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Know the zoning types when considering properties

When you purchase property, you have to consider the zoning of the property and the intended use. In some cases, the permitted uses are set by the law. There are a few primary types of zoning that you need to think about. Under each of these, there might be subtypes that you have to consider.

Commercial zoning is what you would need if you plan to open a business on the property. Once you find out if a property is zoned for commercial use, you have to figure out if the type of business that you are opening falls under the specific zoning type. For example, a parcel might be slated only for retail use, so you wouldn't be able to open a restaurant there.

Even residential zoning has different types that you have to think about if you are looking to invest in real estate. The subtype for zoning determines what type of residence can be built on the property. Land can be zoned for a single family residence, for a multifamily property or for other very specific types of residential buildings.

There are also special zoning laws that govern agricultural, industrial and rural spaces. Some areas have historical zoning, which would require that property owners maintain the historical aspects of the space.

It is sometimes possible to have zoning for a space changed. You can find out if this is something that might be done if you have your heart set on a place that doesn't have the zoning you need. You should know that this might be rather difficult, so be prepared to put up a fight if necessary.

Source: FindLaw, "Types of Zoning," accessed July 21, 2017

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