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Old 02-24-2011, 03:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: M[ass]achusetts
How does commercial zoning impact property values?

I'm thinking of buying a condo. I like everything about it, but I'm a little worried about the location.

there are three buildings in such an arrangement:
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The same company owns all three buildings. I'm looking at a unit in the south building. The east one is another condo, and the north one is going to hold some offices (probably not retail). So this means I'd be right on the edge of a commercial zone. I'm just wondering how this might impact property values in the next few years. All three buildings are only three stories tall. Past the office building is a bar/pub, couple gas stations, and small workshops (single story). the location is right next to the high way, but has a great view of a ski resort mountain, and is next to a great park.

This is to be my first property, so i'm probably just being overly nervous for nothing, but I'd like your thoughts, TFPers
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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There are many types of commercial zoning, and office space or medical offices are about as close to residential as you can get. In fact, in many jurisdictions, office space is a separate zone; not always commercial. There's no noise, little traffic, and the building is usually empty from 5 pm till 8 am.

How it affects property value is not guaranteed, though. Your property is worth exactly what the next buyer will pay for it. They may like the fact that it's walking distance to a bar or retail stores; others may not want to live that close to a bar or a workshop. That's the way planning works, though - multi-family housing and light commercial zones act as a buffer between single-family residential and heavier commercial, such as auto shops and large retail areas.

In general, though, if you're buying residential, you want to be in the middle of the residential area. That way, your whole neighborhood is a buffer between you and more dense zoning. But there are other things to consider, too, like the quality and proximity of parks, schools, and emergency services. And of course, proximity to shopping, especially if you walk or bike more than you drive.

In a viable community, residential, commercial, recreational, and industrial land uses all have to coexist in a logical manner, usually arranged by density. Otherwise, if you have all residential, you create bedroom communities where everyone has to commute in order to work. That's the problem with a lot of suburbs - the only employment is low salary retail jobs. Some people love the quiet of suburbia; others prefer the excitement of living in a diverse urban environment.

I would say the south building is a better location than the east, but either way, it all depends on the overall feel and character of the neighborhood.
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