Should I Rehab A Duplex Or Buy A Vacant Lot and Build New?

There are a couple factors I would consider first. One, what type of financing can you get approved for? If you can do a rehab loan then you can actually remodel a duplex. Unless you have the cash, you will not be able to rehab a duplex with a conventional loan. Second, what price point are you looking to buy at? In Minneapolis, if you are looking in the right neighborhoods with a low cost of entry for a vacant lot then I think it makes more sense to build new for under $300,000 range.

Think about it like this, for $300,000 you could have a brand new, open floor plan duplex with a in laundry unit, two or three bedroom unit, fresh basement with high ceilings. Or for $225,000 after rehab cost you can have a totally remodeled 1920s duplex that is very nice and everything is updated, but you still have an old basement, most likely not an open floor plan and no washer and dryer in the unit, and a creepy basement.

Plus you don’t have nearly as much maintenance cost since everything is brand new. My last point to consider is that Minneapolis is one of the best places to live in the country. Now I was born in Minneapolis, lived in the Minneapolis suburbs for 20 years and have now lived in the heart of the city for the last 14 years so I am a little biased. But if you look up Forbes, CNN Money, US News and Reports, they all rank Minneapolis as one of the best cities to live in the country. So at the end of the day, get your financing right and determine what route you want to go.