So, you’re looking to buy your first home. But instead of going the traditional route, you’re considering a little different: buying a commercial space and turning it into a home. We applaud your bravery and creativity! However, we also want to ensure you know what you’re getting into before taking the plunge. That’s why we’ve put together this quick guide on how to turn a commercial space into a home. Keep reading to learn more!
Consult an Expert
The first thing you need to do is consult with an expert. Unless you have extensive experience in commercial construction and design, it’s best to leave this one to the professionals. They’ll be able to tell you whether your chosen space is feasible for conversion and, if so, how much work will need to be done. This is important because it will help you set expectations and budget accordingly.
Unlike residential properties, commercial buildings were not designed to be inhabited. It would be best if you guaranteed the building’s security for future occupants, particularly when considering revamping an old structure. To ensure that all the upgrades are up to par, have a professional examine the renovation plans. Contracting commercial construction services will also give you a better idea of working with the building’s existing layout. They will offer expert advice on best utilizing the space and making it more functional for your needs.
Get the Right Permits
After you’ve consulted with an expert and have a good understanding of the work that needs to be done, your next step is to get the proper permits. Depending on the size and scope of your project, this could be a relatively simple process or a long and complicated one. Either way, it’s best to consult your local building department to find out what’s required. Once you have all the necessary permits in hand, you can begin construction!
Zoning is also another issue. Depending on your commercial space, you may need to get a special permit to convert it into a residential property. You’ll want to research this before you even start looking for commercial spaces. Otherwise, you could waste a lot of time considering a property not zoned for residential use.
Consider the Cost
As we mentioned, commercial spaces were not designed to live in. This means that, in most cases, they’ll need some pretty significant renovations before they’re habitable. Of course, the cost of these renovations will vary depending on the size and condition of the space. But in general, you should expect to spend more money on a commercial conversion than on a traditional home purchase.
Although converting a property from commercial to residential use can result in long-term financial benefits, there are initial costs you should be aware of before beginning the process. One such cost is the application fee for rezoning the property, which usually ranges from $500 to $5,000 depending on the size of the lot or property.
Another thing to remember is that once the renovations are complete, you’ll still need to furnish and decorate your new home. This can be expensive, particularly if you’re starting from scratch. If you’re working with a limited budget, shop around for furniture and decor deals. You might be surprised at what you can find if you’re willing to put in a little elbow grease!
Making the Transition
If you’re tackling the renovation yourself, congrats—you’re about to become intimately familiar with power tools, drywall, and maybe even plumbing (we hope not). If you’re hiring someone else to do the work, congrats—you get to sit back and watch someone else transform your space into something beautiful! Either way, once the dust has settled (literally), it’ll be time to furnish and decorate your new home.
If you’re moving into a completely renovated space, you’ll probably want to hire a professional interior designer to help you choose furniture and decor that complements your new home. However, suppose you’re on a tight budget. In that case, there are plenty of ways to decorate your space without breaking the bank: secondhand stores, thrift shops, and even online marketplaces for affordable furniture and home decor.
Of course, you’ll also want to personalize your space to reflect your unique style. Things like family photos, artwork, and knickknacks come in. Don’t be afraid to make the space your own—after all, it is your home!
Converting a commercial space into a home is no small feat—but it can be done! Make sure to do your research beforehand, budget carefully, pull all the necessary permits, and hire experienced professionals to help where needed. Oh, and don’t forget the finishing touches! A few well-chosen pieces of furniture and some personal flair will go a long way in making your new place feel like home sweet home.