Should we buy the Duplex or Vacant Lot?

It has been a very busy week. We are on the hunt for our first home. Oh boy! there are so many things that we should learn and understand. Things that we have to consider and making sure that the property is worth every penny. 

We need your help. This is the scenario:

We found a Duplex house. Very new and it has beautiful design. I love the color combo they used so if we are going to buy it we don’t have to worry about the wall, cabinets, stairs and door paint.

The lot is 71sqm, floor area is 130sqm. It’s 2 floors. The location is great. It has good community and not so far from school, churches and grocery stores etc.  The overall size is just enough for us. It has 3 bedrooms, 2 toilets, 2 car garage, kitchen, dirty kitchen, 1 maids quarter, spacious living room, Veranda on the 2nd floor. Lights are nice too. It has water tank on the roof.

Now, just next to the Duplex there is a vacant lot. The lot size is bigger than the Duplex. If we are going to buy the vacant lot, obviously, we will be the one to build our own house.

Definitely, there are pros and cons in building our own home from scratch. I don’t have any idea how stressful it can be. I hate the paper works it will entail. I have to do it alone without hubby around. My Father-in-Law who is supportive can also help but overall I have to lead the construction of our first home. There is a possibility that we might overshoot with our budget too. Of course, I will try hard to stick to the budget. 

Here is the Duplex house, where we don’t have to go through the stress of construction and paperworks and all. What I will be worrying about are the furnitures, decor, appliances, water, electricity supply, window grills etc.  BUT the lot size is smaller than the vacant lot, I can’t do much like extension of the house, no garden, restricted to what we can do and all. We don’t know how it was made. Ready to moved-in.

Duplex House

That’s not me :)

I know this will depend on each need and want but I want to hear your thoughts on this matter.

My questions to you are:

If you are to choose, which one would you buy? Duplex or vacant lot?

Have you tried staying in a Duplex House? What are the future problems in store with us if we choose to buy the Duplex house? What are your recommendation that we should do first before buying it?

Really need your inputs here Mommies and Dads :) Please don’t hesitate to comment, I love reading them :)


  • Charlie February 10, 2014, 9:57 am

    For me I would consider how long you want to live there. If you want to raise you family there then I would lean towards the lot because you can make it what you want. However, I would talk to a couple of different qualified builders about cost and time projections before I committed because it will be very stressful if you choose to build. Look at the long term cost/benefit analysis for your family versus the short term. You and your husband know what you need and can do, it’s a hard step but you can do it. May your venture be blessed! :o)
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    • Judy February 10, 2014, 3:46 pm

      Hi Charlie,

      Thank you. I agree on all what you said here. Good points.My husband told me that if we choose to build, I’ll have gray hair in no time but I hope in the end it will all be worth it. We also love the Duplex. Oh boy! we are torn between two lovers. This is going to be a very long discussion and process for us.

  • Meredith@A TIPical Day February 11, 2014, 6:44 am

    I agree with Charlie. A lot depends on you and your plan for the property. With the duplex, do you have an option of renting out part of it for extra income or are you only buying half? Certainly the lot for me would be the better choice since I could customize everything, however budget is always that deciding factor. How handy are you and your husband and how much time do you want to invest into the project? Are the lot and the duplex both owned by the same person? Is there a possibility that they would make a deal so that you could buy both and live in the duplex until you are ready to have your home built? Then you could always sell/rent out the duplex. In the mean time you could possibly use the lot for your extra living space such as garden and play ground area. Just some things to think about. It is a tough choice! Good Luck and my best to you!
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    • Judy February 11, 2014, 10:38 pm

      Hi Meredith,

      Thank you so much for your input. I like your ideas. The owner of the Duplex and vacant lot are different. We can only buy half of the duplex. If only we can buy the whole duplex but that’s goin to be really expensive. Just an update. We will go with the vacant lot. We thought the seller is selling it at 15 Thousand Pesos/sqm but it’s actually just 10 Thousand/sqm. This made the decision easy. I really want a garden where our kids can play :) Right now we are a bit excited but we know for sure there are going to be a lot of tough decisions to make along the way. Phew! It’s very expensive to buy/build a home.

  • Feral Turtle February 12, 2014, 1:27 pm

    That is such exciting news Judy! I can’t tell you what would be best but if you build, do your homework and pick the right contractor! That could make all the difference! Looks like a gorgeous Duplex!
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    • Judy February 13, 2014, 7:39 am

      Hi Karen :)

      It is really a nice Duplex. I am starting to get stressed out with the whole process of owning our first home. I just hope that the whole process experience won’t be as stressful as what others had. We are now halfway with the first process like verification of the lot title, lot plan etc. I have to say I am learning a lot one step at a time.


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