Combining Apartments A Lifestyle Transformation

Have you and your family outgrown your apartment? If so, it is time to find a space large enough for everyone to be spread out in. A three-bedroom apartment would be ideal; but, unfortunately, few are available and prices are escalating rapidly. The search for the right space can lead to another more creative alternative which may provide the answer: combining two apartments.

Whether you purchase the co-op or condo adjacent to yours or buy two adjacent units in another building, combining two apartments takes lots of planning. With knowledge of the process, lifestyle goals in mind, a professional leading the way, and a well-informed board of directors, however, the results can be amazing. Combining can be a wonderful way to live, says Jerold Richland of Richland Design, an interior design firm in Manhattan. It is an exciting transformation.

Gaining in Popularity

It makes a lot of sense to combine two smaller apartments because you never see larger units for sale, says Gregory A. Roach, of GAR Associates, an interior design and construction consultant company based in Manhattan. And the value of the combined units becomes more than the sum of its two parts.

Bill Blind, vice president of William B. May, adds that one-bedroom and studio apartments are unattractive in today's market. You can get both pieces pretty cheap and combine them to increase the value of the two halves, he explains.

Combining apartments can also be very beneficial to a building because it eliminates vacant units and the building becomes more saleable, says Lorri Gorman, a real estate agent at William B. May. And people can move to a larger space without leaving the building. Al Volpe, treasurer of his co-op board in Woodside, New York explains that the corporation is encouraging the combination of units because there is a surplus of studio and one-bedroom apartments in the building. They are no longer desirable, sighs Volpe. Large units will make our building more attractive and keep it filled with children. We want to create a family atmosphere and we can't do it with small apartments.

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3 Comments

  • does the building have to be accessible as per sec 27-123.1 of the building code (1968) like other multiple dwellings?
  • Hello, I am trying to sell a condo apartment that was combined back before 1991. My prospective buyer's lawyer want to know if there is a C of O,or what was filed at the time. We don't have any information on it at all. We refinanced a bunch of times and the banks never asked for it. Where would I found out this information? Or who should I call or email. Thanks so much for your response.
  • "Any time a building reconfigures the number of rooms in a given apartment, a C of O has to be amended stating the new legal configuration of the unit." Wrong! Outdated info. If you're reading this note- google about it and learn for yourself. I suppose when I know more than I read in the real estate articles... I'm ready to buy cojoined appartments.