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Home Renovation August 2, 2017 at 10:04 am

Home Renovation

Hi Everyone,

I am in the middle of making a home purchase in Newburgh and should be closing within a few weeks.

The home I am buying is currently a legal two family but was a three family at some point and in the historical district.I am planning on living in one unit, my son in another,and would like to rent out the third. Does anyone happen to know how I would go about having the home converted back to a legal three family? Has anyone had any experience with this? If so, how difficult was the process with the city?

I appreciate any feedback.

4 Replies Add Reply

I have not had experience with this, but I suggest you look at your area and how the recent rezoning might have changed. Sounds like a question for the planning department maybe?

Hi There,

I’m a Realtor and see conversions happen all the time. Typically, changing a single family into a multi-family residence can be difficult. However, if you are converting from a 2 to a 3 family, you’d have to apply for it at the buildings dept. They would assess if the third unit has the proper exits/entrances, ceiling height, etc. Historical districts add another layer of difficulty at times, but a lot of the historical homes in the area are converted to multi family dwellings these days so you should be OK.
Here’s a link to the Newburgh Buildings Dept
http://www.townofnewburgh.org/Cit-e-Access/webpage.cfm?TID=40&TPID=4848

Hope that helps!

Cecilly Bumatay
Keller Williams Realty
http://www.C2CHomes.com

Hey Becka,

Posting this publicly so hopefully others can be befitted from it too!

Welcome to Newburgh! While Cecily is sort of right in her description, you are here because you bought a property in the City. Her information is for the Town and only applies to the Town. Same name, completely different set of rules, laws, and regulations. And in the City is is really straightforward! Just apply for an Informational Report from the Building Department. http://www.cityofnewburgh-ny.gov/buildingcode-enforcement

First thing, and I tell this to everyone: When you say “its a legal two-family,” MAKE SURE BEFORE YOU BUY. Realtors do not necessarily know and legal occupancy has nothing to do with property class tax codes. They are not the same thing. The only thing that describes legal occupancy is a Certificate of Occupancy with can only be obtained from the Building Department. Just because it is being used a certain way, does not mean that it is legal either.

Historic District designation has no bearing on use and occupancy at all. It only applies to exterior changes and applies whether you change the use or not. Its a straightforward single application where you tell the board how to plan to change the exterior (roof, siding, windows, fencing, etc) and they advise you on historically appropriate materials. http://www.cityofnewburgh-ny.gov/architectural-review-commission

We have two sets of codes that deal with redevelopment: Zoning Code and Building Code.

The Zoning code is relatively straightforward. 3 Family is allowed in most of the City, however in certain Zones you will be required to provide parking and other “area” requirements, or obtain a Variance for them. Again, we will walk you through all that. http://ecode360.com/10875666

The Building Code is where your Design professional comes in (architect usually). The big thing to keep in mind is that 1-2 family dwellings are in New York State’s Residential Code, but 3 family dwellings are in the more onerous Building Code and may require sprinklers or other safety improvements. http://www.dos.ny.gov/dcea/

Finally make sure to remember that all rental units in Newburgh are required to obtain a rental license from the Building Department prior to occupancy.

Please feel free to call me or stop in to 123 Grand Street anytime. You will be looking for an Informational Report from the Building Inspector. Its hard to say generally about your steps, but we will lay it all out in the informational report.

Ali Church, City Planner
569-7388
achurch@cityofnewburgh-ny.gov

Thank you all for all of your incredibly helpful feedback.

Ali, I will certainly be utilizing your advise and will try and stop in when I have a chance.

I am looking so forward to embarking on becoming a part of the Newburgh community.

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