How is Your Property Zoned?

Real Estate Agent with David Tracy Real Estate #555994


Midtown Park


How is Your Property



Realtors beware! Here in the Texas bay area there are many cities in the Galveston and Brazoria Counties that have imposed zoning.



Each zone will describe what can be constructed in that zoned area. It may be a Single Family Residence or Commercial property and maybe even Industrial.


Recently, a Realtor listed a 1 acre undeveloped property and noted in the MLS property description identifying all the big commercial properties it was near to. By reading the MLS property description it appeared that the property would be a great commercial property to purchase with many possibilities. The sellers Realtor had not noted anywhere in the MLS description that the property was zoned commercial.


Out of state buyers purchased the property and approached the city to permit the new house plans they were constructing there. The city permit clerk told the buyer that they could not build a home on that property as it was zoned commercial. The buyer was in shock. She had just spent $68,000.00 on one acre of land. She wanted to know how this could be, there were a few other homes in the area. She was told they were already there when zoning was imposed and they were non-conforming structures. 


The Realtor fight was on! Neither of the Realtors knew that the city was a zoned city. They called and claimed the city was at fault. The city in turn told them the Realtors had not done their due diligence. The Realtors claimed the county appraisal district noted it was zoned residential. It was a shocker to both Realtors that the appraisal districts tax properties on their use and do not make it their business to note how each city zones a property.


I am waiting to see who wins this court case.


Posted by


Sussie Says…

Representing Buyers and Sellers in Friendswood, Clear Lake, Pearland, Webster, City of League City, and the Houston / Bay Area.

Call Me  Your Realtor at ...713-822-1655.


Email Me:









Comments (9)

Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Sussie,

Someone did not do their due diligence. Probably a call to the appropriate entity before making the offer would have avoided all of this.

Sep 22, 2018 09:29 PM
Sussie Sutton

Yes, both agents did not do their due diligence. They both failed their clients. I would call both the city and county to ask all kinds of questions. It can't hurt!

Sep 23, 2018 08:50 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Sussie, I have been a land specialist for the past 22+ years in the greater Los Angles area and Zoning, I check the County Records, then I check the City Records and once I have a good idea I check with the sellers.... then if I represent the buyers I do the same and last but not least have the buyers check with the local zoning people.... clearly out of area is no excuse I have buyers from all over the Globe, Endre

Sep 22, 2018 09:48 PM
Sussie Sutton

Hey Endre! Good to hear from you! Yes you have to check, then check and recheck and did I say check?  LOL ss

Sep 23, 2018 08:52 PM
Rose King
David Tracy Real Estate - Friendswood, TX
Friendswood / Pearland / Houston Bay Area

Yikes! They should have contacted YOU! I always tell people that Sussie Sutton is the expert on city ordinances and zoning. Great post, Sussie!


Sep 22, 2018 10:24 PM
Sussie Sutton

Thanks Rose! There have been quite a few people finding this out recently.

Sep 23, 2018 08:53 PM
Potranco Realty
Potranco Realty - San Antonio, TX
"Sold with Potranco Realty"

OMG! Pour Seller and Pour buyer..... it is something we as real estate professionals need to do our due-diligence but we can only investigate so far.

It seems the seller would have know about this? let us know what happens.

Sep 23, 2018 04:14 AM
Sussie Sutton

They went to court and I have not received the out come.

Nov 28, 2018 04:30 AM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Checking to make sure the zoning is what the homowners says it is is an important issue in my area.

Sep 23, 2018 06:33 AM
Sussie Sutton

I am astounded as to how many agents do not know this. It is just crazy!

Sep 23, 2018 08:47 PM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

We have had zoning for years and know to check with the proper authorities first before giving an answer.

Sep 24, 2018 07:12 PM
Sussie Sutton

Most cities in Galveston County are zoned. How could a seasoned Realtor not know this information?

Nov 28, 2018 04:35 AM
Ricki Eichler McCallum
CastNet Realty - Corpus Christi, TX
Broker,GRI,ABR, e-Pro, TAHS

Hi Sussie,  Very interesting predicament.  Many agents count on the appraisal district records but it just goes to show you, we need to check other places too.

Oct 10, 2018 08:08 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

This is a good story to share.

Purchasers of lots or land need to know about the zoning restrictions.

Dec 03, 2018 07:51 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Sussie,  I miss you in the rain with your blogs,  wish you would come back we miss you.


Mar 04, 2019 09:34 AM
Sussie Sutton

Will!  How have you been? I have fallen off the Realtor train. I still have my license and I am starting up the business again! I offered to help a friend with their business and it took a little more out of me than anticipated.

Mar 23, 2019 07:16 PM