First Home Facts

Buying A Single-Family Home With The Intent Of Dividing It

Townhomes are becoming very popular. If you're in an area where homes are very in demand, you might consider purchasing a single-family home and then dividing it. There are often more single-family homes for sale, and you can make more substantial rental profits.

Here are some things to consider.

Take a Look at the Interior

If you're going to be creating multiple rentals in a single-family home, you need to have a realistic way to partition it out. You'll need to have kitchens and bathrooms on both sides, which is going to require a significant remodel. And you're going to need to have the appropriate number of windows and doors in each room, per your local fire code. Get quotes on this work done before you make any decisions.

Review the Exterior

Don't forget that you are also going to need to divide the yard up, too. Is there enough space for a single family? Many people want a sizable yard, not just for children, but also for pets. You also need to think about what you're going to do in terms of garage space.

Look at Your Zoning Restrictions

Some areas prevent the creation of townhomes and other multi-family units due to their zoning regulations. You can get an area rezoned, but it's a difficult process and generally not worth it. Ask your real estate agent whether the area is properly zoned for a multi-family conversion.

Check With the HOA

If there's an HOA in the area, it's almost guaranteed that you aren't going to be able to subdivide a home. HOAs generally have very strict rules about this because changing the look and feel of a property can also change the look and feel of the neighborhood.

Compare With Other Rental Options

Are there a lot of townhomes in your neighborhood right now? Are condos popular, or are single-family homes more popular? Before you subdivide a property, you should consider whether there's really a tenant market for subdivided properties.

In general, subdivided properties do best in areas with very high rent as people don't want to pay the rent that would be required for a single-family home. In more affordable areas, people are more likely to go for a small single-family home than they are for a townhome or a duplex. 

Your real estate agent will be able to give you more information about your local restrictions and whether or not it's a realistic idea. Just remember that your single-family home will become a multi-family unit, and that could have consequences.

To learn more about single-family homes for sale, visit websites like