Home Buying in 07302>Question Details

Kristin, Home Buyer in 10028

Question about converting 3 family to 2 family: construction expense and permits needed?

Asked by Kristin, 10028 Mon Jan 5, 2009

I am looking at a 3 family home but would like to convert the first two one bedroom apartments (first two floors) into one owner's apartment, leaving the top floor as a rental. Would I need any type of Jersey City permit to turn it in into a two family? In terms of construction, would I be able to bring in handy unlicensed relatives to perform non-structural construction? For structural contruction, what are the legal requirements in Jersey City in terms of labor? Are there unions to contend with or can I hire whomever I like? Any idea of rough cost of this project? Thanks!!

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You do not need a variance from the City of Jersey City to convert a 3 family into a 2 family. The kind of work you are looking to do doesn't sound like it requires Union labor. The unions are involved on mostly large scale new construction. If you do use a contractor, I recommend using a licensed one.

You could have friends and family help you do with the work, however if you do not have a permit, you risk the City finding out and perhaps issuing a "Stop Work Order" and a fine. If the City sees a lot of debris being left for the garbage collection, they may stop by and ask where your permit is.

Before you do anything I recommend speaking with a general contractor in the area. They would be able to give you an estimate of the cost and if a permit is necessary for the kind of work you are looking to do. You may want to get multiple estimates and opinions.

I'm sure you can find some contractors on this site or ask friends for a great recommendation. They always work the best. I have contractors too that I can recommend if you are interested.


Walter J. Burns
Weichert Realtors
1 Newark St.
Hoboken, NJ 07030
201-653-8488 Ext: 230
201-694-8946 Mobile
201-653-4154 Fax
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 5, 2009
Walter is right on point. He's from the area and obviously familiar with zoning ordinances! Great answer Walter!!

Laura Giannotta
Keller Williams Atlantic Shore
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 5, 2009

I am sure you can convert the building to a two family.. or convert the apartment to use as a two family.

You should call the township construction dept and ask questions.. I am sure there are permits necessary in order to make this happen. All in all it is "doable".
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 5, 2009
Bottom line you need city rezone your home into multi family dwelling. Unless they approve you cant do construction for a conversion.
Web Reference: http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 5, 2009
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