What is the difference between a duplex, a four-plex, and an apartment?

The market of residences offers several types of residential buildings. In order for you to make an educated decision, let us take a look at three types of residences:  duplex, four-plex, and apartment. 


A duplex is a building that includes two spaces for living, usually separated by one or more walls. A duplex might look like one single building but once inside, there are separate doors that lead to two different homes. Sometimes, there are even two separate garage doors.

Pros and Cons of a Duplex

Renting a duplex is usually less expensive than a regular house. It is a good choice for one who is tired of apartment life but cannot afford a one-house building. Keep in mind that it is still a rental and there is no equity being accrued in the building.  


Once we have cleared the concept of a duplex, a four-plex becomes clearer. This is a building with four separate apartments in it. Sometimes, one person owns the entire building, uses one area for a home, and rents the other three. Some families may even rent them all four.  

Pros and Cons of a Four-plex

A four-plex can be a good investment. Buying one will mean that you can use one and rent the other three. Of course, this will depend on the market demand. Renting a four-plex space means that you share a building with three other families. Doors are separate, of course, and many times, they each have their own garage or parking space.  


These are the simplest forms of living. Apartments are usually found with six or more residences in a single building.  Each area usually has one bathroom and three rooms, or two bathrooms and three rooms. Walls and floors are shared with other tenants. 

Pros and Cons of an Apartment

Probably the greatest pro of an apartment has to do with liability. You do not share it with the landlord. For example, if something in the building breaks, it is not your responsibility and the owner of the building has to pay for it or repair it. However, this also means that you have zero control of any changes taking place in the building.