Converting Commercial Properties into Homes

Posted by on Apr 7, 2017 in Blog | No Comments

converting commercialConverting commercial properties into homes is an exciting trend in both cities and suburban areas. Warehouse, office, and store conversions enable renters and homeowners to access desirable features: additional square footage, convenient locations, and a modern, open space. Commercial developers can respond to demand and achieve great financial results, boosting property values and maximizing a property’s investment value, by converting commercial properties to residential use.

Why Should You Convert a Commercial Property?

Warehouses, office buildings, and stores are attractive for conversion into home occupancies in areas where housing is at a premium. Here’s why:

In Demand

  • In many desirable areas, there is a lack of attractive and convenient housing.
  • Gentrification brings new people into formerly less desirable areas.


  • Older warehouses, office buildings, and stores are plentiful in popular downtown and main street locations.
  • Vacant warehouses, office buildings, and stores are often not suitable for modern businesses.
  • Empty commercial buildings can be an eyesore and an attractive nuisance.


  • Commercial properties can often be rehabbed into light and bright open spaces attractive to today’s buyer or renter.
  • Older warehouses, office buildings, and stores often provide large open spaces. These spaces require little in the way of demolition and construction staging is simplified.
  • Many older buildings often have brick interior walls, high ceilings, and large window openings preferred in today’s home market.


  • Because older warehouses, office buildings, and stores are often vacant, they can be purchased for an attractive initial investment.
  • Developers can build equity by rehabbing a commercial property and leasing the units.
  • Property values can increase by subdividing the property and selling the individual units.

converting commercial propertiesNew Life for Old Warehouses, Offices, and Stores

Converting commercial properties brings vitality and new life to old neighborhoods. Neighbors and communities are frequently in favor of saving old buildings. They usually prefer to convert existing buildings to new uses, rather than tearing down older structures. New residents in the converted properties bring activity, business, and foot traffic into the area.

What Should You Consider When Converting Commercial Properties?

 Commercial real estate developers will want to search for just the right property before purchasing and converting a commercial structure. Desirable properties will have the following characteristics:

  1. Great Location – convenient to work, good schools, transportation, shops, restaurants
  2. Appropriate Zoning – allows for change of use from commercial/industrial to residential
  3. Desirable Amenities – includes spaces with character, open space, large window openings
  4. Good Bones – a quality building that can be updated and transformed into an attractive home

Be sure to work with an experienced commercial real estate professional. They will help you to evaluate potential purchases and will advise on the buyers/renters market. A qualified commercial architect can provide valuable advice and will consult with local building and zoning officials to avoid potential pitfalls.

Take into consideration structural adequacy, environmental issues, electrical & mechanical systems, fire suppression & alarm systems, plumbing and sewer lines, trash location and removal routes, parking requirements, fencing, package delivery, handicapped accessibility, landscaping, decorating, and more. Implementing these will add significant cost to your initial investment in the commercial building, so work with an experienced banker who can provide guidance and adequate financing.

converting commercial propertiesReady to Get Started? 

Converting commercial properties into homes is an exciting trend seen in the city and suburbs. Warehouse, office, and store conversions can provide renters and homeowners with desirable locations and attractive features. With the right property and market-savvy upgrades, real estate developers can achieve great financial results by converting commercial properties to residential use.