Author Topic: Converting duplex back to single family  (Read 2423 times)

Stachetastic

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Converting duplex back to single family
« on: January 28, 2015, 11:53:26 AM »
As I have noted in a previous thread, I've got a duplex with an upstairs unit that has been a pain in my butt the entire 8 years I've owned it. The property was underwater for a bit, but has rebounded to close to what I owe. However, it's not enough to sell and walk away scott free at this point. I have been able to (finally) refi the mortgage, dropping it almost $200 per month. Here are some some stats:
PITI: 466
Amount owed: 61k

Utilities I currently pay:
Gas: 93 (single furnace for entire unit)
Water: 45?
Sewer/trash: 45?

Rents:
Down: 600-650 (currently rented to sibling for family rate of $600)
Up: 500-550
Whole house: 800

If I rent the house out as one unit, I will not need to pay for gas and water. It appears profit would be about $450 per month as a duplex and $250 as a single family. No brainer, right?? Well, when you consider that the upstairs has not been consistently rented to decent tenants for the past several years. If I look at the vacancy/repair costs, it's not so obvious. The cost to convert back to single family would be nominal, as we would do the work ourselves and already own extra materials, etc. What say you, MMM?

jda1984

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Re: Converting duplex back to single family
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2015, 12:59:17 PM »
Definitely check with your local zoning/licensing authorities.  In my city, each unit has a separate trash fee, and if gas/electric meters are separate it might take some work to get them combined or have double monthly fees for transmission lines/delivery.

It seems like a potential win-win would be to have the family member move upstairs (assuming similar area/function) and rent out the bottom for closer to market rent.  If the upstairs is currently vacant, there's not a time crunch to get the move complete, but I would still set a deadline and start showing the bottom unit to prospective tenants.

Stachetastic

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Re: Converting duplex back to single family
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2015, 01:24:05 PM »
Definitely check with your local zoning/licensing authorities.  In my city, each unit has a separate trash fee, and if gas/electric meters are separate it might take some work to get them combined or have double monthly fees for transmission lines/delivery.

It seems like a potential win-win would be to have the family member move upstairs (assuming similar area/function) and rent out the bottom for closer to market rent.  If the upstairs is currently vacant, there's not a time crunch to get the move complete, but I would still set a deadline and start showing the bottom unit to prospective tenants.

Ah yes, I would need to look into the electric service. My downstairs tenant is not interested in the upstairs unit because it does not have access to the yard. Also, once he moves out, I'm back where I started with the upstairs unit. I don't anticipate him staying much longer than a year.  Thanks for the input!