looking to build a duplex

8 Replies

I was looking at building a duplex or row homes. can any one give me some advise on what i should expect. has anyone done this before. I'm looking at purchaseing some land not much to build some row homes on or duplex. i was thinking of building a ranch style duplex with garages in the midel but this would take up alot of land i could put atleast 5 row homes on the area i only could put 2 ranches on. what would you guys do? I'm looking to build then rent these out. If i do it right i could put 10 row homes on this piece of land. I'm just wondering how they would rent i tried to talk to the managment group in the area but i dont' think they believe me i will do it so i didn't get a good answer i guess what i can do is just buy the land and take my prints to the management and then start to work with them. oh i will be funding the project myself and manageing the project such as accepting bids ect. let me knwo what you guys think.

Do you already have the prints for the designs you are considering? If so then you should talk with your local authorities to find out if they will be up to code. If the plans get the OK then you should be able to present the drawings to some builders and get some price quotes. Also you will want to check if the land you want to buy is zoned for the type of building you want to build (typically 1-4 units fall into the same residential grouping). If the land is NOT properly zoned then find out if / how you can change the zoning for the property.

You will also want to observe the target market and determine what the people in the area expect. There is no sense in creating $300K townhomes in an area that expects to pay $500 rents. As a rule of thumb you might try looking at the income for your target market and figure yearly rent / mortgage payments that are about 25% of their income.

If I was looking at an area that was mostly SFR I would probably try to build the duplexes. If the area is mostly apartments (especially larger apartments) then I would go with townhouses or maybe even multi-units and try to rent as many properties as I could.

Note: I am not a developer, but I'm just thinking about how I would approach this. Sorry, but I can't warn you of any pitfalls.

Personally i would take a few BASIC steps, and one of them is NOT "just buying the land and hopeing to get zoning and a LDP for I want"

1. ZONING- can you get what you need, density?? style of housing?? ect ect TALK to you county commisioner and/or one of the zoning heads about your intents (talk them to lunch, visit thier office, give them flowers lol, just anything to get the county on your side)

2. COMMUNITY- will the community support this type of housing (talk to other developers, visit projects of similar nature prefurably in the same area and price bracket).

3. PRELIM LAND PLANNING- do a preliminary layout, please remember stream buffers, speciman trees, ANY juristictional waters (its a good idea to have you county water systems guy come walk your property with you to verify any juristictional water systems and what the required state and county buffers are for those systems). Also, flood maps are great for prelim, GIS mapping, and FLUM (Future Land Use MAp) are a must look at. Also, verify ALL utilities (dont belive that dang realtor for one min ;) ) go to the county for sewer and water. Call elec to verify that can increase capacity to withstand your development.

3.a. - Know what the county likes. Get a development standards book so you can understand what and why a engineer should do somthing. And just because another developer got approved for a certian doesnt mean you will. Remember standards are changing constantly, and just beacuase that subdivision has this construction feature in it, doesnt mean you can too (doesnt mean you cant either). Did that make any sense at all?

3.b. - COE Core Of Engineers.. These people are a pain in the arse, get a good Eviromental company to do your Phase 1 and any permiting you might have to do for stream crossings, wetland compensation, ect. Also, you enviro. company will deliniate wetlands for you and transfer the info to your civil eng. There is some type of Core approval the comapny needs to deliniate wetlands, not sure what it is, sry. Your civil eng. will deliniate floodplain for you. If your stream free, you SHOULD be able to sleep at night ;)

Ok thats very basics, off the top of my head. Im not a writer, so i have my fingers crossed that it makes sense.

Originally posted by "Trisha":
Wow, DannyK, you rock! I'm going to keep your post for future reference.

Thanks.. :D

I try.. Im still learning also. I hope i have plenty of years left to continue learning. Im 21, so i figure i have a minimum of 20 more years left, inless i do somthing stupid like die. lol

This is my awkward post of the day. (back to work)

Have you ever thought of Prefab housing?I know they have companies that have 4plexes.I think it would be fast...You just need to prepare the site right? :groovy:

Originally posted by "Bluefish":
Have you ever thought of Prefab housing?I know they have companies that have 4plexes.I think it would be fast...You just need to prepare the site right? :groovy:

Yes I have. Yeah just prepare the site, No problem :beer: Trying to make the numbers work is another thing. Thanks for the input.