We visited a Realtor this week who told us about a duplex he had trouble closing b/c the zoning precluded the owners from re-building a duplex if there was a major fire. This a problem that we have seen many times over the years: an inability to get a “re-build letter” from the local zoning authorities.
In any case, the issue was resolved with the addition of a door between the two units, turning the duplex into an single family residence. We had a similar situation in San Francisco last year where we turned a triplex into a duplex with the addition of a door. We did that b/c the pricing was so much better for duplexes relative to triplexes.
Simply “adding a door” does not always resolve zoning and pricing problems, but it is an option that should be explored when the situation arises.
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