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All posts tagged Triple Decker

What Does It Cost To Buy A Duplex Or Triple Decker In Roslindale?

Roslindale Multifamily & Rental Market Data

Are you a current or aspiring landlord in Massachusetts? No matter how many years you have in the rental business, fully understanding your local market is one the most important thing you can do to ensure your long-term success.  Receiving regular market updates will help you determine when’s it time to buy and when it’s time to sell. It will also allow you to see what your apartments rent for in comparison to your neighbors. Should you be increasing rents?

Here are Roslindale’s multifamily sales and rental market statistics for the month of September.  

Total Multi-Family Listings SOLD: 16

Average Living Area by Square Feet: 2,600.00   

Average Listing Price: $618,352  

Average DOM (Days on Market): 37.87 Days 

Average Sales Price: $628,680

Average Rent for 1 Bedroom Units: $1,753

Average Rent for 2 Bedroom Units: $1,858

Average Rent for 3 Bedroom Units: $2,334

Average Rent for 4 Bedroom Units: $2,675

Want to get a FREE Sales and Rental Market Report for your specific area(s)? Just send a quick email to Contact@MandrellCo.com to receive your monthly report. In the title put the words “FREE Boston Sales Statistics” and in the body, add the up to 3 areas you’d like to receive data for. Your name and email will be added to the next monthly reporting cycle. It’s that simple to stay up to date and ahead of the curve!  

Please call us directly at 617-297-8641, for custom reports or questions above the data provided.

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Let’s talk about converting your multifamily into condos. What does it entail, who are the people you need to speak to, what are the things that you need to consider? I have a lot of clients that often come to me and say, “I have a two-family, I have a three-family, I have a four-family and there are some condos selling in my neighborhood, and I’m considering instead of selling my multifamily as a multifamily, what do you think about converting this building into condos and selling them off individually as condos? A couple things. I’m going to go over five things that you want to consider, five people that you want to speak to and get their advice before you make that final decision.

Number one, the number one person you want to speak to is your local real estate agent, a real estate agent that is versed in the multifamily, in condo sales within your market, within your neighborhood. What you’re trying to find out from that real estate agent is two things. One, “What would my multifamily building sell for if it sold as a whole, as a multifamily building?” The second number is, “If I break this into two units, or three units, what are those individual condos going to sell for?” That seems pretty elementary, pretty straight forward. Of course you want to know that. In addition to that what are the things that need to be done to these condos? What are the quality of the finishes within these condos that are required for the sale?

Again, if I’m renting … Right now if I live in unit one and I’m renting units two and units three, and I have laminate flooring and formica countertops and Home Depot cabinets, is that okay for this neighborhood? Is it a requirement for me to upgrade now to granite, to hardwood flooring, to stainless steel if I’m going to convert these into condos? What is the quality of the finishes needed for me to actually put a finished product on the market and actually have them sell?

Once you get those two comparisons. Let’s throw some numbers out there and let’s say we’re in a Cambridge market, let’s say it’s a three-family unit, and I can sell my multifamily for, let’s say, a million bucks. I’m looking at the condos in the same neighborhood and the condos are selling for let’s say six hundred apiece. This a pretty good spread. You have a million bucks as a multifamily. You have almost 1.8 million dollars in sales as a condo conversion. Most people would say, “Pretty straight forward.”

There’s a couple other considerations that you have, though. Next what I would do is I would talk to my general contractor. There’s a couple different ways … I’m going to give you the five people that you should speak to. The real estate agent I would say is always first and then you can toggle through the next four. I would probably bring in my general contractor next and say, “I’ve spoken to my real estate agent and I’m considering going the condo route. Here are the things that I want to do. Based on what my real estate agent is telling me, I need to probably gut this kitchen and we’re gonna go new flooring, new hardwood. We’re gonna bring in stainless appliances. I want new plumbing. I’m probably gonna change out a couple furnaces in the basement. I’m gonna separate these into different utilities for each unit.

Based on those things, what is that full renovation budget gonna run me?” Have your contractor come in, give them the specs, and then have them give you a proposal, a contracting proposal so you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. The reason you want to do that is because, again, there’s an $800,000 spread between selling it as a multifamily and selling it as condos, but if you come in and your contractor says it’s gonna cost you about a half a million dollars to convert these into condos, is there still an 800. Now there’s only a $300,000 spread.

The other things you want to consider, $300,000 spread still a lot of money but, again, there are realtor fees, there are three realtor fees because you’ll be selling three condos. There are attorney fees. There would be three attorney fees because you’re selling three condos. There is also a bit of a home warranty, and you as a developer, or you selling these condos also have to make some type of guarantees. It’s not guarantees but some type of warranty to the end buyers. If the utilities break down, if the furnaces break down, those end condo buyers are going to be looking back to you. There are a lot of considerations there.

The next person I would speak to is an architect. The reason you would want to speak to an architect is because when you are going from a multifamily to a condo, in your condo docs you are going to need floor plans and the floor plans are going to lay out specifically which units own how much square footage, and then typically their condo fees are based on the square footage, and their ownership. Everything is kind of laid out in the condo docs and the architect is going to be the person that is going to come in and make sure that all the details of this building are specifically laid out, and then transfer all that to the attorney, which is the next person you would probably want to speak to. The attorney is going to talk to you a little bit about the process of drafting up condo docs, splitting your units into three separate entities, or three separate deeds.

