Saturday, November 10, 2007

Belmont Property Codes

As I continue my house search I came across something that may be useful for fellow Bay Area homebuyers. In summary, the zoning of where your future home is located is just as important as the school district of where the home is located.

A home I was bidding on was located in Belmont under the zoning code HRO2. HRO2 signifies that the land is a new development as well as potential landside area. Because of this, although the property (land) itself was 12,700 sq ft, a new development on that property would only be allowed to be 900-1,200 sq ft. The current home (built in the 1930s) was grandfathered in at 1,900 sq ft.
Now many people will think – why would this matter to me now?

Important things to consider would be that land zoning only gets more strict over time, not less, so the ability of that HRO2 zoning to be converted to HRO1 (maximum home square footage of 3,000) or R1 (regular residential) will be very unlikely. In addition, even if you don’t plan on rebuilding the house during the lifetime of your home ownership, the restrictions on the land will affect your resale value.

I passed on the property.

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