Thursday, May 19, 2011

Blog 2

Julie Nolan

Blog Post Assignment 2

Markets and Environments

Eminent Domain

All of us know the gist of what eminent domain means, the government can come in and take your home or land away from you and they end up paying you money in order to do this. However how many of us actually know the real meaning of the words eminent domain? Probably very few of us. The definition according to Merriam Webster Dictionary is a right of a government to take private property for public use by virtue of the superior dominion of the sovereign power over all lands within its jurisdiction.

Many people view this as unfair or just plain old the government using it’s power to hurt others and not think about the people’s feelings. A government however must meet two requirements when they want to exercise the right of eminent domain and that is just compensation, i.e. market value of the property, and also a public use. The government cannot just go and buy land just for the hell of it they have to have a public use for the land already in place that they want to use it for it does not matter what it is just that it has to be taken for the good of the public. I believe that the definition of what eminent domain is suppose to be and what the directions for that land works if that is how the government follows it. There have been cases where the government abuses it’s powers, however when has the government not abused a power it was given. I hate to say it but it happens.

For example, in a case dubbed:

Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council, 1992, the Supreme Court ruled that a South Carolina land use regulation deprived a coastal land owner of any possible economic benefit from his land. The land owner wanted to build homes on his land and was not allowed to according to the terms of the land use regulations, which were designed to protect endangered wetlands.

The Court said that preventing Mr. Lucas from gaining any economic benefit from his land had the same effect as "taking" the land, and that, therefore, he was entitled to compensation according to the Eminent Domain Clause.

I believe that this is a prime example of the government doing what is right, yes it had to be brought to their attention in the form of a court room but once it was they paid Mr. Lucas his just compensation just like Eminent Domain says to.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chapter 12

Chapter 12
1. One of three valuation techniques taught to real estate appraisers requiring an estimate of the market value of the land combined with an estimate of the reproduction cost new of all improvements adjusted by estimated depreciation is known as
a. Income approach
b. Cost approach
c. Investment approach
d. Sales comparison approach

Answer is D- Sales comparison approach

2. The most common listing or brokerage agency relationship. It grants the broker the right to collect a commission if the property is sold during the listing period no matter who actually brings the buyer to the transaction is known as
A. Exclusive right to sell
B. Exclusive-Agency
C. Net Listing
D. Open Listing

Answer is A. Exclusive right to sell

3. The process of converting an income stream into a lump sum estimate of present value is known as
A. Depreciation
B. Capitalization
C. Confirmation
D. Gross Rent Multiplier

Answer is B- Capitalization

1. An analogous term for the prescriptive appraisal process, that systematic process that appraisers are taught to follow when valuing real estate is known as heuristics.
Answer: False- Known as Normative appraisal process

2. A specific value an income-producing asset has to a particular investor or potential investor is known as anchoring.
Answer: False- known as investment value

3. The problem solving heuristic characterized by giving greatest weight to the most recently encountered evidence for example when considering a series of comparable sales is known as recency.
Answer: True

4. The broker who has entered into an agency agreement to market and sell property on behalf it is owner is known as the selling broker.
Answer: False- Known as listing broker

5. Value in use originates from the worth or utility that a property has for a particular individual who uses it.
Answer: True

Chapter 11 questions

Chapter 11

1. The assessor-determined value used to calculate property taxes is known as
A. Value in use
B. Value in exchange
C. Assessed value
D. Ad valorem value
Answer is C- Assessed Value

2. A use that was established before and does not meet current zoning requirements but is legally allowed to continue is known as a
A. Homestead exemption
B. Grandfathered use
C. Exemption
D. Conformity
Answer is B-Grandfathered use

3. The creation of geographic areas, or zones, of similar land uses and density of land use is known as
A. Zoning variance
B. Subdivision regulation
C. Zoning
D. Comprehensive Plan
Answer is C- Zoning

1. A common assessed value deduction to permanent residents who use their property as their primary residence or homestead is known as special assessment.
Answer- False- Known as homestead exemption

2. Mass valuation is a technique in which the private property owner’s rights to ask for a change in assessed value, usually because the property owner thinks that the current assessment is too high.
Answer: False- This is the definition of Assessment appeal

3. The act of a developer yielding ownership of land and improvements to a local municipality is known as a dedication.
Answer: True

4. The total amount of taxable property value of all taxable real estate within the county is known as the legal nonconforming use.
Answer- False- Known as Tax digest

5. The building envelope is a minimum required construction standard used to protect the health and safety of the public.
Answer: False- Known as the building code.

Chapter 10 questions

Chapter 10
1. A variable rate or payment mortgage that adjust to a specified index periodically is known as
A. Acceleration clause
B. Adjustable rate mortgage
C. Amortization
D. Annuity

Answer is B- Adjustable Rate Mortgage

2. A document transferring legal title to a trustee is known as
A. Deed of reconveyance
B. Equitable title
C. Deed of trust
D. Title theory

Answer is C- Deed of trust

3. A personal promise to bay back a loan is known as
A. Secured debt
B. Unsecured debt
C. Lien theory
D. Hypothecation

Answer is B-Unsecured Debt

1. A mortgage product that acts like a standard constant payment mortgage for a specified number of years and then turns into an ARM product thereafter is known as a hybrid mortgage.

2. The initial low rate offered by mortgagee as enticement, or tease for a mortgagor is known as a fixed rate.

Answer: False- Known as Teaser rate

3. A fee that the mortgagor agrees to pay, in addition to the outstanding mortgage balance, when a loan is prepaid and the mortgage does not have a prepayment clause is known as a point.

