I want to clarify that this question is not relevant to religion but only to my interest in older buildings. You could replace the word church in my question with temple or many old building types not designed for living in full time.
Traditional french religious institutions used to own and still own many old buildings of all kinds across France and have been selling a number of them for a relatively reasonable amount of money. An example is a private school made of a gym, several buildings composed of many classrooms and a chapel (not quite a church but it has a functioning bell :-) ). It was divided in 8 different sections of about 4000sqft each and put up for sale between 130k and 160k euros each. Target buyers are developers who would turn each building into 4 to 8 apartments and rent them out (close to train station). The chapel is the cheapest of all. It is not a cathedral and doesn't have exceptional architectural qualities but it is a well maintained sturdy old structure with very tall ceilings and tall windows. Religious artifacts have been removed and the former owner institution allows it to be re-purposed obviously.
I know some people transform fire stations or libraries or churches into their own home but they are usually driven by passion more than financial wisdom (no offense). I'd love to hear of any ideas or experiences from investors where an old building was re-purposed without becoming a financial disaster.
So, what would you suggest a good re-purpose would be? Do you have any experience in the US with changing an old building into apartments? Can you think of other creative uses for such a space? Just brainstorming...
It really depends on what the community needs and the zoning involved.Could make a nice private school for new Muslim immigrants who need schools in their own language.Could be a unique youth Hostel for foreign travelers.Charming bookstore and cafe.Just depends on the location in the community.
I heard they are turning them into mosques or houses of prostitution.
Maybe just bulldoze it and turn it into a hotel or a franchise restaurant location if it has a great traffic count with little competition.
I guess you could try the Boutique Air B & B route
I would buy it if the numbers made sense. In many cities in the US, many warehouse or industrial type spaces have been repurposed for apartments. In many cases, original architecture and features make them highly desirable. For example, in one that I found, there are high ceilings, original wood floors, interior brick walls, and a wood ceiling.
Thanks for the various ideas.
@David S. Do you think the extra cost associated with special features is usually worth the money as an investment? In my experience, they will help with keeping vacancies lower but it is hard to get a higher rent on long term leases. For instance, if the place cost 25% more to buy because of a great view compared to the same without a view, I'll get 10% additional in rent but not 25%.
It works much better with short term rentals where people would more likely splurge and pay more for a unique architecture or a great view for a week.
I think you would have a better chance of getting the increase in rent in large cities. In small and medium size cities, you probably wouldn't get it.
Free eBook from BiggerPockets!
Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!
- Actionable advice for getting started,
- Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
- Learn how to get started with or without money,
- Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
- And a LOT more.
Sign up below to download the eBook for FREE today!
We hate spam just as much as you