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Is it a Duplex?

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zpbkitten

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Georgia
I have a property that looks like a duplex...has two front doors, two living rooms and two kitchens, however only has one meter. Also the tax records shows it as being single family. Can it be considered a duplex if it only has one meter?

Also, regarding tax records...there is a comp that sold as a duplex in the local MLS and tax records also shows that as a single family. Not sure how accurate tax records are.

Thanks for any help u can provide.
 

hglenbetts

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Michigan
Sounds lake a SRF with an (Possibly illegal) income unit.

What's the zoning? :shrug:

Have you defined HBU? don't forget legally permissible..:nono:

Are the two "units" fully divided on the interior? Doesn't really make a difference, just curious.
 

zpbkitten

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Georgia
Zoning is SFR - also you can access both sides from the interior.
 

PropertyEconomics

Elite Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2007
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New Mexico
I would view this as a SFR with an illegal kitchen in my market as two kitchens are not allowed in SFR zoning, UNLESS, there is a variance issued. You may wish to check that.
 

Michigan CG

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Nov 1, 2006
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Michigan
.... Can it be considered a duplex if it only has one meter?.....

There are 100-unit apartment buildings with only one meter.

Your question is it a legal duplex.
 

PropertyEconomics

Elite Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2007
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New Mexico
It appears to me that the real issue here is zoning .. does SFR Zoning in your jurisdiction allow for a duplex? A use has to be legal in order for it to represent H&BU of the property. If the answer to that question is no, and there is no variance issued, the answer is simple .. its an SFR with two kitchens. Are those legal in your jurisdiction?
 

Walter Kirk

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2003
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
New Jersey
Many older multi family houses have only one meter, one heating system, one sewer connection. You must determine whether the property is being used as a multi family and then determine whether that use is legal.
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
It appears to me that the real issue here is zoning .. does SFR Zoning in your jurisdiction allow for a duplex? A use has to be legal in order for it to represent H&BU of the property. If the answer to that question is no, and there is no variance issued, the answer is simple .. its an SFR with two kitchens. Are those legal in your jurisdiction?

Most counties in GA are very "open minded" about permitted uses under SFR zoning. :icon_lol: Very few municipalities exclude duplexes under SFR allowed uses. As for the service meter, having only one is not the issue. Highest and best use is more than a check box on some form, and you need to do a complete analysis to find your answer of how to appraise it. However, since it does have only one meter, you need to ask the landlord how they handle that expense... do the tenants divide the cost, or is it an expense paid the landlord? The answer to that question will tell you how to analyze and adjust the rent comps in your income analysis.
 

Mztk1

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
Does the property pre-date zoning?

It could be that duplexes were once an allowable use.

In an area near me a zoning change to RS-50 requires that any duplex, that has one side go vacant for more than 180 days, be converted to a single family residence. I have seen where the town converted the use from duplex to single due to the vacancy and then the owner went on and rented out the other half anyway. In such cases it is technically illegal but the owner can claim hardship and the unit revert back to a two family rather easily.

Call the city/planning department, find out what happens to the pre-existing 2 families in the one family zone, and ask about hardship exemptions. It may very well be easy to get that 2 family use recognized by the city again. But then again, it may be impossible and illegal. You will never know without calling planning.

As for one meter and two units, that is not unusual in my markets. If it turns out that it is a two family do your best to find similar properties where the owner is paying for electric.
 

leelansford

Elite Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Illinois
Once, just once, I'd like to see something from the original OP that indicates that the zoning administrator has been contacted and the question asked as what is the legal use of the property. Something, anything, that indicates that this basic question has been asked and answered so everyone who follows in the thread doesn't have to make a guess as to the status.
 
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