My father owned four duplexes on a street here in San Diego that was built as a street full of duplexes next to a neighborhood of houses. Over the past 50 years I have seen numerous conversions. They all started out as 2 bedroom 1 bath units approximately 806 sq. ft. each side with one water meter, two gas and two electric meters.
I have seen three bedroom, one bath and one bedroom one bath. Single mom with three kids split her duplex and rented out the single side to a single male. Several 1600 sq.ft. 4 bedroom 2 kitchens, two baths where all they did was cut the wall connecting the joint units, this one my father bought and just put up new dry wall, taped and painted separated them back into two units. and another duplex where the person tor down the center divide wall and put a huge fireplace in the middle between the two units, too much work. So my suggestion is to make sure it will be a simple conversion, single wall, have a carpenter throw up the two x 4's drywall it and paint it. But if there was massive changes to support walls, it might turn into an expensive project that justify the outcome.... more
Check with the assessors office in your town and see if tax savings are likely if the conversion were completed. Two condos are usually more valuable than a two family and if you ever need to sell a unit down the road (retirement) then what ......also call your attorney.... more
If your not going to do the project yourself you might be best to sell the property as is and keep it a two family. There is such tight financing in today's market that you might find it very difficult to sell the condos in this market. If I were in your shoes and the property had a low mortgage I would keep it and continue to rent the home. It would become an income stream and when the market recovers then convert to condos. Best.... more
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One question! Why? Remember a realtor is NOT paid by you AT ALL but is paid by the sellers realtor out of the commision they are charging the seller........ Make sure someone is looking out for your best interest!... more
Congratulations on asking a question that I haven't heard in my 17 years of selling real estate around Somerville! Yes, you're right that a new deed would need to be drawn up for the house as a 2 family instead of as 2 condo units. There is also normally a Declaration of Trust recorded at the Registry of Deeds in Cambridge which sets up the condo association as a legal entity. This was done when the 2 family was originally converted into condos and this would need to be dissolved.
You'll also need to inform the Assessor's office of the change. (Taxes as a 2 family are normally less expensive than the taxes for two individual condo units.)
I'd say the best place to start is the Somerville Condo Review Board
http://www.somervillema.gov/Department.cfm?orgunit=CRBD. Somerville has many regulations to turn a 2 family house into condos and they might have some regulations on converting the condos back to a 2 family.
What it boils down to is you'll need an attorney to dissolve the condo association and draw up the new deed, but it should be much less expensive to convert back to a 2 family than it was to turn the house into condos.
It's nice to hear that you're so happy with where you are that you want to stay long term.... more