What is a condo conversion?
Condominium conversion is the act of dividing real estate properties such as apartment buildings, mansions, commercial buildings, etc. currently under one title into individually owned units sold as condos.
The condo conversion trend has gained momentum over the years following the increased demand for home ownership, coupled with limited space.
Pros of Living in a Condo Conversion
Unique in their Own Away
Condo conversion involves transforming properties, in most cases, meant for other purposes other than residence to condos. Some have intriguing architectural designs and features.
Existing Buildings Ready for the Occupant
In condo conversions, buildings already exist meaning that you don’t have to wait for long to have a new condo developed.
Mostly Less Expensive
Compared to new dedicated condo structures, condo conversions are usually attractively-priced. Those with less capital to own their own stand-alone homes also become homeowners.
Lowered Need for Maintenance
As the condo owner, you have less outside maintenance work to do as there those responsible for tending to the flower gardens, sidewalks, and parking lots.
Condo conversion offers better security compared to free-hold homes or rented houses. Your neighbors own the units and will do everything to ensure their security.
Cons of Living in a Condo Conversion
Common Amenities May Be Unavailable
Given that some of the converted properties were not initially residential, condo conversions can lack common utilities given to the high expenses that go into equipping the units.
Less Control over Your Unit
Other than the inside, there’s nothing much you can do on the outside of your own unit. The condo associations may have rules and restrictions regarding pet ownership, garbage disposal and such.
They Are Old
While historic buildings can be somewhat alluring, if the building has not been updated for decades, you could incur unexpected expenses. Be sure to confirm the piping, roof and other structures are in top shape.
Lack of Privacy
You may share a wall with a neighbor who turns the music system full blast.
Minneapolis-St. Paul Condo Conversion Examples
St. Paul is famous for condominiums, with a couple of the condos converted from mansions, offices, commercial buildings, and such. Following are a few examples of condo conversions;
- Forepaugh Manon Condominiums – Initially a mansion
- 834 Summit Condominiums – originally a mansion
- Rossmor Rofts – Initially a shoe factory
- Rice Park Lofts – Initially a medical arts building
- Fitzgerald Building – Undergoing conversion
Condo conversion living has its pros and shortcomings. In some cases, the cost might be lower than trendy highrises with full amenities, security, and the allure of living in an ancient structure might interest you.
Shannon Lindstrom, REALTOR®, AHWD, CRS, GREEN
748 Grand Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105