Would anyone convert a historic home into a triplex in MA?

5 Replies

There is a large historic home in northern MA that is in an A town and in an A+ location that is on the market to be sold as a single family. I was wondering if converting it to a 3 family rental property is something that could be profitable enough to take on. Are there any investors out there that have done this in the past? 

Hmm...I not in your area at all (South Florida) but do have some experience in historic homes as we own what's called a "contributing structure". We wanted to do some exterior improvements for something as simple as siding (we wanted to replace rotted wood with Hardi Plank siding: much better) and I had to present a 30 min argument to the city which they shot down and I don't believe even had any intend of changing. 

My point is that  you'll have to probably jump through many hoops in order to comply  with the city. First find out if it's a contributing structure and get in touch with the local historic preservation board maybe? 

Alternatively, we instead of making the home a long term we've turned it into a vacation rental as that type of home is more appealing to short term vacationers. Do a quick check on VRBO/HomeAway or AirBNB and see if there's anyone doing the same close by and what they're getting for rent. However, before you do that see what the local municipalities rules are on short term rentals so you're not operating illegally.  Hope this helps!

@John McCormack This particular home isn't a protected historic home, which is one of the things that makes it a good option in my opinion because any alterations can be made to it without all the approval process. I am not able to make the deal happen because its out of my price range, but I was curious if a project like that would make sense for an investor. 

Originally posted by @Patrick Hermans :

@John McCormack This particular home isn't a protected historic home, which is one of the things that makes it a good option in my opinion because any alterations can be made to it without all the approval process. I am not able to make the deal happen because its out of my price range, but I was curious if a project like that would make sense for an investor. 

Ahh, OK well that's good news then! Hmm...does it make sense? There seems to be so many variables to that question.  Does the structure lend itself to being modified without putting too much into it? 2 story or 1 story? So on and so forth. Do you happen to have a link to the home we can view?  So you think there's no potential for short term rental? Are there desirable activities/attractions to the location?

I can only speak for myself, after owning an 1920's and 1930's home...I will probably stay away from them in the future.  For us old = possibility of more unknown issues.

@John McCormack Structurally the property is in great shape and all of the systems are new within the last few years. This is actually a virtual tour of it.  https://my.matterport.com/show/?model=8TxpCov3f15&utm_source=3

I have dealt with zoning in the past at lost but on the other hand  the link you sent shows a "WOW" home.  Being in the trades I wold proceed by PAYING a contractor for his/her time to come up with a budget for the conversion.  Guessing on something like this could break the bank.  A couple things that could be costly is the separation of electricity and heat for all three units as I always hate paying for someone elses heat.  I would also look to plan ahead just incase you ever want to convert to condos in the future

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