Single Family Home into 2 Units

7 Replies

I'm actively looking to purchase a single family home investment property in Bettendorf, IA and was recently struck with the thought that perhaps it would make sense financially if I were to find a single family home that has a separate income suite/apartment in it, or the potential for one, so that I could rent out the main house to one set of tenants and the basement apartment to another set of tenants.

What are the zoning implications/legal implications? Does anyone know who I would ask? A real estate attorney who knows Bettendorf?

Also, does anyone have experience doing this sort of thing? What are the drawbacks (beyond zoning and dealing with 2 tenants)? Appreciate any advice, thoughts, guidance from those who've owned this type of property.


Hi @Allison Massey , I've been very involved in the Quad Cities market. Bettendorf is going to be tough to find a turnkey duplex that makes above 1%. @Michael Pease is the only PM I'd go with out there. He also has a very strong finger on the pulse of the market and is networked well into the investor pool. He may be able to assist you with finding a property.

Start here. There is another thread going round where someone bought a non-conforming property (doesn't meet zoning) and is now having issues getting a permit cleared. You want to make sure your zoning allows an accessory unit and/or a two-family dwelling first. the fist link is the zoning map and the second is the zoning code. Good luck!

@Meghan McCallum Thanks so much for your guidance. I'd be willing to fix up a property, as my dad lives in Davenport, has worked in construction in the QC for 30+ years and would be able to run point for a renovation. That said, actually found this property on fsbo and noticed it has a basement apartment. Made me think about that as a potential approach. But am concerned about the zoning and appeal to renters. My plan was to find a single family home in Bettendorf and I've been looking on the MLS primarily (and FSBO). Do you think there are deals to be had for a 3/2 single family home in Bettendorf through MLS or FSBO? I have an offer in (1 of 4 offers that were made) on a short sale in Bettendorf right now, as well. Just getting started and trying to find my way.

And thanks for the @Michael Pease recommendation. I've actually already connected with him and hope to meet him in person next week when I'm home for the holiday. He introduced me to an agent who I'm working with, (thank you Michael).

Thank you, @Merritt Steinbach  I actually found that thread after posting this and it is helpful. I will check out these links and may just consult with a real estate attorney in the area to get a solid idea for what's involved in re-zoning a home. May not be worth the hassle and back to my original plan of simply finding a single family home. 

@Allison Massey some municipalities will be more strict then others. I have seen many in Memphis lose a lot of money sneaking around code or getting into an situation they think is simple and when code gets involved, gets expensive. Re-zoning in my market from SFR to anything above SFR (duplex, triplex, etc) requires notifying the neighbors and have them ok the zoning switch. Most neighbors do not desire that type of zoning change.

An Real Estate attorney is a good place to start. Also find someone who owns a lot of MF or an local Property Manager who manages a lot of MF. They will be good resources too. 

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