What Is A Triplex Apartment? Everything You Need to Know

What Is A Triplex Apartment? Everything You Need to Know

What is Triplex?

A triplex is a three-unit building made up of 1 or 2 apartments and a separate unit for commercial use.

It is a structure that has three separate living units. Depending on where they are positioned, each of these unique units will share one or two common walls.

Each triplex apartment will have its own kitchen, bathroom, living room, exterior doors, and unit number/address.

Triplexes are comparable to duplexes and fourplexes. However, instead of a two or four-unit building, the property is a three-unit multifamily structure with a single owner.

In some circumstances, a triplex was designed specifically to be a triplex, and in others, it was built as a huge single-family residence and later partitioned into three distinct dwellings.

Many houses in North American cities were originally built as triplexes, but building codes have changed so that most homes now only have two units.

How a Triplex is sold

A triplex is formally classified as multifamily real estate and is marketed as a single structure that the owner often leases out as three independent units.

Having said that, the owner will occasionally reside in one of the properties while renting out the other two.

A third option is to reside in one of the properties while visiting relatives in the other two.

However, triplexes are generally acquired for investment motives, which is why they have been sought after.

Benefits of a triplex

You should know what to expect when renting a triplex unit.

Here are some of the advantages:

Outdoor Space

Since you are living in a three-unit building, you may receive more natural sunlight, especially when renting out the two non-primary units.

If it is a single-family residence and all the residential rooms are close to each other, then one of them can serve as a family room.


Triplexes are some of the biggest apartments on the market. Because of their spaciousness, they are frequently popular with families.


Like duplexes, triplexes are one of the few multifamily units with their own exterior entrance. That is why many triplex units have more of a single-family home feel.

A triplex is substantially more private than a regular apartment structure. You won’t have to deal with as many neighbors, giving you more solitude.


Triplexes have many common living facilities, including bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms, dining rooms, and more.

Triplexes frequently have attractive in-unit facilities such as laundry, driveways, patios, porches, and even garages. While a triplex is comparable in some respects to an apartment complex, the amenities make it feel more like home.


Triplexes often boast healthier layouts and better ventilation, making them a more suitable place to live with allergies.

Increased Security –

Since triplex complexes are three times as large as most apartments. there is considerably more security inside the building.

Triplex units can also be safer because they have multiple hiding places like attics or basements in case of a home invasion.

Large rental yield –

If you rent out all or even just two of the apartments, you will produce a high rental income and pay off your mortgage quickly.

An excellent place to start investing in multi-unit homes – If you want to transition from single-family to multi-unit properties, triplex apartments may be a good place to start.

When it comes to screening and managing tenants in a triplex unit, you will have an easier time than if you make the direct switch to investing in an apartment complex.

You can live in one of the units and rent out the others – You have the option of living in one of the units of a triplex apartment and renting out the others. In this manner, you may continue to earn money by collecting rent while still having a place to live in your house.

The downside of a triplex

Not all people are suited for living in a triplex. For some, it can be too much to handle; others will struggle to get along with the other tenants.

Though there are a lot of advantages of a triplex, you should also consider the following:

  1. Each housing unit is independent of each others. If one tenant has a problem, they won’t be able to call upon their neighbor for help.
  2. Each unit is its own entity. A complex owner has to manage three separate properties.
  3. Triplexes have more common areas, but they will have to be maintained. Each unit will require an annual inspection and there are restrictions on what you can do with the common areas.
  4. The owner of each of these individual units must make sure the house is safe, secure, and habitable for the tenants in all three sections at all times. Owning a triplex can be complicated and maintenance can be tedious.
  5. Sharing with your neighbors: Sharing with your neighbors is not for everyone. A triplex will feature common areas and facilities shared by all residents, such as driveways and outdoor leisure areas.
  6. Furthermore, because you’ll be sharing 1-2 walls with your neighbors, noise concerns may emerge.
  7. Disagreements: Having troubles and arguments with neighbors is hardly one’s favorite aspect of living near others, and it’s more likely to occur when you’re close together and share walls.
  8. It is not commonly available: Triplexes are much rarer than bigger apartment complexes, or even duplexes and fourplexes.
  9. A triplex is often more expensive than a duplex or single-family home.
  10. A triplex apartment might be more difficult to sell since it is likely to have many tenants with different lease expiration dates.
  11. Landlords may experience stress as a result of living so close to their renters. If there are any problems, the landlord is still a neighbor of the renters.

