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Zones offer assurance to homebuyers

Zoning laws serve many purposes, often connected to property values and maintaining some sense of order within a city. One side effect of this is that they can offer assurance to homebuyers on a number of levels.

First of all, buyers may worry that development around a home will not take a path they approve of. If they're in a residential zone, though, they know that at least the development will focus on housing. They do not need to worry about a chemical factory opening up down the street or a big-box store going in on the lot next to theirs.

When people invest in a home, they often use a 30-year mortgage. It's certainly a long-term investment, and they need to know that future changes around the house aren't going to make them regret buying it.

This practice can also impact property values and home prices. Without zoning regulations, property values could swing wildly based on development. A home may be worth $400,000 until a factory opens up next door, for instance, and no one wants to buy. The value drops to $100,000. That's clearly not fair to the owners. In the same way that zoning laws offer assurance that these types of things will not occur, they also give homeowners peace of mind in knowing that their property values will not decline rapidly due to the same factors.

These are just two of the reasons for zoning laws and the way they impact city planning. It can get complicated so, if you have any questions about how it works, be sure you know where to begin.

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