You asked and I have listened!

I have received several questions about zoning/codes and how to figure out what is allowed where you want to create and operate a vacation rental.

I talked about it in my book and course more in depth from how to make an offer contingent on it, to “the why” behind it and wanted to break it down by offering some quick incite.

I will stress this till I go blue in the face – MAKE SURE that you do your due diligence before you spend a penny on buying a new property to make sure what you are allowed or not allowed to do!

How to find out if your area allows them:

  • Call twp/town/municipality that your desired area is. Normally you can find their contact info or for the specific committee on their website, or if you live in a rural area like me, in the phone book (Haha! Yes, some areas still use the phone book).
  • Find a realtor or attorney to do so that may have experience in doing this if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself. A lot of times, Realtors do this for other zoning questions and would probably be more than willing to help if you are looking to buying a property in that area.
  • You can also reach out to local vacation rental property managers for this info, as they must know it to be able to manage in that area. I will be talking about how to find vacation/short-term rental property managers in an upcoming blog post, so stay tuned!
  • Depending on where you are looking to create them, they may have a specific process to follow to get the proper permit etc.
  • Some areas still don’t have zoning for it so you may be able to create one without having to go through the hoops to do so.
  • Some areas may make you get a variance to create one because you may be reinventing the wheel and need special approval for your use.

And again, MAKE SURE that you do your due diligence before you spend a penny on buying a new property to make sure what you are allowed or not allowed to do! It only takes making that mistake once and then being stuck with a lot of expense, aggravation and embarrassment. 

If your desired area doesn’t allow them, you may have to look elsewhere for now. Zoning in different areas changes over time for better or worse, so don’t lose hope. You might just have to change gears and try someplace else, or even try to fight for it. Locally we have municipalities changing their zoning to attract them since some others don’t allow them currently.

Make sure you check out my course for the step-by-step process and possible outcomes. I also breakdown how to get financing, find the right Realtor, create a business plan, launch, operate etc. It’s a must-have investment for your new possible endeavor.


Author: Christina VanDergrift

CHPC•Author•RE Broker•Serial Entrepreneur

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