Buying a house is an exciting adventure. You probably have all kinds of ideas and plans now that the place is yours to do with as you please. However, this is not necessarily so. There are zoning laws and variances, municipal codes, and maybe even homeowners association regulations to abide by. Other than moving your belongings in and doing aesthetic changes to the inside, you may need permits or permission to fulfill your plans. You may even be restricted from certain things. Here are just a few things you may want to check about before buying a property.
Unless you are in some type of gated or planned community with strict homeowner's regulations, you can probably have a cat and dog. However, there may be a limit to the number you can keep. Other than that, zoning laws will dictate what kinds of pets you can have. Do not go out and buy your daughter that cute little micro-mini pig unless you are sure it is not going to break a zoning ordinance. There can be some pretty hefty fines for having the wrong type of animal on your property. Of course, worse yet is telling your daughter she has to give up her new best friend.
It could be very hard for someone to prove you are running a business out of your home that is strictly service oriented. However, if you frequently have clients or customers coming for meetings things may look suspicious. Before you put your home address as your place of business on any documentation, be sure you have a business license and some type of permission to operate a business there. Most of the time, you can get a variance to have the business there. However, if it involves a lot of noise, excessive traffic to the house, or the business involves doing things outside where the neighbors may be bothered you may be denied and have to fight the decision.
Any time you are going to be adding on or changing the original structure of the house, you will need a permit to do so. If you are trying to build too close to a property line, you may be denied permission for it. You may also be required to get permission to build a fence, erect a storage shed, or install an in-ground pool. Contact city hall to find out which department handles the type of work you will be doing.
Owning your own home is great, just make sure that the real estate you are going to buy has the right zoning and that you can abide by any other restrictions or regulations on the property.