Live and Work in a Duplex?

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Many of us work independently and require workspace either in an outside, rented facility or at home. “Bill” was operating an expanding property management business out of his house. Clients and vendors occasionally came to his house, but had to work around small children still at home.  Bill’s wife worked part-time, which required that Bill be available to watch the homestead.  While it was very handy at times, working in a home office was becoming increasingly challenging.


Bill owned the duplex they lived in and rented the other side.  One option I suggested to Bill was not to renew the lease on the other half of the duplex and move the real estate property management business next door. Bill would still be available when needed at home, but they could reorganize the apartment in a more businesslike way.  Clients would be more comfortable when asking Bill to manage their investments. Further, there would be room to grow.  Later, as the children grew older, they could move the office off-site and rent the other half of the duplex again.

I gave the same advice to somebody some years ago when they were looking for a home.  I suggested they buy a duplex using one half for an office and the other half to live. This was a successful arrangement for several years.

If you think this might work for you, be sure to check local regulations on home-based businesses.  Some areas have no restrictions; others are very tight while still others allow home businesses that don’t create a nuisance for your neighbors.

While a duplex concept won’t be for everybody, it may be an option for the right person.  We read in Scripture that “The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.” (Psalm 122:22, NLT) Don’t overlook a duplex if it’s the best option.