Condo conversion of existing Duplex?

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falcon
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Condo conversion of existing Duplex?

Post by falcon »

Had an interesting talk with a realtor friend. They asked me if a condo conversion of an existing duplex is legal in CA.

They've been successful with building a NEW duplex from scratch as a condo, so asked me why not existing? I mentioned zoning / planning etc would likely object, but I wonder in the modern SB9 / SB10 era whether or not it's possible.
DWoolley
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Re: Condo conversion of existing Duplex?

Post by DWoolley »

It has been possible. The high ticket item is each unit has to have separate utilities to be converted to a condominium.

Google "Pam Julien Houchen is sentenced to 37 months and must pay $140000 in restitution for condo conversion scam." To find out what happens when you don't separate the utilities and follow the law.

DWoolley
falcon
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Re: Condo conversion of existing Duplex?

Post by falcon »

Thank you Mr. Wooley I'll take a look at that.

I've been involved in Commercial conversions but never an already existing residential.
falcon
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Re: Condo conversion of existing Duplex?

Post by falcon »

Ok for anyone who may end up doing one of these I've learned some things this week.

- Fire Separation of the party wall might be an issue. Older Duplexes might need to be upgraded if the units will now be sold separately.
- Tenants may have right of first refusal. Their income may come into play a bit but that I'm not too clear on how. This is a planning issue.
- Still need to form an HOA and condo docs. Finding a managment company to manage a two unit HOA for a reasonable price is difficult.
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David Kendall
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Re: Condo conversion of existing Duplex?

Post by David Kendall »

falcon wrote: Tue Apr 23, 2024 7:52 am Ok for anyone who may end up doing one of these I've learned some things this week.

- Fire Separation of the party wall might be an issue. Older Duplexes might need to be upgraded if the units will now be sold separately.
- Tenants may have right of first refusal. Their income may come into play a bit but that I'm not too clear on how. This is a planning issue.
- Still need to form an HOA and condo docs. Finding a managment company to manage a two unit HOA for a reasonable price is difficult.
This is interesting. My understanding of the SB-9/SB-10 streamline subdivision theory was that we should be able to draw a property line through an existing residence and sell off each side.

As you have demonstrated, the practical application may be more complex. I had already encountered the separate utiltity situation but I had not considered these other aspects.

Can someone explain the distinction between condo and duplex (or what is the advantage of a condo)?

Thank you for the discussion!
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Jim Frame
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Re: Condo conversion of existing Duplex?

Post by Jim Frame »

Can someone explain the distinction between condo and duplex (or what is the advantage of a condo)?
I'm not an expert in the subject, but:

A duplex is 1 piece of real estate with 2 rentable living spaces. 1 landlord, 2 tenants. Simple administration.

A 2-unit condo is 3 pieces of real estate: 2 homes plus a common area. 3 owners: 2 unit owners and the HOA. Lots of administrative overhead per unit.

A split-lot duplex (sometimes called townhomes) is similar to a duplex (there are some construction differences, but not all that many), except that it's 2 pieces of real estate from the get-go, and the buildings share a zero-setback wall line.
Jim Frame
Frame Surveying & Mapping
609 A Street
Davis, CA 95616
framesurveying.com
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