Zoning Best Tips When Buying a Home – NJ Real Estate Appraisal Suggestions

With the excitement of buying a home, no one thinks about what zone the house is located in and does it mean. You are assuming it is a great house, has everything you need and want, but you need to understand some of the basics of zoning and its issues that can arise.

  • If the house is located for example in the R-5 zone 5,000 square foot min lot size. You might need to be concerned your lot size is 5,000 square foot.
  • If it is not conforming, some towns require a variance if you want to make any changes. An example will be if you are planning an addition, adding a front porch, deck, patio, pool, garage, etc.
  • If you have a survey of your property, you should bring it. Contact the zoning department and get the requirements for that zone.
  • With the survey, it shows where the house is located and if it meets the current setbacks requirements.
  • Another reason to know the zone that the property is in: You may want to buy a particular property like a 2-4 family, or a house with an accessory unit, maybe two homes on one lot.
  • Some of these uses may be illegal or grandfathered in. If that is the case, you might need to hire an attorney who specializes in land use. Another issue that could come up is finding a lender to provide financing. If your home does not meet minimum lot requirements.
  • If you have owned the property for a long time, there could be changes in the zoning and use.
  • The changes in zoning and use you should be concerned with: example the neighboring property that is a wooded lot across the street from you could get developed some day.


Carpe Diem let the buyer/owner beware.