Know Your Zoning When Shopping for Land for Sale

Posted on April 25, 2016 By

If you’re looking at land for sale with a thought of buying, you’ll want to understand the property’s zoning. In the United States, federal, state, or local governments have a say in how land can be used. Depending on your plans, this information is essential as you consider the purchase.

Generally speaking, property can be designated for residential use or commercial use. So based on whether you’d want to build a home or to open up a business, knowing the zoning is crucial. If the zoning is not listed in any of the paperwork advertising the land for sale, or if you’re not sure your intended use for the land is allowed, you can find the answer by contacting your local planning agency.

Plans for Your Business

Real estate that is set aside for commercial use can be used for retail, offices, or other commercial uses. If your purchase will be used for industrial property or manufacturing, there are further regulations that may need to be applied. There can be restrictions related to the advertising signs you display, parking, use of hazardous materials, or noise, so you’ll want to become familiar with those details.

If your business is farming, there is real estate that is specially designated for agricultural use. This type of zoning preserves and protects land for farm use.

The U.S. Small Business Administration suggests hiring a local land use attorney to help you sift through any issues or questions related to the property’s intended use. An attorney can help you be sure you are compliant with regulations before you invest too much time or money in a location for your business.

Plans for Your Home

If you’re looking at real estate with the idea of putting a home on the property, then you’ll want to ensure that the space is designated for residential use. Residential property may be planned for single-family homes, two-family residences (like a duplex), or multi-family residences (like apartment buildings). When real estate is specified for residential use, homeowners can know that their quality of life is protected against the bustle or noise that opening up a business would bring. As a homeowner, you wouldn’t want to see a noisy manufacturing plant or busy office building going up on the vacant lot next door. Doing your homework to know the use intended for the real estate is a smart investment of your time.

Plans for Home and Business

As you are shopping for land for sale, you may also find another zoning alternative: property set aside for mixed use. This is where residential and commercial zoning are allowed in close proximity to each other. One strong advantage for mixed-use development is that residents can save money on car travel because their home and work are situated close together, perhaps just a short walk away.

No matter what your plans as you go shopping, be an educated consumer. You will want to be sure you are familiar with local zoning rules before you purchase any land for sale.

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