Phila Triplex vs Duplex Appraisal

10 Replies

Hello BP I have a property that's zoned as a triplex the previous owner roomed it as a open concept but technically u can't room in Philadelphia. I want to BRRRR it once rehab is complete however the layout for a triplex makes the second floor extremely tight and nearly unlivable as I need to cut out the hall from the 2nd floor space to get to the third floor. I'm thinking make it two bi-level units basement and first floor unit #1 then 2nd and 3rd floor unit #2. How would this effect the appraisal value? Also from my understanding I would not need to re-zone bc u can't go down from triplex to duplex u can't go up from duplex to triplex.

@Nyelle Johnson

Hi Nyelle. I second @Nadia Jarrett 's recommendation to reach out to an architect familiar with the local zoning. That being said, typically you can do fewer dwelling units than what the zoning sets as a maximum. So if your building is in a three or multi-family residential zone, you should be able to move to a duplex without much issue.  Trying to go the other direction is quite a headache. 

As for value, you'll really need to dig into the numbers comparing the two layouts and how they relate to rents. But if the third unit would be almost unlivalbe I would imagine the rental income /cash flow would be less than ideal.

Originally posted by @Nyelle Johnson :

Hello BP I have a property that's zoned as a triplex the previous owner roomed it as a open concept but technically u can't room in Philadelphia. I want to BRRRR it once rehab is complete however the layout for a triplex makes the second floor extremely tight and nearly unlivable as I need to cut out the hall from the 2nd floor space to get to the third floor. I'm thinking make it two bi-level units basement and first floor unit #1 then 2nd and 3rd floor unit #2. How would this effect the appraisal value? Also from my understanding I would not need to re-zone bc u can't go down from triplex to duplex u can't go up from duplex to triplex.

What's the zoning now, according to the OPA, and the lot size according to Atlas?

Originally posted by @Nyelle Johnson :

@Troy S. Hi Troy zone as RSA-5 and atlas code in atlas was RSA-5 as well if I’m reading it correctly

  RSA5 is single family only, that's your zoning. You may have a variance that allows multifamily, you should be able to see it on Atlas if so, under Licenses and Inspections > Zoning Permit Documents. Also, I asked about lot size as that's how unit count is determined if your zoning allows multifamily.