2 Family convert into 3 Family - Everett MA

4 Replies

In need of some advice and guidance! I purchased my first two family in Everett in a business zone. Unit 1 is 1200 sq ft and unit 2 is 800 sq ft. I have a unfinished  basement that I would like to add square footage. My plan is to take away 400 square feet from unit 1 then add an additional 400 square feet downstairs - making it three units at 800 square feet. Top unit will has 1 bed / 1 bath + office, then the two bottom units will be 1 bed / 1 bath with leaving common area in the basement with laundry. Both bedroom and bathroom in the basement will have a window (i don’t know the codes for this - but they are pretty large). To do this, I will need to move existing heating units and washer/dryer in the basement to make it work. 

Again, this is a first! I don’t know what I’m looking at for permit costs, converting costs, moving heating unit pricing, etc etc! If anyone has any advice, connections, suggestions, all the above - I would love to hear it all! 

Thank you so much!
Sean

I would start the conversation with the City of Everett first to see if it's convertible and you meet all the parameters to do so. I know this city really well and they're pretty strict on conversions, it's not something you can add willy nilly bc they're trained to drive around and look for unpermitted projects. After that and you see that it is permissible I would consult a zoning attorney in Everett and confirm you meet all the metrics and then start shopping for an architect to draw up the plans from there. 

PM me if you'd like a zoning attorney in Everett - I know a rockstar one that has a tight relationship with the city. 

Hello Lien, 
I'm considering a 2 family purchase in Everett, and am little confused about one of the zoning requirements. I'm going to DM you to ask for the zoning attorney recommendation, but thought it best to post the question here as well. The lot the house is on is only 6,000 sq ft, and I believe two family structures must now be on a 7,000 sq ft. The house was built in the 1800s, so I think it's grandfathered in, but the code states:

"Where the existing building is already non­conforming, any alteration shall not increase the existing non­conformity. Parking in accordance with this Zoning Ordinance shall be provided for any additional dwelling units. (Ord. of 4­29­91)"


and I think that's saying you can't make the non-conformity worse when converting. Seems as though it means I wouldn't be able to add any square footage. But perhaps it means a conversion isn't possible because the lot isn't 7,000 sq ft.  

Thanks!

Originally posted by @Lien Vuong :

I would start the conversation with the City of Everett first to see if it's convertible and you meet all the parameters to do so. I know this city really well and they're pretty strict on conversions, it's not something you can add willy nilly bc they're trained to drive around and look for unpermitted projects. After that and you see that it is permissible I would consult a zoning attorney in Everett and confirm you meet all the metrics and then start shopping for an architect to draw up the plans from there. 


 

Agreed on the City of Everett being very restrictive when it comes to conversions. There are land minimum requirements, egress special windows for basement living (if they approve), etc. Often times the costs to doing a conversion - even if they approve - means a very long ROI after all the work is done.
 
Curious to see what your experience is but by all means don't lose hope and good luck!

Hi Sean,

I agree with the above messages, checking with the City is a good place to start! But also, connecting to people who have investments in Everett and or done work in Everett is a fast way to get the answer you need. I happen to know a gentlemen who is a Real estate agent in Everett but also is an Investor as well! 

If you are open to me connecting you two, please message me privately and I can put you in touch with him!

Best,

Niara Ijezie