Many people think that the best way to get the exact home they want is to buy an empty lot and construct a home as per their specifications. This is not a bad route to take, but you should investigate the applicable zoning laws and regulations before buying an empty lot because they will determine the type of home you can build. Here are some of the things zoning laws can influence:
How Your House Must Look
There are neighborhoods with aesthetic zoning laws that, as the name suggests, are meant for controlling the beauty of the neighborhood. These laws may determine the color of the roof you can use, the architectural styles you may construct or even the type of fence you can construct. Research these laws before purchase; you don't want to buy land in such an area only to find that you can't paint your house red – and you have always wanted a red house.
Which Part of the Land to Avoid
In some places, you might find that the government has designated some parts of a neighborhood as those that need environmental protection. Maybe the area has a swamp, a natural river or a unique form of wildlife that needs to be protected. If the designated area extends to the lot you want to purchase, you may be barred from constructing a house on that section of the land.
Whether You Can Build a Commercial Property
The distinction between commercial and residential zones is some of the most common zoning regulations, and most people know about them. What you may not know is that you may be barred from constructing mixed-use properties in such areas. For example, if you were thinking of building a storied house and use the first level as a restaurant, you should confirm that the zoning laws allow it.
The Size or Number of Properties You Can Build
Did you know that zoning laws even specify the size or number of homes you can construct on your land? For example, some areas are specifically designated for single-family homes, and you cannot construct triplexes or duplexes in such areas. There are even areas designated as rural lands where you may be barred from constructing more than one home on a parcel of land; such areas are usually meant for farmlands.
Therefore, investigate zoning laws carefully before starting the land-purchase process. A real estate services professional can help you with the investigation to ensure that everything is above board.