Financial options

When it comes to financing a duplex, triplex, or fourplex, you have several alternatives.

Residential mortgage that is conventional

This type of loan is available from most banks and mortgage companies. You are likely to apply for a residential mortgage when you purchase your duplex. For triplexes and fourplexes, a residential mortgage can be a good source of financing.

However, this mortgage is not for all clients. If you are in the commercial property market, you may need another type of loan.

Secured by your property (UCC) Loan

As an alternative to conventional financing, you can apply for a secured by your property loan. A UCC loan is similar to a residential mortgage but they come with lower interest rates and fees, which are determined by the size and value of your property.

VA and FHA loans

Typically, if you purchase a duplex, fourplex, or other multi-family homes that have three to five residential units, you will be required to obtain an FHA-approved loan. FHA loans are available through the Federal Housing Administration and typically require little down payment.

FHA mortgages allow for lower interest rates than conventional loans because the government guarantees your loan. For example, a borrower can have a home mortgage rate of 6 percent but might obtain an FHA loan rate of as low as 3 percent.

Only finance as an investment or rental property (more difficult)

If you decide to only use your three-, four- or five-unit apartment building as an investment or rental property, it is more difficult to find financing.

Loan for owner-occupancy

The bank or mortgage company will only loan you for owner-occupancy. This means it is unlikely you will be able to borrow as much money as an investor who finances his investment(s) with a conventional loan.

Financing from the owner

The owner of the property can typically secure financing for the purchase of a rental duplex, fourplex or triplex. The owner is more likely to get a lower interest rate than one that is obtained by a potential tenant

Owners may utilize rental revenue to qualify for a loan in some cases. Lenders would normally want a current written lease agreement as well as two years of rental history to verify rental payments.

Traditional financing for real estate investors will require a greater down payment (20 to 30 percent for the best interest rate) since banks consider these acquisitions to be higher risk.

Costs that affect cashflow for a triplex

When considering financing a triplex, keep in mind that you must first evaluate your mortgage cash flow.

The higher the rent and the smaller your monthly payment, the more money your home will earn.

Here are the expenses that will have an influence on cash flow:

  1. Payments for principal and interest- This is the amount of money that you will have to pay each month to cover the interest and principal on your mortgage.
  2. Insurance- Although you might not have many tenants living with you in your apartment building, you still need to protect all the tenants from harm, injury, and liability. The insurance you buy for your property should cover any damages that are caused by the tenants.
  3. Maintenance costs- While some people think maintenance costs can be neglected by apartment dwellers, this is not true. You’ll have to make sure your building is in good shape and you have enough money to pay for the repairs.
  4. Insurance for a home- You will probably have to ensure your property, which is another expense factor.
  5. Property taxes and fees- Both tend to be much higher for multifamily properties. Financing a triplex can drain your finances if you do not take the time to properly assess what will be needed in order to undergo this process.

If you are not careful, you can find yourself in over your head with a property that has so many problems that it may be difficult to sell or correct the problem(s).

It’s important to know that renters are not required to pay their mortgage in full.

If they cut your mortgage payment by 50% or more, it becomes much more doable.

Another advantage of having tenants is that you can create equity quicker than you would on your own.

Difference between a Triplex and an Apartment

Triplexes and apartments are different in many ways.

