Real Estate Investing

Types of Real Estate to Invest In: Brownstones, Condominiums, Duplexes and Triplexes

April 9, 2024

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What Is The Right Property Type For You?

Are you thinking about diving into real estate investments and exploring various property options? From charming brownstones to convenient condominiums, versatile duplexes, and profitable triplexes, the real estate market offers a wide array of opportunities. 

Each property type has its own perks and drawbacks, catering to different preferences and investment goals. Understanding the unique benefits of each can help you navigate your real estate ventures effectively. So, if you’ve been googling “What is a condo?”, “What is a brownstone?”, or “What is a triplex?”, don’t fret. This article will help you discover which property type suits your investment strategy and lifestyle goals. 

Brownstones: Historic Charm and Value 

If you’re considering investing in real estate, one option with historic charm and lasting value is a brownstone. What is a brownstone? With the same namesake as its building material, a brownstone is a type of townhouse characterized by its distinctive brown sandstone facade, quarried from New England states like New Jersey and Maine. There are several types of brownstone depending on the quarrying location, including South Wales brownstone, Portland brownstone, New Jersey brownstone, Apostle Island brownstone, and Hummelstown brownstone. 

Brownstone townhouses gained popularity in the mid-1800s as an affordable alternative to high-end materials like limestone, and they remain iconic architectural symbols today. In desirable neighborhoods like Brooklyn, classic brownstone houses can start at $2 million due to their historic and landmark status as well as their scarcity. New York City brownstones are among the most valuable; this brownstone home in Park Slope recently listed at nearly 7.5 million. 

While brownstone owners may have to contend with maintenance challenges, their quality construction and durability make them a solid long-term investment with proper care. 

Condominiums: Modern Living Spaces 

What is a condo? Condominium or condo ownership offers a contemporary living option with shared amenities and maintenance conveniences. Condo buildings provide a hassle-free lifestyle with features like fitness centers, pools, and security services without the responsibilities of a detached house. By investing in a condominium, condo owners like townhouse owners can enjoy modern living spaces without the burden of individual property maintenance. Condos are often located in prime urban areas, offering proximity to entertainment, dining, and transportation. 

Additionally, shared costs for common area upkeep can save you time and money. Keep in mind that condo associations may have specific rules and fees, so it’s crucial to understand these before purchasing. Overall, condominium living presents a convenient and modern real estate investment opportunity for those seeking a vibrant urban lifestyle without sacrificing the benefits of owning your living space and all while avoiding exterior maintenance responsibilities. 

Duplexes: Dual Living Opportunities 

Duplex properties offer the advantage of purchasing a property with two units under a single transaction, then living in one half while renting out the other unit for additional income. This setup not only provides a source of revenue but also allows for extended family living arrangements or the convenience of nearby support, which isn’t as possible in a single family home. Equity building is another benefit, as the rental income you collect from the second unit can help offset mortgage costs. 

Many duplex owners use this house-hacking strategy to pay off their mortgages, before later moving on to a single family property and renting out both units of the duplex. This makes duplexes a great option for a first-time investor who is looking to start small and invest in more properties down the road. 

However, keep in mind that challenges such as finding suitable tenants, handling evictions, and managing maintenance may arise. Despite these considerations, duplexes remain a cost-effective choice with the potential for financial growth through smart investment strategies. 

Triplexes: Trio of Investment Potential 

Investors recognize the profitability of triplexes for their diversified income streams and potential for wealth accumulation. Owning a triplex or other multi family home allows you to generate rental income from three separate units, providing a consistent cash flow. 

By living in one unit and renting out the others, you can offset mortgage costs and build equity. Triplexes offer cost-effective maintenance since property upkeep is consolidated. However, triplex owners face the same challenges as duplex owners: finding tenants, managing evictions, and handling maintenance disputes. 

Despite these hurdles, triplex properties are advantageous for their affordability, potential tax deductions, and the opportunity to keep your family close while maintaining independence. Consider the financial implications, down payment requirements, and privacy concerns when investing in a triplex for long-term wealth growth. 

Comparative Analysis and Investment Strategies 

Analyzing the comparative benefits and investment strategies for various types of real estate can help you make informed decisions for your financial goals. 

Brownstone homes’ historical value and durability make them a long-term investment with potential for value appreciation. 

Condominiums offer amenities and shared maintenance costs but may lack the privacy of standalone properties. 

Duplexes and triplexes provide opportunities for rental income and cost-effective maintenance due to shared walls. 

And, of course, there is always the traditional route of purchasing single family homes, which comes with both more freedom at the price of higher property taxes, a potentially high monthly mortgage payment, and home maintenance responsibilities. 

By weighing factors such as property appreciation, rental income potential, and maintenance costs, you can tailor your investment strategy to align with your financial objectives. It’s essential to research market trends and consider your risk tolerance to optimize your real estate investment decisions. 


Whether you’re drawn to the historic charm of brownstones, the convenience of condominium living, the income potential of duplexes and triplexes, or the traditional route of a single family house, the real estate market offers a diverse range of investment opportunities to suit your preferences and goals. 

By understanding the benefits and considerations associated with each property type (as well as connecting with a skilled real estate agent in your area, you can make informed decisions to align with your investment strategy and lifestyle. 

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