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Old 09-14-2009, 09:26 PM
 
15 posts, read 37,370 times
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Question Can someone explain houses that are 'apartments'

I am from Texas moving to Tonawanda area. Looking at the houses for rent I notice a lot of "upper" and "lower" houses for rent? These houses appear completely normal & described as 3 bedroom, 1 bath...so is this a roommate type situation, sharing the kitchen, or separate entrances type thing? We don't really have stuff like that down here. It seems VERY popular in the north though. It's hard. We just need a house!
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Old 09-14-2009, 09:34 PM
 
Location: Hamburg, NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BAHOWELL View Post
I am from Texas moving to Tonawanda area. Looking at the houses for rent I notice a lot of "upper" and "lower" houses for rent? These houses appear completely normal & described as 3 bedroom, 1 bath...so is this a roommate type situation, sharing the kitchen, or separate entrances type thing? We don't really have stuff like that down here. It seems VERY popular in the north though. It's hard. We just need a house!
Most are older large homes split into several apartments. They usually have separate entrances. Typically they are not a roommate situation & usually you will have your own kitchen, bath, etc.
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Old 09-14-2009, 10:06 PM
 
Location: Now in Houston!
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A large portion of the housing stock in Buffalo, especially in the city and to lesser extent some of the older first-ring suburban areas, are built as two family homes with one apartment downstairs and one upstairs ("lower" and "upper"). Some people call them "flats". The two apartments are fully separated, and usually have a common entrance/stairway on the side and/or back of the house, with separate locked doors into each apartment, of course.

You do have to share the backyard and driveway, which will often have a detached one or two-car garage, as well as a the basement. In many situations the owner lives in one of the apartments and rents out the other for extra income.
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Old 09-15-2009, 05:28 AM
 
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If you are looking to rent entire houses look more in Amherst and in the southtowns to a lesser extent. For some reason, most of the houses for rent in Buffalo and Tonawanda seem to be these. I wouldn't like it.
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Old 09-15-2009, 10:20 PM
 
3,905 posts, read 5,455,620 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BAHOWELL View Post
I am from Texas moving to Tonawanda area. Looking at the houses for rent I notice a lot of "upper" and "lower" houses for rent? These houses appear completely normal & described as 3 bedroom, 1 bath...so is this a roommate type situation, sharing the kitchen, or separate entrances type thing? We don't really have stuff like that down here. It seems VERY popular in the north though. It's hard. We just need a house!
The are tons of single homes here. You can easily find them in all locations: city, burbs and also from doubles made into a single.

Most families originally built houses with flats for the purpose of having 2 of the parts of the family living there ( such as parents down, a son/daughter and family up). [I grew up in a double like this and it was great with family all around; grandparents down, us up. That was downstate by NYC. I was very comfortable with the situation here and my first rental was a 3 br flat when in college, before I got married. We split it 3 ways, making it cheaper than dorms for college kids (40 years ago). ] These are often absolutely identical "houses", one up, one down: often a big living room facing the street, a kitchen and dining room behind and 3 BR and a bath in the back. Most are entirely on different utilities. One of our daughters rents a flat in a nice city area and has a 2BR flat. She gets water paid for; she pays heat and electric. The lady who owns the house is older, the house is paid and for the landlady and it is good income. Most doubles/houses with flats are occupied by the owner on one floor and rented on the other. Some, you get the yard ( lower/down) and often a garage: the other, you get a porch ( and maybe part of the garage). My daughter has it in her lease that they get the driveways and garage. [OTOH, the lady living in the other flat is older and wants no garage]
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Old 09-18-2009, 07:31 AM
JH6
 
706 posts, read 1,425,503 times
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We own a couple two family homes like this in West Seneca.

Many of the old buffalo homes are "flats" like this.

As everyone has said, they are separate apartments, ours share a common entrance but that's it.
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Old 09-22-2009, 02:43 PM
 
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I lived in Buffalo for 24 years. Those "flats" are HUGE, and they're cheap.

Welcome to the cheapest housing in the nation. I pay almost 3x in S. Fla for what I could get in Buffalo.
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Old 09-26-2009, 10:41 PM
 
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The word you are looking for is "duplex," Google it. Usually, the front entrance has one main door, that enters into a small area where there is a door for the lower apartment, and a door that leads up to stairs for the upper apartment. There is also a side entrance usually with a narrow staircase, and a door at each level. Each apartment usually has its own kitchen, and bathroom. Depending on how the owner has it set up, usually, acess to the basement is shared for laundry purposes and storage. Attic access varies. Sometimes the driveway will lead into a separate garage (not attached to the house). Check with the landlord on parking situation. If there is someone living downstairs/upstairs from you and they are parked behind you in a narrow driveway, you will have to knock on their door anytime you want to drive somewhere. Sometimes, the backyard is paved to make a little "parking lot" in the back so you don't have to deal with it.

Things you will want to check out: Noise travelling between floors. In some of the older houses, you can hear the upstairs neighbors everytime they walk around. If they are blaring their TV, you might have trouble sleeping. Also, these duplexes don't have anything like an elevator, so if you are on the second floor and bringing home groceries, it can be a pain. Buy in smaller quantities. Oh yeah, if you are on the second floor, make sure it has a porch or balcony, it makes the summers a lot more enjoyable.
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Old 09-27-2009, 05:58 AM
 
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Actually duplexes more often are like townhouses, with separate entrances, but share a common wall.

My parents owned several in Buffalo until they wizened up and decided to get their capital out of this city and go to the very nice city of Cincinnati (which I love)
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Old 09-27-2009, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Now in Houston!
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The definition of "duplex" varies widely.

In Buffalo and other locations it refers a side-by-side arrangement as described above.

In NYC, a "duplex" is any apartment with two floors.
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