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What factors can affect how you use your property?

When you buy commercial property or residential property in Massachusetts, you probably already know what you want to do with it. Whether you want to build a house, open a business or develop the land for other uses, there are various factors that could affect whether or not you will be able to meet your goals. It is important for you to learn about everything that could affect your intended use of your property. 

Zoning issues are some of the primary factors in how a person can use land or a building how he or she wants. For example, you may not be able to build your house in an area designated as commercial, or you may not be able to convert the old house you bought for your business headquarters. Learning about zoning before you buy or move forward can save you time, money and stress.

What zones affect you?

The intent of zoning laws is to protect the integrity of residential neighborhoods, property values, resident safety and much more. If a property owner attempts to build the wrong type of structure in a particular zone, he or she may find it impossible to get the right permits or can face other complications as well. Real estate is a significant investment, and it is helpful to have a basic understanding of property zoning, such as:

  • Industrial – This zone is specific to certain types of businesses, such as factories, warehouses and more. As industrial buildings are often quite large, this type of zoning may be affected by lot size and amount of available space.
  • Agricultural – This zone is more common in communities in which agriculture plays a vital role. This means that developers cannot build on land designated as agricultural, etc.
  • Commercial – Commercial zoning is for businesses, but it can depend on the type of business and what the owner intends to do with the property and existing structures.
  • Residential – This zoning is for areas only for homes. This can include single-family residences, apartments and other types of residential properties.

Examples of other types of zones include mixed use, historical and rural zoning. Before you move forward with the purchase of your property, it is smart to find out what its current zoning is. In some cases, you may be able to seek a change in zoning or an exemption from the current ruling. As with all important real estate matters, you may find it helpful to discuss your case with a legal expert.

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