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Yamaraider, Home Owner in Lexington, MA

Should I convert my Westborough, MA Two Family to a single family home?

Asked by Yamaraider, Lexington, MA Thu May 16, 2013

We have been living in the home as a single family for 4 years and during a refinance last year the home was valued first as a single family but that was rejected because of how it is zoned. The new valuation that occurred as a 2 Family valued the home was about $80 thousand less.

It looks like the conversion will not be too difficult with locks taken off the door and electrical meters changed based on the building department. The taxes will certainly go up a good deal every year as a result of a conversion but I will have more equity in the home that I could pull out and renovate with. I also wonder if I should convert it to an In Law of some sort.

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Answers

3
Louis has some good info there.
I'd talk to a local attorney who understands your zoning and the building department.
The "Should I" part of your question is up to you after you have good and local info.

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0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 24, 2013
Zoning has nothing to do with the reason it was denied as a single family, as you can have a single family in a 2 family zone, and if your home is a pre - existing non conforming use you can have a 2 family in a single family zone.

It has more to do with how it is being used. Are there 2 kitchens? Separate closed entrances? Separate heating systems, Separate water, separate electric, etc. Other than immediate family members living there? That could mean parents as well?

If you are in a multi family zone and convert it to a single, you can always reconvert it back to the 2 family.

If you have 2 kitchens and want it valued as a single family remove the kitchen at least the stove.

Remember that assessed value, appraised value and market value, could all be different and the buyer will determine the value. Your equity would not change in the market place as someone that wants a single family in your location will pay for it and wont have a difficult time getting it financed.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 16, 2013
The home is used as a single family and was at the time of the appraisal with only seperate electric. The second kitchen on the second floor did not have a stove at the time of the refi but it did have a sink(which has since been removed).
I understood the appraisal of the home value to be based on the "greatest use". The first mortgage broker I spoke to at the time asked me if it was a 2 Family and if so then it would be appraised as a 2 Family.
The bank I ultimately refi'd with was a large bank with the initials WF. They stated it could be appraised as a single but the appraiser asked if it was a 2 Family(based on what she saw on town record) and I said that officially it was.
After leaving she called the Building Department in to confirm it was a two family and thus she appraised it as a two family. My mortgage rep pushed for another appraisal and the appraiser stated exactly what you said but came back again with a two family appraisal. Maybe I should try and refi again as is.
Flag Thu May 16, 2013
The home is used as a single family and was at the time of the appraisal with only seperate electric. The second kitchen on the second floor did not have a stove at the time of the refi but it did have a sink(which has since been removed).
I understood the appraisal of the home value to be based on the "greatest use". The first mortgage broker I spoke to at the time asked me if it was a 2 Family and if so then it would be appraised as a 2 Family.
The bank I ultimately refi'd with was a large bank with the initials WF. They stated it could be appraised as a single but the appraiser asked if it was a 2 Family(based on what she saw on town record) and I said that officially it was.
After leaving she called the Building Department in to confirm it was a two family and thus she appraised it as a two family. My mortgage rep pushed for another appraisal and the appraiser stated exactly what you said but came back again with a two family appraisal. Maybe I should try and refi again as is.
Flag Thu May 16, 2013
The home is used as a single family and was at the time of the appraisal with only seperate electric. The second kitchen on the second floor did not have a stove at the time of the refi but it did have a sink(which has since been removed).
I understood the appraisal of the home value to be based on the "greatest use". The first mortgage broker I spoke to at the time asked me if it was a 2 Family and if so then it would be appraised as a 2 Family.
The bank I ultimately refi'd with was a large bank with the initials WF. They stated it could be appraised as a single but the appraiser asked if it was a 2 Family(based on what she saw on town record) and I said that officially it was.
After leaving she called the Building Department in to confirm it was a two family and thus she appraised it as a two family. My mortgage rep pushed for another appraisal and the appraiser stated exactly what you said but came back again with a two family appraisal. Maybe I should try and refi again as is.
Flag Thu May 16, 2013
Depends. Would you ever want to rent the other unit out?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 16, 2013
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