Your Questions Answered!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Do zoning laws prevent you from living in certain areas?I want to buy land in an industrial area of town and build a workshop with a live space above it.Are there any zoning laws that would prevent me from living in an industrial area without being in a designated live/work complex building?

This all depends on the specific zoning laws and building restrictions in your area. Generally speaking, there will be guidelines that may limit you more than you want. For example, are you allowed to have more than one water or sewer tap for the residential bathroom(s)? Will you be allowed to build a garage without having to call it “storage” or a warehouse? And don’t forget that when you are ready to sell it, there will be less buyers that want to live anywhere with zoning issues. Bottom line: call your local building department of your city or county and find out the nitty gritty of what is acceptable and you will save yourself some headaches.

If our mortgage falls through because of the appraisal, what happens to the down payment at the title company…it’s about $20,000?We qualify for a 30 year loan, but the house appraisal came back with a 25 year lifetime according to the appraiser. We’re first-time home buyers and are worried about losing the $20,000 down payment left with the title company if our financing falls through. Our loan officer and her boss tell us that with our credit and such, the only reason the underwriter would deny the loan is because of the appraisal. We are buying from a more than patient owner who is using a company who helps him with this. We love the location, and understand some upgrades are needed, but we’re willing to make them over the years. It’s so close, and taking so long. We just wonder how much of a hole we are in if this doesn’t work because the appraisal won’t meet the underwriter’s requirements. any help will be appreciated. Thanks

I have some questions about your question. You say “the house appraisal came back with a 25 lifetime..” do you mean that the appraiser’s opinion is that the house will only last for another 25 years? If so, that doesn’t seem like a good investment, but I need some clarification on that point. My other question is “What does your contract say?” Are you past your appraisal objection deadline and your loan conditions deadline? If not, then your earnest money is not at risk. If these deadlines are already passed, then your earnest money could be at risk. It depends on what has been agreed to in the contract and any extensions. Your Realtor will be able to explain it to you in more detail, based on the terms in your purchase contract. Good luck!

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