How to Turn a House Into a Multi Family to Rent

How to Turn a House Into a Multi Family to Rent
  • Opening Intro -

    With more people looking for innovative ways to make money from home, it's no surprise that using a home to make money is increasingly popular.

    Many people are using multifamily properties as an opportunity to generate income and build wealth.


If you aren’t familiar with the details of turning a house into a multi-family unit, know that if you follow these steps, you can do this within the walls of your own home.

1. Research and Follow the Zoning Laws

Each city, county, and the state has particular zoning laws to adhere to. When you’re building onto a house or changing major components of it, you have to get permission to actually do the work.

For most people, connecting with your homeowner’s association will allow you to find out how much leeway you have in customizing your home. If you have a team coming to change the plumbing, do construction, and more, you’ll have to get a permit in most cases.

The permits typically come from the county’s offices. In most cases, if you don’t have the permits displayed in a window, hefty fines and other consequences will follow.

2. Hire Professionals

When you’re trying to change your home into a multifamily unit for rent, do not do the work on your own. It might be tempting to log on to YouTube University, watch a few tutorials, and attempt to DIY the process.

metal cabinet handlespeel and stick wallpaper

      some rental fixes to consider      

However, you can make some costly mistakes. Plus, if people are living in a space and an emergency arises due to your poorly-completed work, you can get sued.

If you’re doing simple jobs like painting, hanging mirrors, or putting furniture together, that’s totally fine. When you’re doing intricate jobs that require licenses and education (electrical work, plumbing, construction, etc.), always hire licensed professionals.

3. Define Shared Spaces

When you’re turning a house into a multifamily unit, consider the needs of the tenants. With a lot of people enjoying the ease of online shopping, each tenant needs a separate address as this will allow them to receive their mail without any hassle.

If you’re turning a house into a multifamily unit, chances are you don’t have the space for each rental to hold their own washer/dryer unit. Provide a semblance of convenience for your tenants by installing an on-site laundry room.

Invest in multifamily laundry equipment, set up standard rules, and keep the shared areas well-maintained. Consider the parking arrangements you’ll want to implement.

With zoning laws, your county and homeowner’s association will provide clarity regarding how many parking spaces you’ll be able to provide each tenant.

Assigned parking spaces will keep issues under control. Whatever rules you decide to utilize in order to keep shared spaces easy to manage, make sure those rules are clearly stated in the lease.

4. Transform a Garage into an Apartment

If you don’t want to do major construction inside your home, consider redoing your garage. If you have a ton of items in there, you can either sell them or place them in storage.

Once you’ve cleared the garage, hire professionals to make it livable. This involves making sure there’s insulation for a person to remain warm during the winter months and cool during the summer months.

Sealing off certain areas will keep critters, rodents, and bugs at bay as well. With the right configurations, a garage can easily turn into a one-bedroom apartment. At the very least, it can become a small studio apartment with a small shower, kitchen, and closet space.

5. Create Separate Entrances

Separate entrances are especially convenient for renters who really want privacy (most do). When you’re able to provide a separate entrance, chances are you’ll be able to advertise the rental in a more attractive manner.

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Many renters are completely open to renting an apartment from a landlord who shares the same roof. However, most renters want to know that they can get the privacy of a standard apartment. A private entrance provides that.

Even though the process seems straightforward, it can take time. Turning a home into a multi-family unit involves a considerable amount of renovations.

Renovations typically don’t stick to a tight schedule unless it’s financially rewarding. This process requires patience.

Yet, the patience and planning will be worth it when you’re able to recoup your cost, generate a solid source of income, and build wealth from the comfort of your own home.

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