Single Family, Condos, or Duplexes: What's Best to Invest in Detroit?

By Own It Detroit

Updated July 1, 2022.

What's the best way to bulk up your real estate portfolio in Detroit? Smart real estate investors know that a diversified portfolio can lead to better success (and more income)—but how can you make that happen?

The Detroit real estate market is an excellent way to build tremendous cash flow, consistently add new properties, and boost your long-term wealth—and there are plenty of ways to do it in the Motor City! From single-family homes to condos and duplexes, you'll find plenty of variety in the housing markets here when you invest in Detroit.

However, you may be wondering: Which type of rental property is best? If you have your eye on success in the City of Detroit, should you focus on one type of Detroit investment over another? Let's look at each type of property and apply our seasoned experience as a Detroit property manager to answer this important question!

What's the Difference?

We might be a one-stop-shop for all of your residential property management needs, but that doesn't make each type of property right for your growth!

They all make excellent rental properties depending on your needs, but we know from experience that every portfolio is not a 'one-size-fits-all' scenario. Ultimately, knowing which type of rental property is going to perform well in the Detroit real estate market requires understanding the differences between each. 

Single-Family Homes

single-family residential property is detached from other buildings. It's intended to house a 'single' family in the unit—different from a multi-family building that can be a long-term home for multiple residents in different units. 

  • Single-family properties make excellent rental homes for families or couples.
  • They offer quieter spaces than condos or duplexes.
  • This type of investment opportunity is not attached to other neighbors.
  • Residents can enjoy a house, yard, and parking without sharing those spaces with others. 

However, when compared to condos and duplexes, single-family properties require more maintenance. Property owners must maintain driveways, exterior structures, and everything inside the home as a single expense. Be sure to budget for maintenance expenses into the home price when choosing detached homes for your portfolio.

City view from condo balcony


Condos are appealing to renters in the City of Detroit, and they can be an excellent addition to your portfolio. When single-family homes aren't readily available when it's time to grow, investors can often find condos looking for new owners and snap up this investment opportunity!

  • While a condo can be home to a single family, they are units inside larger, multi-family buildings.

  • Owning a condo rental eliminates yard maintenance for investors and most exterior maintenance responsibilities.

  • In most cases, a condo association manages common spaces and exterior building upkeep.

Having fewer maintenance tasks is a nice perk of investing in Metro Detroit condos. However, property owners need to be aware that they'll need to pay condo association fees and be forced to work with the association when it's time to renovate the unit.

You'll also be responsible for finding residents that follow the condo association rules while living in your rental, which is not something large-scale investors want to waste time doing. That makes working with a Detroit property manager with a focus on your growth crucial when you decide to invest in Detroit.

Typical Midwest Duplex House


If you like the idea of a multi-family rental property on a smaller scale, duplexes are an excellent choice. These residential buildings offer housing to two families or residents—one in each connected unit. 

  • In most cases, duplex units share one common wall.

  • You'll find duplexes lining residential streets, whereas condos are often found in Metro Detroit high-rise buildings (similar to apartments).

  • While not as quiet or secluded as a single-family home, residents can often enjoy quieter living in a duplex than when renting a condo. 

Duplex maintenance relies on property owners or property managers. You'll be responsible for interior and exterior maintenance for one or both units if you own them both. Much like condos, if the market isn't ideal for investing in single-family homes, duplexes offer another option to build an extensive real estate portfolio in the Motor City.

No Matter What, Choose Residential Property Management!

It's hard to say which type of property is 'better' for your long-term wealth in the Detroit housing market until an expert eye can analyze your current holdings. When you continue to add the 'right' kind of properties, you end up with a diversified portfolio and serious cash-on-cash returns.

No matter how you choose to invest in Detroit, don't forget about investing in residential property management! The mix of properties in your portfolio won't live up to their full potential without the care of seasoned property managers in Detroit. A skilled expert with a focus on sustainable growth shifts effortlessly between the management of condos, duplexes, and single-family properties. They are a complete portfolio solution

  • At Own It Detroit, we have processes in place to work with condo associations and handle property maintenance for duplexes and single-family residences.

  • OID also knows how to screen for high-quality residents and what Detroit renters want when looking for their next stand-alone home, condo, or duplex. 

The 'Best' Property Works Best for Your Portfolio!

As an institutional investor looking for the best way to invest in Detroit, your portfolio will likely contain a mix of high-performing condos, duplexes, and single-family homes. As seasoned Detroit property managers, we always recommend adding Detroit investments after a heavy dash of research.

With our best-in-class service, we help investors find the right fit when they tell us it's time to grow! No matter what type of property you add, Own It Detroit Property Management can manage renters, rentals, and associations to grow your long-term wealth.

Contact us to talk with our Detroit real estate experts and see how we can help!

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Topics: Detroit Real Estate Investor Insight Detroit Investments