Buyer and Seller beware!
If you are thinking about purchasing or selling a home located in a town or city that has enacted zoning; then you need to know all the ends and outs of Zoning and what it is and how it works!
It is surprising how many Realtors do not understand that property taxes are assigned according to the use of the property. So if you have a business in the middle of a residential neighborhood, your property use would be commercial. You are running a business out of a building and the county tax accessor zones your lot as commercial.
However, the city where your commercial business exists may have the same proeprty zoned residential non-conforming. How did this happen?
Most towns in Texas did not always have zoning. So people constructed what they wanted to on their property in the wild, wild west!
When a city zones a town and if a section of a town is deemed residential, then all business in that area are considered non-comforming. This means you are not following the newly designated zoning ordinance (which is a law); but since the business was there before zoning it is now non-conforming.
Not a bad thing as long as you manage to hold on to your non-conforming status. State law says that if you abandon/close a business down for six months to the day; then you lose your non-comforming status.
The city will not allow a certificate of occupany to turn on utilities in that building ever again! Now you have a metal building and a financial loss on your books.
I also learned that it may be hard to obtain a mortgage loan on residential homes located in a commercial zones.
My advise to a buyer would be to contact a real estate attorney or Realtor who knows about zoning laws to help you make your decisisions.