“Homeownership creates stability of tenure and is one of the major ways that Americans build wealth and financial security. Given the limited land supply in San Francisco, condominium conversion is viewed as an easier way to expand homeownership opportunities than through new construction.” 

— San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR)



Investing in residential income properties, particularly smaller 2-4 unit buildings, presents an attractive opportunity for individuals looking to enter the real estate market or diversify their investment portfolio. Condo conversion offers a cost-effective pathway to homeownership and can serve as a savvy investment strategy in the current market landscape.

Qualifying for a mortgage on a 2-4 unit building is similar to the process for a single-family home, both before and after conversion to individual condos. However, these properties offer the added benefit of commercial property leverage, enhancing the potential for financing and investment opportunities.

The traditional business model for multiplex residential properties typically involves buying and holding, renting, or selling. Condo conversion introduces a new dimension to this model, offering a blend of market-affordable homeownership options and flexible investment strategies. In addition, by converting TIC properties into individual condos, property owners can unlock the potential for increased value and returns, positioning their assets for optimal performance in today's dynamic real estate market.


Middle housing can be described as house-scale buildings with multiple units in walkable neighborhoods. Middle housing refers to residential buildings that are larger than single-family homes but smaller than large apartment complexes, typically containing multiple units within a single structure. These buildings are often found in walkable neighborhoods and can include a variety of housing types. Middle housing offers a diverse range of housing options within a community, catering to different household sizes, incomes, and lifestyle preferences while promoting a sense of neighborhood connectivity and walkability.

The key to entry-level homes has always been market affordability. In our evolving paradigm, there has been a dramatic increase in demand for housing choices that are smaller, less expensive housing. This growing demand for market affordable housing is driven by several factors, including the skyrocketing cost of housing, household sizes, other living expenses, stagnating income growth, and changing lifestyle choices by Millennials and other age groups.

Condo conversions present an excellent opportunity for property owners to meet the demand for market-affordable housing while simultaneously revitalizing existing properties and communities. By converting existing structures into condominium units, property owners can provide attractive homeownership opportunities to individuals and families who may otherwise struggle to enter the competitive real estate market.

There are several housing types for middle housing which include:

Duplexes: These are residential buildings with two separate living units, typically side by side or stacked one on top of the other. Converting a duplex into individual condominium units provides an opportunity for homeownership while maintaining the property's existing structure.

Triplexes and Fourplexes: These are similar to duplexes but consist of three or four separate living units, respectively. Converting these properties into condos allows for greater flexibility in ownership and financing options for both investors and owner-occupants.

Small Apartment Buildings: Typically consist of five to ten units or eleven to nineteen units and are commonly found in urban areas. Converting these buildings into condominiums offers an alternative to traditional apartment living and can attract a diverse range of buyers seeking affordable homeownership options.

Mixed-Use Buildings: These combine residential and commercial spaces within the same structure. Converting mixed-use buildings into condos allows for a dynamic living environment with access to amenities such as retail shops, restaurants, and offices.

Townhouses: These are narrow, multi-story homes that share walls with neighboring units. Converting townhouse complexes into condominiums provides residents with individual ownership of their units while maintaining a sense of community and shared amenities.

Courtyard Buildings: characterized by their central open space surrounded by residential units, can be suitable candidates for condo conversion. These buildings typically feature multiple units arranged around a central courtyard or garden area, providing residents with a communal outdoor space.

Live-Work Spaces:  Present a unique opportunity to meet the evolving needs of modern urban dwellers. These conversions cater to individuals seeking a seamless integration of their personal and professional lives, offering the convenience of both living and working in the same space.

Cooperative Buildings:  Often referred to as co-ops, offer significant opportunities and are multi-unit residential buildings where residents own shares in a corporation that owns the entire property. Each shareholder typically has the right to occupy a specific unit within the building. These buildings are commonly found in urban areas and can vary in size and style, ranging from small apartment buildings to larger high-rise complexes.


The desire for homeownership is strong, but many individuals are wary of putting all their financial resources into a traditional single property. This cautious approach stems from a desire to maintain financial flexibility and avoid becoming "property poor," where a significant portion of one's income or assets is tied up in homeownership expenses. Instead, people increasingly value a balanced lifestyle that allows for homeownership without sacrificing other aspects of life, such as travel, leisure activities, or investments in personal growth. Condo conversion offers a compelling solution by providing opportunities for homeownership with lower upfront costs and shared responsibilities, allowing individuals to enjoy the benefits of owning a home while preserving financial freedom and flexibility.