Converting a Single Family into a Multi-family

2 Replies

I'm currently looking a 3,000sf single family home that was once a multi-unit and zoned R2 (2 unit) but also had an apartment in the attic, which I would need a variance to convert back to a third unit.  The first floor is move in ready and the second floor and top floor still have the kitchens, as well as plumbing for the bathrooms (second floor bath is complete).  It's more then I would like to spend but my thought is to purchase as a conventional single family, live on the second floor, rent the bottom unit immediately, and work on figuring out the top floor and rehabbing it.  This is a hard area to find multi-units and especially three units as they are sold immediately. 


How hard and what is the cost to have separate heating, electrical, and water on each floor for utility purpose?  Would/should I do this?

Since its a single family now and zoned R2, can I just convert back to a 2 unit with no issues from the municipality?

Will converting it back to multi after I purchase as a single family going to affect the loan?

Would all the units require two entries?


There are all questions that you should ask your PM or your GC about. They will know how to answer them better and if they don't then they should be able to refer you to someone who can answer them. Good luck!

Definitely get a contractor out there to look it over. Having some plumbing and wiring still in place is a huge timesaver...if it's all to code and working properly.

Code I think is your biggest challenge here. I don't know your local codes, but converting to a 2 unit shouldn't be too difficult if it's already zoned thus. In fact, what I would (in my amateurish opinion) recommend is:

  1. Get the contractor out to inspect.
  2. Talk to local code experts (including the contractor) about buying as a single-family now.
  3. Buy the property, rent the first floor, move into the second floor, and sit for 1 year.
  4. File paperwork to fully convert the property into a 3-unit multifamily. (This will take a while.)
  5. Build out the attic apartment & make sure the meters are properly configured.
  6. Enjoy the cash flow from your new multifamily!

Best of luck. Let us know what happens too; I'm curious.

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