Today’s strong residential market is creating opportunity to renovate a church building into a single-family home.
Conversion of Church Building to Residential Use
Religious Real Estate has been selling churches for over 20 years. We are seeing smaller churches (with non basement spaces of 1,500 to 4,000 square feet) being converted to homes. The cathedral ceilings are great for loft space.
Real Estate Economics
Most church buildings are going to require extensive renovations to convert a church building to a home. In early, 2021 we sold Arbela United Methodist Church (1,180 square feet on the upper floor) for $70,000 ($59 per square foot). Homes in the area were selling for $110 to $150 per square foot. Thus the spread between the purchase price of the church in its existing condition has to be big enough to fund the renovation conversion.
Builder & Architect Team
Buyers need a competent builder/architect team to design a conversion inside an acceptable budget. Architectural drawings are going to be required by most governmental building department for builders apply for building permits. It is important for a buyer to communicate to their architect the size of the overall renovation budget. Then an architect can design conversions aimed at fitting inside the overall renovation budget. Part of the overall design is the extent of the renovations (i.e. linear feet of new walls, number of new windows) and another is the level of materials used (i.e. marble vs. wood flooring, painted drywall vs. vinyl wallcovering).
Generally churches are in residential zoning (normally single family residential). So the zoning for most churches already conforms to the future single family residential.
Converting a church to a residence is a change in use for the property. This will normally require an inspection for the local building department. The local governmental building inspection will require that the building meet the latest building codes. The builder and architect should meet with the building inspectors to determine the criteria for a final certificate of occupancy.
The attached drawings are for the conversion of 4010 N. Custer, Raisinville TWP, Michigan. The upper floor demonstrates how the building could be converted to a 4 bedroom 2 bath home.
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CONVERTING CHURCHES TO HOMES
Today’s strong residential market is creating opportunity to renovate a church building into a single-family home. [READ MORE]
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Recent Blog Posts
- Best Practices for Church Reopening During the Pandemic May 19, 2020
- Church Re-Use November 15, 2017
- A Guide to Federal Religious Land Use Protections December 18, 2016
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We chose Religious Real Estate to market our property in Battle Creek after the buyer defaulted on the land contract. We are very pleased with Religious Real Estate’s efforts and would recommend them in the future.
Bill Skubik of Religious Real Estate handled the sale of our church. He created and implemented a multi-faceted sales program for the property. We would use Religious Real Estate again if the need arouse.
In my role as Executive Director of the United Methodist Union of Greater Detroit, I have had the pleasure to work with Mr. Bill Skubik for the past fifteen years. I believe Bill has looked out for our best interests in every situation and I believe you will be in good hands if you choose to work with Bill Skubik.
Religious Real Estate was there for us throughout the entire process. The sale began in June 2004 with a closing in November 2004. We recommend Religious Real Estate for your real estate needs.
In March of 2004, our church was able to move from renting to owning. Bill Skubik of Religious Real Estate was extremely helpful in the process.
The marketing package for the property was highly professional, presenting all the positive points about the property. Without hesitation, I would recommend Religious Real Estate to any religious organization with a real estate need.
Without hesitation, I would recommend Religious Real Estate to any lending organization that has the unfortunate experience of foreclosing on a property and then the disposition sale.
Religious Real Estate created a detailed marketing package for our property and implemented a thorough marketing program, contact the churches, charter schools and other charitable organizations. Religious Real Estate has done a competent job and we would recommend their services.
The leadership of our church felt that we were treated fairly and honestly. We would recommend Religious Real Estate for any real estate needs your church may have in the future.
We enjoyed our time with Religious Real Estate and we have used them with two other properties since our land purchase.