Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a condo conversion?
A condo conversion is the process of legally subdividing a multi-unit residential building into individual condominium units (split into individual pieces). In order for a conversion to occur, it must be approved by local municipalities based on the property meeting a number of ownership and building requirements.
2. What is a TIC (Tenants in Common)?
A TIC is a form of home ownership in which two or more people jointly own a multi-unit residential building . TICs are similar to condominiums, but there are important differences: TIC owners own a percentage of an undivided property with exclusive rights rather than an individual unit.
3. What is a condominium (condo)?
A condo is a form of real estate ownership in which a property is divided into several units that are each separately owned, with the owners having a proportionate interest in the common areas.
4. What are the benefits of a condo conversion?
Condo conversion offers people who might not be able to afford a single-family home an opportunity to own their own condo home, unencumbered by other owners. In addition, condo conversion historically provides many financial benefits, including higher property values, increased cash flow, access to lower interest rates and more favorable loan terms, and greater financial security.
5. Why should I invest in a condo conversion as opposed to another form of investment?
Real estate offers tremendous opportunities to build wealth. Indeed, more millionaires make their fortunes in real estate than in any other industry. Condo conversion is a positive "economic conversion" and not merely a passive investment like the stock market or waiting for a property to appreciate over time. It is an active choice and a wise investment strategy that enables your money to work for you to multiply the value of your property.
For example, if you invest $100,000 in a stock and the stock increases in value by 5 percent, you would earn $5,000. However, if you invest that same $100,000 back into your property to convert a $1.5 million duplex into condos, the value of each unit could immediately increase by an estimated 20 percent, or $150,000 — a total profit of $300,000. Your return on investment, or ROI, would be 200 percent as opposed to just 5 percent.
In addition, housing appreciation is more valuable than the same rate of growth in stocks and other forms of investments or assets. That’s because housing appreciation is based on the value of the property, not on your investment in it. For example, if you invest $100,000 in a stock and it increases in value by 5 percent, you would earn $5,000. However, if you invested the same $100,000 as a down payment on a $500,000 house and the value of the property appreciates 5 percent, you would earn five times that amount (leverage), or $25,000, plus the increase of profits after condo conversion.
6. When is a good time to convert a TIC to a condo?
One of the unique features of a condo conversion is that it can add substantial value in both a sellers’ market and a buyers’ market, and it can do so in a relatively short period of time. You're not relying on the vagaries of the market; you're making a business decision based on your own financial situation and the intrinsic value of your property. Condo conversions make sense in both an “up market” — like today’s — and a “down market.”
7. Is a TIC or condo conversion right for me?
Every person and every property is unique and no two projects are alike. WHITE TIGER can help you determine if a condo conversion is appropriate for your particular situation.
8. Is a condo conversion risky?
All investments carry some degree of risk, but investing wisely in a condo conversion has proven to be safe and very lucrative. Historically, condo conversions in San Francisco and the Bay Area have resulted in an immediate increase in value with essentially built-in equity.
9. What if my property is occupied by renters or is rent controlled?
Every city has different rules and regulations to protect renters. Some cities have rent control while others do not. In many cases, owners can convert their properties with little or no impact on their tenants’ living situation. Most cities have regulations to ensure that renters are treated fairly in the event of a condo conversion.
10. Can I do a condo conversion myself?
Condo conversion is an intricate process that requires an investment of time, money, and resources. Every project is unique because they must comply with different local, county, and state regulations. Sometimes the regulations differ in different parts of the same city. Mistakes can be costly and time consuming. WHITE TIGER has the resources and experience to guide you through the condo conversion jungle to the successful completion of your project.
11. How long does a condo conversion project take?
The amount of time needed to complete a project depends on a number of variables, including the availability of professionals and workers, possible legal issues, and the municipal approval process. Careful advance planning is crucial for the successful completion of a project.
12. Do owners have to move, sell, or refinance after condo conversion?
Once a conversion is legally approved, property owners have the right to pursue any of these options immediately or at any time in the future. They have the flexibility to take advantage of market trends because their property is well positioned for optimal profitability.
13. What types of buildings are eligible for condo conversion?
Every city and property are different and must be evaluated in light of current regulations. In San Francisco, for example, an "Expedited Conversion Program" (ECP) allows the owners of 2-6 unit residential buildings to convert if they satisfy owner-occupancy requirements, but they may be disqualified by prior eviction or tenant buyout history.
In addition, San Francisco condo conversion rules for buildings with two or fewer units are less stringent and more flexible. As a result, there are shorter waiting times for eligibility. Moreover, existing commercial buildings can be converted into commercial condominiums that can be individually sold.
Other Bay Area cities vary and have less stringent regulations and no owner-occupancy requirements, and conversions can be done right away.
14. How much does a condo conversion cost?
The cost of a conversion varies depending on the type of property, its location, and the scope of the project. Projects in San Francisco tend to be more expensive than in other parts of the Bay Area.
WHITE TIGER charges a flat fee for its ALL-IN-ONE Fast Track Condo Conversion Program™. The fee is based on the size of the property, the scope of the work, timeline, and the location of the project for best value.
Regardless of the size and scale of your project, you can rest assured that WHITE TIGER’s proprietary FTCC program will pay for itself and leave more money in your pocket.
15. What is real estate development?
It is the continual reconfiguration of the built environment to meet society's needs in which we live, work, and play. The re-creation process and need for development is constant, because population, technologcial evolution/revolution, and individual preferences and tastes never stop changing.
16. How do I start?
Start with trust. Call or email WHITE TIGER today to request a FREE, NO OBLIGATION consultation to find out if your property is a candidate for condo conversion. Call: 415-236-2426 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The time is right. The benefits are compelling. We accelerate the process to save you time and money.
Disclaimer: Local rules and regulations governing condo conversions are subject to change at any time. The information presented in this website is based on the latest information available at the time of publication.