I am looking to buy a SFH with a full in-law suite in Red Bank and trying to rent it out as a duplex after I house hack it for 1 year to satisfy primary residency status for a FHA loan. The house is currently zoned as a R1A, and I was wondering if anyone has any experience with rezoning in this area to make it a legit duplex to rent out later and have a management company take it over. Is rezoning even necessary to pull this off? Thanks everyone!
It's my understanding Chattanooga is no longer allowing duplexes in fact they're trying to downgrade many of them to SFH. Red Bank could be different. @Brian Levredge will have the answer
Hi Neal, red bank is a nicer area and may have stricter zoning and ENFORCEMENT?? But you are not aware of problems with your rehab strategy: You can't not get a permit to create a full apartment which means functional kitchen+bedreoom(s)+bath. Due to the anti-duplex zoning. So the rehab would need to be underground no permits. This happens all the time in Atlanta but!
Once you get through the rehab, which is not that hard unless inspectors drive by and see a dumpster and nose in. Yes they will do that. Depends on how closely they monitor in red bank. City of Atlanta = bad, some other small towns = really bad for inspectors finding unpermitted work.
You will not be able to get separate powrer and water meters for the apartment. So you will need to rent (or air-bnb) utilities included. The worst situation happens whe n you move out and now you have TWO apartments you have to rent utilities included. IE one power bill, 2 un-related tenants, who pays, how do you split it up?
Then ultimately when you go to sell, that un-permitted (maybe marginal build quality) is now actually a liability like a pool. Great for someone with extended family but a typical family will NOT pay extra for that apartment. Selling as an investment / rental and being landlord paid utilities is a very hard sell.
Just mentioning;; not all is cash and roses with your plan. I just reco you do it and live their forever!!! :) or not do it at all and do the buy and stay 2 years a simple and cheap SFH creating a string of SFR's behind you every 2 yrs. Buy small, 3/2, cheaper houses that will cash flow 300-400/mo.
Are you in the City of Red Bank or Chattanooga (they have the same zip code)? If it's Red Bank you're chances are zero, just about. Red Bank has tons of multi family, and the city has been trying to decrease density for years so getting a variance will be a huge challenge.
Chatt isn't a whole lot better. If there's other multi family in proximity you make be able to get it rezoned, but will still have an uphill battle.
Thanks for the detailed response Curt! This house already has a completely independent mother in law suite with bedrooms, kitchen, full bathroom and a separate driveway as well. This was created by the builder/previous owner. The original owner had rented out the downstairs up until the 2000s
It's listed as Chattanooga but in Red Bank, 37415. I mentioned in my previous post it was built as a 2 unit building originally in the 60s and not a SFH. wonering if that would change anything, or maybe get a R1 exemption? The building fits all the zoning rules for a R2 and it has 2 separate drive ways.
@Neal Huang why not just buy an existing R2 there are tons of them
Do both units have central HVAC, W/D hookups, and are separately metered for all utilities? If so then no need to try and rezone. If not you will take a hit on rent compared to a duplex that has those.
We mange units similar to what you initially describe. Shared water is easy to deal with. Electric less so.
Of importance is that both units meet full egress to avoid liability. If you are determined to buy and rezone you'll also want to make sure you meet minimum lot size for Hamilton County which takes into account road frontage and depth.
I wouldn’t mind getting an R2 Zoned duplex, if you have any leads or deals I would be happy to talk about it. I currently don’t see any available in the areas I’m targeting.
It meets all requirements for sure (lot size, parking space) not sure about exact frontage space.
The main floor has its own HVAC unit /central. The other unit uses a window unit and gas fireplace heater.
I remember hearing about a company that can get accurate water metering for individual units of a house on a BP podcast, not sure about electricity though.
Thanks for your response!