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Old 04-01-2010, 09:44 PM   #1
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Zoning Conundrum


I'm not sure if this is the right thread to post this, but I had a question about rezoning the home that I am hoping to purchase.

We have found the house of our dreams in a small town in western Maine. It is a historic home that at one point was rezoned for commercial use. The way it is currently set up is a storefront in half of the downstairs, two small offices in the other half of the downstairs and a two-bedroom apartment located upstairs.

We have no qualms in renovating it back to it's single-family home grandeur, but I am scared to death about the rezoning. If it stays comm/res than our taxes will be much higher and we will not qualify for the first-time homebuyers interest rate mortgage.

Has anyone dealt with a setup like this before? How difficult was it?

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Old 04-01-2010, 10:30 PM   #2
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Zoning Conundrum


Different locations have different laws. Your best bet is to consult a zoning lawyer. They'll be able to answer your area-specific questions.

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Old 04-02-2010, 01:07 AM   #3
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Zoning Conundrum


make the contract contingent on rezoning approval.
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Old 04-02-2010, 01:33 AM   #4
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Zoning Conundrum


Quote:
Originally Posted by jogr View Post
make the contract contingent on rezoning approval.
I was definitely planning on getting that onto the contract. Thanks for the advise. Hopefully there wont be too much red-tape to go through with the town. I imagine it is easier to go from commercial to residential than it would be the other way around.
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Old 04-02-2010, 09:55 AM   #5
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Zoning Conundrum


Stop "hoping" and "imagining" and get yourself down to the Town Hall and tell them what you want to do, even before you spend money on a lawyer. Talk to one of the officials, not a clerk, and get a sense whether they will make a change, and how long it might take. They might be reluctant to lose the tax revenue from changing the zoning to residential if they think the property can be sold as commercial. I am an elected official in our Village(big deal, pop. under 2000) so I know how this works.
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Old 04-03-2010, 09:17 PM   #6
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Zoning Conundrum


Quote:
Originally Posted by MEMama3 View Post
I was definitely planning on getting that onto the contract. Thanks for the advise. Hopefully there wont be too much red-tape to go through with the town. I imagine it is easier to go from commercial to residential than it would be the other way around.
Your last assumption is not necessarily true. If lots of other properties in the area have went to commercial, many times they are reluctant to start mixing residential back into a predominately commercial area.
You are right to make the sale contingent on an approved zoning change.
Most of the time you will have to come to an agreement with the current owner to complete this process, as you cannot request legal changes to a property that you will not actually own yet.
It is worth a sit down conversation with someone in a position of authority at the regulatory office before anything.

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