Rehabbing & House Flipping

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Daniel Schwartzberg
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Two-Family to Three-Family Conversion & Rehabbing

Posted Mar 22 2023, 07:46

Hi everyone! I’ve got a few questions related to a real estate project I’m undertaking over the next few months, and thought there may be some people on the BP forums who’ve either had experience with similar projects, or might have general thoughts and recommendations they’d be willing to share for my situation. I’ve always appreciated the openness and helpfulness of the BP community, so thanks in advance to all who take the time to read this.

The basic information is that I own a two-family home in Derby, CT, which used to be a three-family (the top two floors were connected by a previous owner to make one two-floor unit). Right now, I’m househacking and living on the second floor of the property while renting out the bottom unit. I’d like to separate the top two floors to again make it a legal three family, so I can continue living on the second floor but rent the other two units to two tenants rather than one. My eventual plan is to move out of this property entirely (hopefully into another duplex to again househack), and rent out each floor of this property, since I believe that will provide more flexibility and overall cash flow from the place. I’ve already had several conversations with the Zoning and Building offices at Derby’s City Hall, and confirmed that three-family homes are a permitted special exception use in the zone where the property is located. They’ve informed me that after I submit some documents and diagrams of certain parts of the house, and scale drawings of my planned renovations, the conversion should be able to be approved. However, since this is the first time I’ve undertaken a project like this, I still have some questions that I was hoping the collective knowledge of BP users might be able to answer. Right now, the info I’m trying to source is:

• Names of zoning attorneys in the Fairfield/New Haven area who could help with communicating with the Building and Zoning offices and facilitating the process of the rezoning (I’m not positive that I’ll need to retain legal help at this point, but would still appreciate any suggestions in case it seems like the best option)

• Recommendations for contractors with experience and/or specializing in multifamily work (including GCs; electricians; HVAC companies; plumbers; etc). I’d love to be able to start work as quickly as possible once the approval itself has been finalized, so I’ve begun obtaining quotes, and would love to expand that list if anybody here has positive experiences with companies that might have missed my attention.

• Suggestions for diagramming software/applications, or best practices for drawing layout diagrams and housing plans. I’ve already made a scale diagram of the house floor plans by hand, but was hoping to use a diagramming application to make it look more professional, with more exact measurements/scaling.

I realize that’s a lot to toss out there, so whatever responses people might have to any of those bullet points would be really appreciated. And if there are other things that I’ve not thought about that others have run into during this kind of a process, I’d welcome any and all thoughts. Anyways, thanks again, and I appreciate whatever advice and info people are willing to share!

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