Looking to buy a duplex that is currently only cash flowing about $300/month. The basement is very finishable, and I think we could get an additional $750-800 for the basement unit, increasing our cash flow significantly. I've heard from friends that rezoning in Minneapolis can be a huge nightmare. Does anyone have experience rezoning a single family home to a duplex or a duplex to a triplex? What kind of costs should I expect? What additional risks should I be aware of? Thanks in advance for any advice offered. I really appreciate it.
I've gotten rezoning completed recently from a R2B to R3 and converted a duplex to a triplex in the past. The rezoning is not easy as you have to have the support of the city council person and the neighborhood association. It has to make sense by having other buildings nearby be R3-R6 to justify that the conversion makes sense. Converting a duplex to a triplex is much harder since you a duplex is considered a SFH in building code and a triplex is a commercial building. Because of that, there are numerous upgrades that have to be done to meet new building code because you are essentially "building a new unit". You need fire rated and sound rated floor/wall assemblies anywhere that units now touch, you have a requirement that all exit doors from all units now need to be 1 hour fire rated and are self closing ect. ect. ect. You would essentially need a general contractor and architect to draw and esecute the plans for this unit, it's not just finishing it off like a cheaper renovation.
My suggestion is if you are going to live in the duplex long term as a house hack would be to take an ADU approach since it would be much smoother going.
Gentlemen, thank you for your insights. This was exactly what I was looking for.
Bruce, thank you for sharing the details on the challenges with converting from duplex to triplex. I didn't know the complexities involved there. I plan would have been to owner occupy for a year or so, to take advantage of the FHA, but then we would move out and likely need to get the property rezoned. In the end, we thought it wasn't the best decision for our family. Thanks very much!
Hey David, here's another thread (started by yours truly) on the same topic. As Bruce mentioned, what scares me about the process is going from a SFH code to the commercial building code.
Sweet. Thanks @Peter Ulstad . Very helpful to read.
Definitely glad we didn't end up going with the purchase. That would have been an unpleasant experience a 6-months from now.
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