Can You Legally Live In A Commercial Property? An In-Depth Guide To Commercial Living

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. 

Before we get into the guide, I want to remind everyone that our Instagram @pmalamortgage has just reached a milestone and our page provides amazingly deep and rich graphics that provide endless information and assistance to any real estate professional. 

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If you’re looking for a more detailed guide on residential living and real estate financing make sure to check out our resource center!

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 real estate property

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

office building

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:

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

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:

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

affordable commercial real estate living scenarios

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:

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!

  1. Research the area: Look for areas with lower average rental or housing costs and compare prices between neighborhoods.
  2. Consider roommates or shared living arrangements: Sharing a home or apartment with roommates can significantly reduce living expenses.
  3. Look for government-subsidized housing: Check with your local government for programs that provide low-cost housing options.
  4. Use online resources: Websites like Zillow, Craigslist, and Rent.com can help you find affordable housing options in your area.
  5. Consider living in a less popular area: Living outside of major cities or in suburban areas can often result in lower housing costs.
  6. Negotiate with landlords: Try negotiating with your landlord for a lower rent, especially if you plan to stay for an extended period.
  7. 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.
  8. Use a real estate agent: A real estate agent can help you find affordable options that fit your budget and needs.