Converting 3plex to 4plex

4 Replies

Perhaps i am in the wrong place but has anyone here ever converted a 3plex to a 4 or 5 plex and what are the biggest obstacles you may have faced in so doing?

Zoning.  Most municipalities are specifically zoned for certain residences.  Once you move to 5 units, it becomes a commercial property, and needs to be in an area zoned for commercial properties.  Check with your local municipality to see the restrictions.

I have not done one personaly. I have looked at numerous conversions though. I own one. The issue is (along with your potential zoning) is converted properties usually don't attract the best tenants and are usually more costly to rehab and maintain over time. The issue is functional obsolescense. If the original plan wasn't intended for the new use the cost to do properly is usually pretty high and cosessions need to be made. 

Just my opinion... I haven't seen many conversions done properly.

@Jack P. , thank you I really hadn't considered that zoning would be an issue on the 5 plex but ultimately it could change everything.  @Peter B. , the property I have in mind is currently a 3 plex with some very unused space in the basement, it currently has a basement unit and two upstairs units however it has I would estimate around 700 sq feet of unfinished basement with a separated back door entrance from the rest of the units.    I have done some remodeling and construction myself and would hate to see unused square footage the size of a 2 bedroom apartment go to waste,  What types of things would make the space obsolete, so I can be certain to avoid them.

@Jeremy Marley

The first thing that comes to mind is adequate parking. Is there enough space for 2 or more vehicles? Also being a basement unit is there enough room for 8' ceilings?  

You stated you have a blank canvas to start with and it's own private entrance. That's a good start.. If you can run your MEP's properly/efficently (this is where the cost over run's tend to occur or corner's cut) you may have something. If you can't jump through the zoning hoops.. Maybe self storage and or laundry facilities? 

Best of luck!

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