Savvy young people are looking to build something other than the typical starter home. They are finding that a smartly designed duplex offers flexibility as their lives change, while providing a positive real estate investment.
Surveys that track the size and makeup of American families reflect a variety of lifestyles, compared to previous generations. People are getting married later and having fewer children, resulting in smaller families. Since 1980, the number of people living in multi-generational households has doubled, according to the Pew Research Center. Singles are also comfortable purchasing a home without a spouse or partner, something that wasn’t very common in previous generations.
Some might say there is no such thing as a typical family anymore, requiring homebuilders to respond with a variety of styles and flexibility that meets the demands of the modern homeowner. Rick McAlexander, President of Associated Designs in Eugene, Oregon has designed thousands of homes over 30 years and he’s seeing a significant shift in the requests by young people looking to build their first home.
“There was a time where most young families wanted a three-bedroom starter home. Now my clients want a home that results in a good investment, as well as flexibility to change with their lifestyle as their family needs change,” says Rick.
Rick and his team at Associated Designs have responded by creating a unique design that offers both investment income and flexible living options for years to come. The Tupelo 60-006 duplex plan looks like a charming two-story, single-family home, when it’s actually a duplex with a unit on each level. The only exterior clues to distinct living units are two sets of porch steps, each leading to a separate front door. Each door is on a separate side of the house with its own covered porch, creating a sense of privacy for each unit.
The entry to the second floor unit features a well-lit ground floor foyer, with a coat closet and a bench for removing and storing boots. Natural light streams in through side windows and from the dormer window above, brightening the staircase and spilling over into the unit’s upstairs great room.
The Tupelo's exterior styling is modeled after the Craftsman homes of the early 1900s, with its tapered porch supports and its low-pitched side gables and large centered dormer. However, walk inside and both of the duplexes have contemporary floor plans. It’s a clever way to position a unique and practical option for modern living in a traditional looking home.
The Tupelo duplex plan is an ideal setup for anyone that wants income from an on-site rental or the ability to provide supportive and yet independent housing for an aging relative in a multi-generation living situation. This plan offers the ultimate in flexible living options for years to come.
A single person or a small family can live in the upstairs two-bedroom unit, while renting the larger three-bedroom unit below. As the family expands, they can move into the larger unit downstairs. Once the owner outgrows the home they have an excellent piece of income property. Years can pass and they may move back in, downsizing their own lifestyle while still earning rental income.
Rick created the Tupelo 60-006 duplex plan knowing it can work with a variety of family types, but he feels it’s a perfect solution for a first home and someone starting out in their career. Rick says, “I get tremendous joy in being able to work with a young couple, knowing I have helped them create a financial foundation that will benefit them for a lifetime.”
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