4 Legal Requirements Before Buying Commercial Real Estate

Buying commercial real estate is a bit different from residential real estate for several reasons. When you buy a house, you intend to use it as a house to live in. But there are a lot of conditions surrounding the sale of commercial property that you have to consider and a lot of legal elements you need to understand before you can finalize your purchase.

What Can The Building Be Used For?

If you are buying a property that was a bookstore to set up another bookstore, then you will still need to do your research on the zoning restrictions for that property. For example, adult bookstores have special restrictions in each community that you should be aware of. Before you buy a property, you need to make sure that it is legally able to house your business based on how the property is zoned. You can check with the local town or city hall to see what types of businesses are legally able to be in the structure you are considering buying.

What Are The Limitations Of The Building?

We talked about understanding the zoning rules for your building, and that includes understanding what you cannot do with the property. For example, you might decide to reopen an old manufacturing facility and find that the initial zoning guidelines suit your business just fine. But when you try to bring in a new piece of equipment that generates a certain type of hazardous waste, you might not be able to. You need to know the full extent of how you intend to use the building in order to understand whether or not it really fits your needs.

Property Taxes

When you are considering a commercial property, you should investigate the amount of property tax is attached to that property as it stands. If you plan on developing the property further, then you might not like the estimated increase in property tax you will experience when the development is done. You should spend some time looking into the current tax situation for the property, and gain an understanding of how taxes will change after you have altered the property to fit your needs.

Potential Development Of The Surrounding Property

While this is not necessarily a legal consideration when buying a commercial property, the development of the surrounding property can have an effect on your business. If there have been a series of variances approved for properties that surround yours by the local zoning board that could affect your future on a commercial property, then you may want to stay away from that property. By the same token, a commercial development in decline can create a variety of legal issues from abandoned properties to hazardous waste removal.

If you are preparing to buy a piece of commercial property, then you should be prepared to do a lot of research to make sure you account for all legal hurdles to your purchase. It can sometimes take months to finalize a commercial property sale simply because the attorneys on both sides have a lot to do before the sale can be completed.