FWIW. DH & I prefer to not share walls.
You and me both! If we make the conversion we would be unlikely to move back there, unless it’s in the third tiny home unit we could put on the property, (we are considering traveling quite a bit and may only need a small place to touch down to in between adventures.) Add onto that the difficulty and expense of separating utilities. However, it could be set up as an in-law suite, which would make it most attractive for resale and rental. Renting it as a furnished rental on the 30+ day market counts as a “long term rental” from the POV of not having to get special business permits or pay transient lodging taxes. We are walkable to the hospital and traveling nurses are constantly seeking apartments they don’t have to share.
From the landlord’s side, keeping it a SFH would attract better tenants. For example, we’re perfect tenants: empty nesters, financially stable, no pets. This 3/2/1 SFH suits us (and retirees like us) very well; it would also be attractive to a younger family.
We get high quality tenants by providing a high quality product that gets high rents, requiring 3x rent for earnings and a credit report that is higher than what the local market requires. Background check also required. It’s currently a 4/2, which tends to be too big for empty nesters and attracts families. On a per bedroom cost as a rental, we would get more for the property if we had 2 2bd/1ba units than a 4/2. There is a deficit of smaller nice rentals around here, and with prices of homes now being even more unaffordable than they were before Covid, professional couples fight over these rentals. We are also near a university and grad students and professors are big applicants, as are medical students and interns. We simply do not accept undergrads. They are not a protected class and we openly discriminate against them. Since we cannot discriminate against children, and turnovers after a family lives there is worse than those with pets, we can make it less attractive to families by making it smaller.
On top of which, if you ever decide to sell, a SFH would sell faster than a duplex.
If we decided to sell, it would be snapped up very fast by an investor, probably for cash, or by a professional couple who will have their mortgage paid for by AirBnBing the second unit. Short term rentals under 31 days can only be done in a primary residence by local law. Our area is physically constrained towards new build of properties, which is why the city is looking at getting rid of the SFH zoning designation, in theory to create “more affordable” housing. While it will indeed create more units that are less expensive to rent per unit, when you look at it per bedroom the net effect will be to drive out families and make housing less affordable on a per bedroom cost.
And, we require a garage… (A 2-car garage would be even better, but those don’t exist this close to downtown.)
Yeah, we do too, which is in part why we moved and converted the house to a rental. In the 3 years it has been a rental, no one has used it as a garage. They are super unusual in that area. An extra bathroom would be fabulously received.
I appreciate the push back, but as you see I have done considerable amount of research on this. DH pushes back so very much harder than you and I will have to provide a 10 year profit projection spreadsheet before doing improvements so that I can show what the return on investment will be. It can be taxing being married to an engineer, but in a good way that keeps me on my toes. We tend to be good counterpoints to each other and make a great team.