There are many different reasons that people buy certain properties. They may need office space or a shop to run their small business out of or may want to renovate a building to rent to other businesses or for residential purposes. People generally will search in certain locations depending on the reason for the real estate purchase or based on what they can afford. The search may go on for a long time as well, so when they find that perfect spot, they may want to jump at the opportunity right away.
However, people also need to look at other aspects of the building or lot besides just the location, type of space it is and the cost. People must also look at the current zoning regulations for the area. Finding out after the purchase that the area is not zoned for the type of use they want can make the purchase completely useless. Zoning regulations can govern many different aspects of the building or land such as:
- The requirements of the specific buildings
- How far back off of a street the building must be
- The size of buildings or how many stories a building can be
- How many rooms are allowed
- The number of rental units
- Off-street parking
- Whether the building can be a multi-family dwelling or only single family
There are other aspects that zoning regulations can govern as well. If someone buys property with the plan of building a duplex or small four-unit apartment building, then later learns the area is zoned only for single-family dwellings it can make their purchase useless for business purposes. It can be a very costly mistake and one that could have been avoided with a little more planning.
People in Philadelphia run many different types of businesses and therefore have different needs when purchasing property. However, it is important to know the zoning regulations prior to purchasing to know whether they can run their business from that property. Zoning regulations can be challenged or people can seek exceptions to the zoning regulations, but it can be easier to buy the right property in the first place. Experienced attorneys understand zoning regulations and may be able to ensure people buy the right property.