Duplexes are two homes sharing interior structures, such as a wall, or a floor and ceiling in two story units. The floor plans of these homes may be identical or different, but usually they offer very similar amenities. You may be considering a duplex as an investment property, planning to reside in one unit while renting out the other. Remember, each half of a duplex can be owned separately. You don't have to purchase both halves, and you may have the option of purchasing the second residence several years after the first. Duplexes are gaining popularity as adult children are opting to live near aging parents. This home style is ideal for providing semi-regular care to otherwise independent family members. Duplex homes allow each family to retain complete privacy, while proximity makes shared errands and frequent visits easier. This trend may affect duplex sales figures, as they have previously been more difficult to sell than single-family dwellings. For more information on purchasing duplexes as your primary residence, as an investment property, or to house an extended family, contact a real estate agent.