There’s a lot of legals that go into taking one deed, one multifamily, and now dividing it up into three separate living quarters. The attorney is the next person you would want to speak to. You want to make sure that you are on board and fully understanding everything that legally needs to be done to convert these into condos, get your new condo docs, and everything else that goes along with it.

The last person you want to speak to, very important, as well, is your CPA, whoever does your taxes. You really want to make sure that they are versed in the real estate world. You want to make sure that they fully understand capital gains tax. What are my tax consequences for selling this building. Are they any different from selling it … your cost basis is going to be adjusted. Your cost basis is going to be adjusted from depending on how much money you put in, what your renovation budget is. Your renovation budget is going to affect your cost basis. You really want to ask them a lot of questions, your CPA a lot of question about the tax consequences that come with selling property and then your opportunity to sell these three or four condos, two, three condos, as well.

Again, talk to your real estate agent. Ask a lot of questions. Does it make financial sense? Talk to your attorney. What are the legal ramifications? Talk to your CPA. What are the tax ramifications? Talk to your general contractor. What is this going to cost me to get this to a market-ready condo? Last, but not least, talk to your architect about getting your floor plans ready so you can actually present them to your attorney to be included in the condo docs and, again, your realtor would probably want to see those floor plans, as well, because they would actually help the sale of the potential building, as well.

Again, Willie Mandrell, Mandrell Company. Five people that you want to speak to before you consider, or while you’re considering, changing your multifamily into a condo. If I can be of any help, please reach out. Mandrellco.com, m-a-n-d-r-e-l-l-c-o.com, or you can reach us at 617-297-8641. Thanks and have a nice day.

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I have 2 friends who both recently purchased their first homes in the Boston area. While I’m happy for them both, my friends took two completely different approaches to home ownership, which resulted in two wildly different financial scenarios. Below are the details

Larry (friend #1) makes about $40,000 annually, has very little consumer debt and a fair credit score (650). Larry was pre-approved by his mortgage broker for a $300,000 homes purchase based on his financials. As of 2016, $300,000 in Boston will buy you an entry level single family in the city which is what Larry decided to purchase. His mortgage, taxes, insurance, and water bills cost Larry about $2,077.30 after a 5% down payment and paying his own closing cost. His monthly cost of detailed below.

Larry’s Payment Information
Principal & Interest: $1,360.63
PMI: $250.00
Water/ Sewer: $50.00
Taxes: $250.00
Insurance: $166.67
Total Monthly Payment: $2,077.30

Pros & Cons:

  • Larry has the joys of single family living and doesn’t have the responsibilities that come with tenants 
  • If anything happens to Larry financially, he is on his own when it come to covering his monthly obligations
  • Larry was able to purchase this home with 5% or just 15,000 out of pocket.

John (friend #2) makes nearly the same annual salary of $40,000. John also has very little consumer debt and a 650 credit score. Instead of accepting the same $300k pre-approval Larry did, John decide to talk to his mortgage broker about purchasing a multifamily property, more specifically a Boston triple decker. John planned to live on one floor and rent out the other 2 units to help cover his monthly cost.

John’s mortgage broker did some research and found that apartments in John’s area were renting for $1650 per month on average. If John occupied one unit and collected rents from the other two, he would be putting an additional (after his own salary) $3700 per month in his pocket. In this scenario, John’s mortgage broker re-evaluated John’s financials and determined that if John was to purchase a triplex, he could afford to spend up to $550,000. Simply put, the additional rental income allowed John to purchase a larger home. After John collected rental income from his tenants each month, John was left with a balance of $4.17 that he need to cover. John was essentially living for free. ($1650 per month x 2 rental units = $3700 – Monthly Cost of $3,704.17 = $4.17 balance)

John’s Payment Information
Principal & Interest: $2,554.17
PMI: $400.00
Water & Sewer: $150.00
Taxes: $350.00
Insurance: $250.00
Total Monthly Payment: $3,704.17

Pros & Cons:

  • John was able to purchase this property with 5% (27,5000) out of pocket.
  • John has a very small obligation every month  (4.17$) to cover but what if one of the tenants moves out? John will need to save money to cover the cost of vacancy. He will also need to cover the cost of repairs to the building/ tenant units. 
  • John doesn’t have the privacy single family home provides.
  • John will eventually raise his tenants rents. If rents go up, John’s income from the property goes up as well. Now he’s putting money in his pocket every month after his expenses…”cash flowing”
  • If John ever moves out of his apartment he could also rent it for market value. In the near future he could be putting $2000 into his pocket every month.
  • John does need to create a reserve account for the raining days that come as a landlord.


Would you like to speak to one of our mortgage brokers and find out what you qualify for? Are you interested in purchasing a multifamily home and need more information? Give us a shout at 617-297-8641 or email us at Contact@MandrellCo.com


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We have a unique opportunity that’s just come into our office. We have a client looking to sell a 4000 square foot lot in Dorchester with approved plans to build a 3 family home. The building would consist of 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom units and would include one parking spot for each unit. The seller is looking for $195,000 or B/O. The Dorchester multifamily market is still red hot and this deal is not expected to last long. Please email us at Contact@MandrellCo.com for more information and/ or a copy of the city approved plans.

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