I’d like to purchase an old, concrete repair shop and convert it into my home. I have enough cash to fund the project, but I would like to be able to take out a mortgage on the finished product to recapture the equity. I’m concerned that despite succeeding in creating a comfortable, quality, code-conforming residence on the inside, the project may not appraise well as a home if the building keeps it’s commercial silhouette on the outside. How might such a building be evaluated?
The property is zoned residential. The existing building is sound structurally, it has all the necessary utilities, but it looks like a simple concrete box with industrial windows. The surrounding neighborhood it full of mid-century bungalows. I’m sure I could add paint and some residential flourishes, but I don’t want to add a pitched roof or any significant architectural language.
Excusing all the other feasibility questions (budget, soils, permits, etc.), what can I expect? Is an appraiser going to care mostly about the square footage and amenities or will the exterior have to look like a house for the building to appraise as a house?