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Multi-family homes, such as duplexes and small apartment buildings, can be good investments, but these buildings have additional inspection needs from single-family dwellings. For one thing, there are usually multiple sinks and toilets, all of which could potentially leak. You often also have multiple mechanical systems, such as two or more furnaces and two or more water tanks. Central systems, like boilers and central air conditioning, need to be adequate to supply all units.
Before you invest in such a property, it's wise to know exactly what shape the building is in so you can address any issues with the seller before closing.