If you can't afford multi family, can you just build it?

6 Replies

Hello all,

I recently made the decision to move forward in my real estate investing journey by making my first purchase of a four plex located in Roebuck SC.  It's in the Spartanburg county area about thirty minutes from Greenville SC.  So far I am in the process of fixing up the property, it has three residential apartments on the second floor that are all currently occupied and one open area on the ground floor that is being leased by a commercial company.  Currently the building cash flows quite well; I am working on a few strategies to optimize the cash flow and am running into a bit of a problem with one idea that I've had.  

If the company that is renting the lower level of the building ever moves out, I would like to convert the downstairs floor into three additional two bedroom/ one bathroom apartments.  I have messaged several contractors so far but only one of them has replied.  Their estimate to complete the project was $75/sq. foot, which to complete two of the three apartment complexes at 930 square feet each would run me approximately $140k.  The ceiling on the lower level needs to be finished, but the exterior walls are in good order, there is plumbing already run and electrical wiring throughout the downstairs area.  There is already an existing kitchen and central air as well.

Has anyone in the Upstate SC area done any kind of renovations similar to what I am wanting to do?  And if so would you mind talking about the costs that were associated with that kind of work?

We love the Spartanburg area right now...would like to do more for sure.    Really would need more info to give you a solid answer.  Unfortunately, the contractor thing is key and it's really hard to find a good one that's reasonably priced in that market right now.   Is the company downstairs on a lease?  Will the electrical be individually metered?  Has a/c already, but how will that work when you have 3 diff apartments?   Are you ok to turn the commercial space into residential...any zoning issues?   Just a few quick thoughts. 

You mention "

If the company that is renting the lower level of the building ever moves out, I would like.....

Considering the changes that our area is going through right now, and the fact that you have not owned the building very long, I would perhaps suggest, you wait and see what the market is like and how the building has performed WHEN the commercial tenant moves out.

You may be correct in assuming that the commercial level of the building may perform better if and when the current company moves out; unfortunately I've been struggling to keep up with everything on the property currently.  I feel like I may have taken on more than I can handle with my first purchase and am seriously considering selling the property and starting over with a single family home or two until I can establish a better foundation for myself.  I have been unsuccessful in getting a contractor out to the property to give me an estimate on renovating the lower level and the single electrician who did give me an estimate suggested that I may have to rewire the entire building to get individual metering.  If you have any suggestions or advice that might help me to turn this current endeavor in a more positive direction I am open to all possibilities but at the moment I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle!

I have not; there is a policy in place that the loan officer helped me to set up through a connection at his bank.  Insurance is running about $245 a month for the property.