As an owner of a multifamily property, you may have questions about the modifications you can make to each unit. The modifications themselves can be complex to deal with compared to single family homes, mainly owing to regulations that can vary from state to state. Additionally, there are some properties that have shared common spaces, but others that act as individual self-contained dwelling units. In this blog, we will be looking at the possibility of having multiple kitchens within the same multifamily properties.
Identifying the type of multifamily home
Multifamily houses are residential buildings that are made up of multiple separate units. They are designed to accommodate multiple families within a single building. These types of properties include duplexes, triplexes, as well as larger apartment complexes. In the case of duplexes, there may be some instances where the units share common spaces. This is not a regular practice, but when we think about student or workers’ housing for example, sharing kitchens could be a possibility. As such, having only one kitchen for the whole building wouldn’t cause any problems, similar to single-family homes.
On the other hand, if we’re talking about individual housing units, then it goes without saying that each unit will need its own kitchen. Having a shared kitchen space in this context would be quite rare. However, in that case, what you would need to look into is how big the kitchen would be, or the possibility of having two kitchens in the unit if each unit is big enough to accommodate it.
The need for multiple kitchens
- Requiring Independent Units
Each residential unit will need its autonomy and independence. Having multiple kitchens gives residents the flexibility to prepare their own meals, store their own groceries, and maintain their own routines without having to rely on shared kitchen spaces. Residents also don’t need to coordinate schedules or share resources. This is particularly beneficial for larger families or tenants who want to prioritize their privacy and personal space.
- Rental or Investment Opportunities
For multifamily properties, having multiple kitchens can be an appealing feature depending on who you want to target as tenants. Individuals or families seeking convenience and privacy of a self-contained living space with its own kitchen facilities will be more drawn to that property.
And for larger units, having two kitchens can also be appealing to some families to accommodate their numbers. Some people may even be running small food-based businesses from their homes, so this would be a major plus point for them.
What needs to be considered
We now understand the need for multiple kitchens in multifamily housing, but we also need to factor in some other considerations.
- The Size, Space, and Layout
Before we can even talk about multiple kitchens, the availability of space within the multifamily house needs to be sufficient enough to accommodate multiple people within each unit. There has to be adequate square footage, efficient layout planning, and proper allocation of space. If there is hardly enough space for one kitchen, then a shared kitchen space is your only option or you would have to rent the whole house as one unit.
- Building Codes and Regulations
There are local building codes and regulations that need to be considered for a multifamily rental property. Depending on the area, there are likely to be specific requirements related to safety, ventilation, plumbing, and electrical installations. For example, you need to ensure there is adequate ventilation and proper wiring for any appliances or fixtures. For multiple kitchens to be built, the property must be compliant with these regulations or risk facing legal or safety issues.
- State Regulations
Each state has its own specific rules and regulations related to kitchens within multifamily dwellings. For example, there are states that require extra fire safety measures for homes with multiple kitchens. You would need to install firewalls between each unit or install additional smoke detectors. There are also some states that only allow one kitchen per residence unit.
But, the most important factor is the zoning regulations which can dictate whether or not multiple kitchens can be installed in one residence unit. It’s important to research your local laws to stay avoid legal trouble.
- Cost and Maintenance
If multiple kitchens are not built already, then you will have to factor in the additional construction and maintenance costs. Each kitchen will require its own appliances, cabinetry, countertops, and plumbing fixtures. Additionally, there will be yearly maintenance and repairs for each of those kitchens you need to take into account for the long term. This would likely mean that the rent will be higher than some other properties. Depending on your target market, your cash flow may be affected.
Can a Multifamily house have multiple kitchens?
Yes, having more than one kitchen is a definite possibility, but as discussed, this is not always going to be the case.
Whether you need to incorporate multiple kitchens in a multifamily house will come down to the specific needs of the tenants and the demand in your local area. You first need to do the research to identify whether multiple kitchens are important to the target demographic, or if there is a market for units with multiple kitchens. You can then evaluate it against the potential returns to identify if it is a worthwhile investment.
Having multiple kitchens can enhance the appeal and functionality of a multifamily house. This can give you a distinct advantage in the ever-changing real estate landscape. So do all the proper research and if there is potential in your local area, then there’s little stopping you from having multi-kitchens in your property.