessities.

Common Areas

When you buy a duplex, you’ll own a significant portion of the yard in front or behind the home and own the entire building. The common areas and the amenities belong to just a single owner. Because of this, you have more privacy and freedom to do anything you want.

On the flip side, as a condo owner, you will share spaces and other luxurious amenities with other residents. Because of this, you have the least privacy because a common wall separates each unit.

(If you are starting your condo designing project, you can also start knowing some small furniture for your condo here)

Extra Fees

Condo owners don’t have to pay any insurance to cover the house’s exteriors, as the homeowners’ association is responsible for that. Your only concern is the interiors of your condo. This is different for duplex owners.
canadian dollars

Planning to establish a real estate business? Then, here are the things you need to know when starting a real estate business


What is the difference between a condominium and a duplex?

The difference between a condominium and a duplex lies in the structure. Duplexes are built as a single structure with two units inside. Condominiums are single units connected to other units in a single building.

Other differences between a duplex and a condominium include purchasing cost, repair and maintenance costs, number of amenities, location, and privacy.

Which is better, duplex or townhouse?

A duplex is better than a townhouse, although that depends on what you need. If you seek more privacy and freedom, a duplex is better as you own the entire structure. In townhouses, you can choose to buy a single unit.

In terms of cost, townhouses are better, as they cost less to maintain and own.

More read: Condo against cooperative


When choosing a home for investment or living, duplexes and condos are usually the first options that come to mind. But the condos vs duplex debate has kept many buyers and investors confused.

Thanks to this article and our team, you now know what they are and their differences. Your choice boils down to your own preferences and criteria.

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Tal Shelef
Tal Shelef is a know it all when it comes to pre-construction developments Canada Wide. His years of daily research and growing up on construction sites / seeing development sites grow from the ground up at an early age gave him a passion like no other. He uses his knowledge to educate Condowizard’s clients. Have a conversation with Tal and see how much value one phone call may provide you.

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