Another day another thorough guide from PMA.
Today, we’ll be discussing the legality of living on a commercial property. As real estate investors and finance enthusiasts, it’s important to understand the laws and regulations surrounding this topic.
We’ll be providing an in-depth guide to help you navigate the complex world of commercial real estate living.
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Whether you’re a first-time investor or a seasoned pro, this guide will serve as a valuable resource in your real estate finance journey.
So, let's dive in and explore if you can live in a commercial property with PMA.
What is a Commercial Property and What Does it Mean to Live There?
Commercial property is a type of real estate that is used for business purposes, such as office buildings, retail stores, warehouses, and other similar structures.
These properties are typically zoned for commercial use and may not be used as residential properties.
Living in a commercial property, also known as "mixed-use living," refers to the practice of residing in a commercial space, such as an apartment or loft above a store or office, or in a converted warehouse or industrial building.
This type of living is becoming increasingly popular in urban areas, as it can provide a unique and convenient lifestyle for those who want to be close to their work or the city's amenities.
However, it's important to note that living on commercial property may not be legal in certain areas, or may require specific permits or zoning changes.
This is because commercial properties are typically not zoned for residential use, and may not meet the necessary safety and code requirements for residential living.
Additionally, commercial properties may be subject to different property taxes and regulations than residential properties.
Before deciding to live on a commercial property, it's important to thoroughly research the legality and regulations of the specific location and property in question.
Consulting with a real estate attorney or zoning expert can also provide valuable insight and guidance in navigating the complexities of commercial real estate living.
PMA, as a professional mortgage associate, can provide more detailed information on the legality of living in a commercial property, as well as assist in identifying and securing the right property that meets your needs and complies with the regulations.
Throughout this article, you’ll notice that we drive home several topics and we repeat them throughout the information. We do this as a notice to everyone reading that these specifics are extremely important and should be understood thoroughly before anything else is done.
Different Types of Commercial Properties & How They Impact Your Ability to Legally Live There
Different types of commercial properties have varying levels of feasibility for legally living there.
Here are a few examples of common commercial properties and how they may impact your ability to legally live there:
- Industrial properties: These properties, such as warehouses or factories, may be less likely to be zoned for residential use and may require significant renovations to meet safety and code requirements for living. Additionally, industrial properties may have high levels of noise or pollution that can make them less desirable for residential living.
- Office buildings: Some office buildings may have unused or underutilized space that could be converted into apartments or lofts. However, these spaces may not have the necessary infrastructure for residential living, such as kitchens or bathrooms. Additionally, office buildings may be subject to strict security and access requirements that can make living there more challenging.
- Retail properties: Properties such as shopping centers or strip malls may have unused or underutilized space that could be converted into apartments or lofts. However, these spaces may not have the necessary infrastructure for residential living, and may also be subject to strict security and access requirements.
- Mixed-use properties: These properties typically have a mix of commercial and residential spaces, such as apartments above a store or office. These types of properties may be more likely to be zoned for residential use, but the specific regulations and requirements will depend on the location and property.
It's important to note that the ability to legally live in a commercial property will depend on the zoning and regulations of the specific location and property in question.
Consultation with a real estate attorney or zoning expert can provide valuable insight and guidance in identifying commercial properties that can be legally converted for residential use.
PMA can also provide more detailed information on the legality and regulations of commercial properties.
But the main question stands…
Can you live in a commercial property?
Understanding the Laws Surrounding Living in a Commercial Property
When considering living in a commercial property, it's important to understand the laws surrounding it.
The main laws that govern living in the commercial property include zoning laws, building codes and regulations, and safety standards.
Zoning laws determine how the land can be used within a specific area, and they vary from city to city.
These laws often include restrictions on residential use in commercial zones, which can make it difficult to legally live on commercial property.
Additionally, zoning laws may require specific permits or variances to be obtained before converting a commercial property for residential use.
Building codes and regulations are in place to ensure that structures meet certain safety and accessibility standards. These codes and regulations will vary depending on the location and type of property, but they may include requirements for things such as fire safety, plumbing, and electrical systems.
