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We are seeing more and more people converting multi-family homes into condos. As these multifamily homes require only a small investment on property owners in most cases. Of course, we are talking about legal cost not construction cost.

There are however, many hurdles along the way that may prevent you from converting your property into a condo, mainly arising from legal conditions that need to be met. Of course it can be expected that you must jump through a series of legal hoops in order to be able to convert the status of one building into another. It is for the safety and wellbeing of the entire community that these laws exist.

Definitions of housing types

What is a multifamily home?

These seem to be the least common of housing types available, but becoming steadily more popular as less families are able to buy their own home in the growing market. A mix between a condo and a single family home, a multifamily home is essentially a single family home that has been legally and physically converted into two or more homes. They sometimes share the same entrance or have been converted so that each family has their own entrance. Any more than four units and the complex are considered commercial. They are great investment properties for a family who is looking to live in one unit and rent out others, or for multigenerational families where the family can be together, but with some independence as well.

What is a condo?

A condo is a single unit within a much larger building or community of other units. Condos are found in densely populated urban areas surrounded by retail and other amenities. Residents are generally required to pay monthly or yearly fees to the Home Owners Association when owning a condo. There are limited responsibilities regarding the upkeep of the building when owning a condo, as any problems are shared amongst the entire building or floor responsible. In saying that, residents also have limited say on any personal touches or designs they wish to make to their home.

The main difference between a condo and a multifamily home is that multifamily home units cannot be purchased individually, the building must be owned by a single home owner. In a condo, each unit can be bought and sold independently from one another. The appeal to convert a multifamily home to a condo then is understandable, should a family not be able to afford mortgage repayments or wish to move out of the home they are living in and renting out respectively. Rather than sell the house to a single owner, the building owner may wish to convert the building into a condo and sell each unit separately, with major investment gains.

Condo conversions are all the rage right now. They are in very high demand as well as being available in many more locations. They are the perfect entry-level home for renters to become home owners and the demand never dies for young professionals and families alike to realize this dream. You can also dramatically increase the value of your home by converting your multifamily to a condo. As housing prices continue to climb, more and more people are converting their homes into condos to rent and sell in order to cut their personal living expenses.

So how does one go about converting a multifamily into a condo? Your first step should to contact a builder, who has completed these projects form this point the builder can bring in his team which would include an attorney and a real estate agent. Transforming a multifamily into a condo is quicker and less expensive than building from the ground up, but you need to ensure you have ample parking, ask who will have the use of the driveway and of the yard if there is one. You need to know what will happen to the common areas of the home. A real estate attorney will help you answer these questions and many more so to avoid any problems in the future.

At MGB Construction we work closely with real estate professionals who will be able to let you know how much your property is worth as it is, and how much it would be worth to sell as individual units as a condo. This information is invaluable in making that first decision as to whether you should convert your multifamily home into a condo. The additional costs in legal and construction fees may make the huge profit of a condo conversion seem a little less so. Go through the facts and figures with your builder, attorney and your real estate agent to make sure it makes financial and legal sense.

In general, people are converting their multifamily to condos because there is a significant monetary gain in doing so. So if you believe you are one of them and wish to carry on, then you and your attorney will draw up and file the conversion documents which will be submitted to the Toronto Building Department. They will advise you on coming steps of the legal process. Expect to pay between $10, 000 to $15, 000 in legal fees.

When converting to a condo, you need to ensure that each unit is self-contained. This means there is separate heating, electricity and/or gas and plumbing to each unit, which can be charged separately. An inspector will come to your property to ensure that everything is up to code, and it is up to you to ensure that your condo is compliant.