Need Advice to Purchase 5 or 6 Unit and Convert to Micro-Units

6 Replies

Hi all! I have invested in single family real estate before, but have never looked into commercial real estate. I have done a lot of research on the micro-unit concept and beleive it will be a lucrative rental model for me in Washington, DC, where I am based, and Boston, MA area where I travel often. I am looking for agents with their own experience buying and renting apartment buildings (it is important to me i find someone that already has deep expertise since I do not), as well as advice on how to go about getting financing, and also anyone with experience with Micro-units or interest in partnering on a micro-unit venture. I hope to buy something between 2 units and 5 or 6 units and renovate to have closer to 4 (if renovating a 2 unit) to 8 to 10 units (if renovation and 5/6 unit). Guidance on zoning is appreciated too. 

DC only has 1 building of Micro Units (that I am aware of). So no one in the market is going to have a ton of experience with them. The one building of them had about 15 units, and demand was not high for them. It took them a long time to sell even though they were at a low price point for the neighborhood they were in, and a high demand neighborhood. 

@Russell Brazil hmm i wonder why that is. In DC they are completely booked and have waiting lists, and i heard in Manchester NH someone has been super successful with micro-units. I'll look more into the comment you shared to get at the why factor. 

Hey @Marielle Walter I think the company I work for, Elm Grove, is the one you're thinking of here in Manchester, NH :) .  We renovated an old drug/rehab facility and turned it into 32 high-end micro-units.  Smallest unit is 210 SF and the largest is 450 SF.  One of the (if not the highest) highest dollar-per-SF rent in the city.  Starting at $925/mo and going up from there.  Initial lease-up time was about 45 days and we consistently maintain a full building.  

We're actually working on an additional project in Concord, NH with 12 "loft-style" apartments.  The apartments have approximately 16 foot ceilings so all of the bedrooms are located on a loft above the main living area.  Check out our website (in my bio) if you want to see some of the pictures or keep posted on how the construction is going.  

@Matt Lefebvre wow well done - you are a personal hero of mine! I love how successful you have been with the concept. I'll be up in Brentwood, NH, visiting family and would love to come take a look at your space in Manchester. Very cool you are doing another in Concord, I bet it will be just as crazy successful. I will definitely check out your website and follow along. 

I can't take credit for it personally @Marielle Walter !  I just work for the people that made that plan a reality.  I've assisted to some degree with several of their projects but haven't spearheaded them.  Would still be very happy to show you the buildings when you're in town though.