  1. An apartment building has more than one level. A triplex has three floors and an apartment building has four or more floors.
  2. Tenants pay for their apartment by paying the rent. A triplex owner pays the mortgage and taxes.
  3. An apartment building has a lot of tenants. A triplex only has a few tenants who live in one unit of the building.
  4. An apartment has more than two floors, but a triplex only has three floors.
  5. Apartments share common walls, but triplexes do not.
  6. Triplex owners may have some or all of their tenants as friends and family members. The tenants in an apartment building are independent of one another.
  7. Triplex owners live on-site, while apartment dwellers live elsewhere but come to the building to use it as a shelter from natural disasters or inclement weather conditions.

Duplex vs Triplex

The differences are:

  1. Duplexes have two units and triplexes have three units.
  2. In duplexes, two of the units are side by side and one is on top and bottom in the triplex.
  3. Triplexes and duplexes both have one common wall with neighbors next to them, but a triplex has only one exterior wall that is shared with another unit while a duplex has two common walls with neighbors that are next to it.
  4. Rent is usually higher in a triplex than in a duplex.
  5. Triplexes must have three or more bedrooms for each unit that has two bedrooms, while duplexes can have one bedroom per unit.
  6. Duplexes only have one bathroom per floor whereas triplexes have two or more bathrooms per floor.
  7. Duplexes are popular in condominiums and apartment buildings, while triplexes are more popular in single-family residences.


What is a Triplex?

A triplex is a house that has three units. It is also referred to as multifamily, polyplex, and maisonette.

What are the Most Common Triplex Forms?

There are two main types of triplexes: semi-detached and row houses:

Semi-detached triplexes – You may have seen these homes in older neighborhoods with lots of trees and parking spaces on the street (such as in Seattle, Washington).

What is Triplex used for?

Triplexes are most commonly used for residential purposes. They can be used for a number of different applications including:

  • Single-family homes, townhouses, and condos.
  • Apartment buildings.
  • Large multi-family housing complexes.

How much does a Triplex cost to build?

The cost of building a triplex will depend on the location and size of the lot it is built on as well as what type of materials they use to build it.

How much does a Triplex cost?

It depends on the property and construction but is usually cheaper than a four-plex.

How to Finance a Triplex?

A real estate investment trust (REIT) is one option. You can also acquire a construction loan or another loan that has favorable terms. A conventional mortgage may not be an option due to lender risk perception.

The cost of the construction of the building will also be affected by what zoning laws apply as well as how many permits, fees and inspections it needs. You can ask your insurance company for a loan to build or buy the property.

How much does a Triplex cost for a 2 bedroom?

The price varies depending on the size, location, and quality of the property. The best approach is to consult with a real estate agent and get market data to get an idea of what you can afford.

Is triplex a good investment?

Triplex investment can be profitable, but there are many factors to take into consideration.

It can turn out to be a good deal if you do your research before buying a triplex.

One of the best ways to start is by analyzing your real estate market potential, long term trends and forecasts, as well as key drivers influencing the performance of the triplex sector over time.

Can I buy a triplex with an FHA loan?

FHA loans are only available for owner-occupied residences. You may be able to utilize an FHA loan to acquire the property if you intend to reside in one of the units once the transaction is completed.

You could, for example, buy a triplex, live in one apartment, and rent out the other two – all with only 3.5 percent down.

What is the difference between a triplex and a duplex?

A duplex has two units, while a triplex has three. A duplex usually has two walls with neighbors, but a triplex usually only has one wall with neighbors. The other walls will share property lines.

Do I need a permit to build a Triplex?

It depends on your city and the zoning laws they have in place. You should check with a zoning official or your city manager.

How do I get more information about triplex property?

You can look for properties on websites like Trulia, which has a property finder you can use to look for triplexes.

How does a triplex work?

How does a triplex become sold? A triplex is formally classified as multifamily real estate and is marketed as a single structure that the owner often leases out as three independent units. Having said that, the owner will occasionally reside in one of the properties while renting out the other two.

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