If you’re like many people – whether or not you’re an investor – you’ve heard of triplexes. They’re less common than duplexes are, but for many owners, they’re an exceptional investment. Here’s what you need to know if you’re asking, “What is a triplex?”

What is a Triplex?

A triplex is a building with three distinct living units. All three homes are joined by common walls. Usually, the middle unit is connected to both end units. However, there are different architectural plans – for example, one unit may be on the top floor of a triplex, while the other two units are downstairs. Likewise, one unit may be a two-story home, while one of the other units is on the first floor and the third unit is on the second.

The key to a building being a triplex is that there are three separate entrances that each have their own:

  • Kitchen
  • Bathroom
  • Utility meter

A house with shared common areas for three separate tenants isn’t a triplex. In a triplex, there must be separate living quarters for three tenants.

Related: What is a duplex?

Is a Triplex Considered an Apartment?

Triplexes are rental houses, although you might consider them apartments. Really, any residential unit inside a building can be considered an apartment; for the most part, any home that’s rented rather than owned by the person occupying it can be considered an apartment.

What is a Triplex? The Complete Guide to 3-Unit Homes - Investment

Is a Triplex a Good Investment?

For many investors, a triplex is a great choice. It enables an owner to triple rental income while making only one mortgage payment. Although it’s true that many triplexes cost more than single-family homes do, the potential to rent out each unit at a standard rental rate can maximize an owner’s profits. Even if one unit is vacant, the two occupied units may bring enough revenue for an owner to pay his or her mortgage on the property.

In some cases, a triplex is not a good investment. If you’ve inherited this type of home, for example, but you have no interest in keeping it or managing it, you may be better off selling your triplex in Silicon Valley. For some people, the stress of owning a multi-family property like a triplex is more trouble than it’s worth. (If that sounds like you, call us – we specialize in selling triplexes and other multi-family properties. We can help you sell yours quickly and at the right profit.)

Are Triplexes Hard to Sell?

Although there’s less demand for triplexes than there is for single-family homes, it’s not incredibly difficult to sell one at the right profit. However, you have to ensure your triplex is ready for the market before you list it for sale. When your property is ready to sell (and ready for a new investor to step in and start making cash), it’ll move faster and bring in a higher price than it would if you simply listed it “as-is.”

Getting your triplex ready to sell doesn’t have to be complicated. You can talk to your Silicon Valley REALTOR® about what’s necessary to get your property primed to sell. These are the first steps to take if you want to sell your triplex in Silicon Valley:

  1. Make all major and minor repairs. You should fix (or hire someone to fix) leaky faucets, stained flooring, tired paint and other issues before you even put your triplex on the market. Investors want to make money, and that means not using their own cash to upgrade a triplex so they can start pulling in rental payments.
  2. Update what you can. If the property has outdated light fixtures, older-looking faucets or carpeted floors, you may want to consider installing a few upgrades. The more modern a house is, the more likely you’re able to attract investors who see it as a marketable property. However, you should talk to your Silicon Valley REALTOR before you put a lot of money into the space; you don’t want to spend more money than you need to.
  3. Stage the space so prospective buyers can envision it as a good investment. You don’t have to fill every unit with furniture, but if you’re able to at least showcase the major living spaces in each dwelling unit, you’ll give prospective buyers a good starting point to imagine the profits they could make if each unit had its own tenant.

What is a Triplex? The Complete Guide to 3-Unit Homes - Tenants

Is it Easy to Find Tenants in Silicon Valley?

Silicon Valley is enjoying a tremendous boost in new residents – and that means finding tenants for your triplex may be easier than you think. If you’re charging a reasonable amount for rent and you’re offering a home of comparable value to other rental properties on the market, it shouldn’t be terribly difficult to find tenants to fill your three units.

Words of Wisdom for New Triplex Investors

If you’ve never invested in a triplex before, you need to know that the real estate market varies widely between Silicon Valley communities. For example, a unit that rents for $2,500 in Cambrian Park may rent for $2,700 in Willow Glen and $2,300 in Saratoga. People who live in different rental markets are looking for different styles, sizes and amenities – and they expect to spend a certain amount of money for what they get in return. As a new investor, it may be in your best interest to work with a property manager who can help you settle on an appropriate rental price for your properties. Your property manager can also help you find and screen tenants, as well as collect rents, handle maintenance requests and handle every other aspect of renting out your property so you can make a profit.

Pro Tip: Bear in mind that one unit in the same triplex may be worth more than the other two, or one may be worth significantly less.

Are You Buying or Selling a Duplex, Triplex or Fourplex in Silicon Valley?

If you’re selling a duplex, triplex or fourplex in Campbell, Cambrian Park, Los Gatos, San Jose, Santa Clara, Saratoga, Willow Glen or another community in Silicon Valley, we’re here to help. Call today or fill out the form below to find out about our innovative marketing plans that can put your investment property in front of all the right buyers.

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