These codes and regulations may also require specific permits or approvals to be obtained before converting a commercial property for residential use.
Safety standards are in place to ensure that properties are safe for occupants and visitors. This includes things like fire safety, emergency egress, and accessibility. Safety standards may also include requirements for things like carbon monoxide detectors, smoke alarms, and sprinkler systems.
It's important to note that understanding the laws surrounding living on a commercial property can be complex and time-consuming.
Consulting with a real estate attorney or zoning expert can provide valuable insight and guidance in navigating the specific laws and regulations of a particular location.
Factors to Consider Before Deciding to Move Into a Commercial Property
When deciding to move into a commercial property, there are several factors that you'll need to consider. Here are a few key considerations to keep in mind:
- Location of the property: The location of the property is an important factor to consider when deciding to live in a commercial property. Being close to your work or desired amenities can be convenient, but it's also important to consider things like noise levels, safety, and the availability of transportation.
- Cost of living expenses and taxes: Living in a commercial property can come with unique costs and expenses, such as property taxes, insurance, and maintenance. Additionally, commercial properties may be subject to different property taxes and regulations than residential properties. It's important to understand the costs associated with living in a commercial property and how they may differ from traditional residential properties.
- Availability of utilities and amenities: Living in a commercial property may require additional resources to convert the property for residential use. This can include things like adding kitchens, bathrooms, and other residential amenities. Additionally, commercial properties may not have the same infrastructure for utilities, such as water and electricity, as residential properties. It's important to understand the availability and cost of these resources and how they may impact your decision to live on a commercial property.
PMA can provide more detailed information on the costs and expenses associated with living in a commercial property, as well as assist in identifying and securing the right property that meets your needs and complies with the regulations.
It's important to thoroughly research and understand these factors before making a decision to live on a commercial property. Consulting with a real estate attorney or zoning expert can also provide valuable insight and guidance in navigating these considerations.
How to Find an Affordable Option for Living on a Commercial Property
Finding an affordable option for living in a commercial property can be challenging, but there are a few strategies that you can use to help you find a more cost-effective option.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Rent control ordinance laws for commercial properties: Some cities have rent control laws that limit the amount that landlords can charge for commercial properties. These laws may apply to commercial properties that are being used for residential purposes, so it's important to research the laws in your area.
- Look for properties in need of repair or renovation: Properties that need repairs or renovations can often be rented at a lower cost than properties that are in better condition. These properties may require additional work to make them suitable for living, but they can be a more affordable option.
- Lease agreements for living: When living in a commercial property, it's important to understand the terms of your lease agreement. Some landlords may require a long-term lease agreement, while others may be open to shorter-term or month-to-month agreements.
- Negotiate with the landlord: If you find a property that you're interested in, but the rent is higher than you're willing to pay, it may be possible to negotiate with the landlord. You can try to negotiate for a lower rent, or for additional concessions, such as a reduced security deposit.
We gave you some things to consider when looking for a commercial property to live in, but if you want to know what to look for in terms of any type of real estate property, down below is a list of factors to look into!
- Research the area: Look for areas with lower average rental or housing costs and compare prices between neighborhoods.
- Consider roommates or shared living arrangements: Sharing a home or apartment with roommates can significantly reduce living expenses.
- Look for government-subsidized housing: Check with your local government for programs that provide low-cost housing options.
- Use online resources: Websites like Zillow, Craigslist, and Rent.com can help you find affordable housing options in your area.
- Consider living in a less popular area: Living outside of major cities or in suburban areas can often result in lower housing costs.
- Negotiate with landlords: Try negotiating with your landlord for a lower rent, especially if you plan to stay for an extended period.
- Look for rent-to-own or owner-financed options: These arrangements allow you to rent a property with the option to purchase it in the future, which can be a good way to become a homeowner while avoiding high down payment costs.
- Use a real estate agent: A real estate agent can help you find affordable options that fit your budget and needs.