Answer: False- Known as a prepayment penalty

4. The risk that interest rates will change and negatively affect the interest rate spread is known as the lenders effective yield.

Answer: False- Known as interest rate risk.

5. A ceiling of the interest rate change over the life of the mortgage is known as an overall cap.

Answer: True

Ch 12

Yadire Mendoza

Ch. 12

1. The two broad concepts of real estate are value in use and value in purchase. F-value in use and value in exchange. Pg.366

2. There are two kinds of appraisers, commercial and residential. T-pg.367

3. According to many appraisers two types of human constructions are found on sites: improvements on the land and improvements to the land. T-pg.371

4. The income approach technique requires an estimate of the market value of the land. F- cost approach pg.372

5. In the cost approach technique depreciation is deducted from the estimate of value. T-pg.373

6. The prescriptive appraisal process that directs appraisers to thorough, systematic approach is called:

a. Normative –pg.385

b. Heuristics

c. Regency

d. None of the above

7. When appraisers are appraising in a market area familiar to them they tend to not do which of the following:

a. Conform

b. Anchor –pg.387

c. Administer

d. All of the above

8. Which of the following are the roles that attorneys play to optimize their clients interest:

a. Technician, negotiator, adviser, and counselor pg.393-395

b. Counselor, adviser, teacher, protector

c. Adviser, psychiatrist, teacher, negotiator

d. None of the above

C hapter 12

1. Gantt Charts are?

a. A value in use concept
b. Subconscious mental short cuts
c. A project management technique used to schedule work
d. Exists when the same broker represents the buyer and the seller

2. The process of turning an income stream into a lump sum estimate of present value is called

a. Capitalization
b. Depreciation
c. Gross rent multiplier
d. Dual agency

3. The valuation technique that looks the cost to build a similar structure on a similar piece of land is called.

a. Sales comparison approach
b. Income approach
c. Cost approach
d. None of the above

4. T/F The sales comparison approach looks at recent sales of similar properties to determine value.

5. T/F The Cost approach looks at how much it would cost to recreate a piece of property

6. T/F Is a heuristic theory

7. T/F A listing broker always brings a buyer into a transaction

8. T/F Overall cap rates are commonly used to estimate the investment value and market value of income producing real estate

1)A, 2)A, 3)C, 4)T, 5)T, 6)T, 7)F, 8)T

Chapter 11

1. Which of the following are examples of zoning codes

a. A
b. R2
c. S
d. All of the above

2. A building envelope is

a. A special exception to a specific zoning requirement
b. An exception to current land use regulations
c. The area on a site that may be legally built upon
d. An envelope built out of construction paper

3. The act of a developer yielding ownership of land and improvements to a local municipality is called

a. Dedication
b. Impact fee
c. Grandfathered use
d.Zoning variance

4. T/F A comprehensive plan is an overall documented long term guide for a community or regions future development and growth

5. T/F A mill is 1/1000

6. T/F Ad valorem value refers to a properties market value

7. T/F Tax digest refers a condition where people loose their appetite after they see their tax bill

8. T/F The Government is a partner in real estate ownership.

1)D, 2)C, 3)a, 4)T 5)T, 6)T, 7)F 8)T

Chapter 10

1. An overall cap is?

a. A Limit on the amount of money you can borrow
b. A ceiling on the interest rate change over the life of a mortgage.
c. The appropriate type of hat to wear with overalls
d. Both a and c

2. Which of the following is a situation in which a higher underwriting ratio would be justified?

a. Applicant has good future earnings potential
b. Applicant is paying a large down payment
c. Applicant has a good track record
d. All of the above

3. Which of the following should you bring with you to a meeting with a mortgage originator?

a. Three months of pay stubs
b. A resume and good appearance
c. Socket wrenches
d. Both a and b

4. T/F Prequalification is a firm commitment by a lender to give you a mortgage

5. T/F A penalty occurs if you do not pay off your mortgage early

6. T/F A motrgage point equals one percent of the loan amount

7. T/F With an ARM if interest rates rise your mortgage can end up costing you an arm and a leg.

8. T/F A hybrid mortgage starts off as an ARM and ends up like a regular mortgage

1)b, 2)d, 3)d, 4)F, 5)F, 6)T, 7)T, 8)F

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ch 11

Yadire Mendoza


1. Zoning is one of the least powerful rights a municipality has to implement the comprehensive plan. F-most powerful pg.349

2. The property tax calculation consists of 7 steps. F-5 steps pg.345

3. Tax exempt properties are banks, insurance companies, and title companies. F-government owned building, churches pg.344

4. A preliminary plat approval is a part of a procedure in a subdivision application and approval process. T-pg.357

5. Building codes are required construction standards that vary according across the country. T-pg.356

6. The subdivision application and approval process follows which of the following procedure:

a. Information application conference, preliminary plat approval, final plat approval pg.357

b. Construction, preliminary plat approval, final plat recorded

c. Both a and b

d. Neither

7. The acronym FAR stands for which of the following:

a. Floor and roof

b. Floor-area ratio pg.351

c. Front and rear

d. None of the above

8. A building envelope is recognized by:

a. Reducing a required amount from the front, rear, and side property lines pg.352

b. Reducing a required amount from the corners of the property lines

c. Both a and b

d. None of the above

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Chapter 12

Kasper Hovannisian

Chapter 12

1. The subconscious mental shortcuts employed by human problem solvers needing to minimize cognitive effort is;

A. Heuristics

B. Normative Process

C. Recency

D. Anchoring

2. The broker who brings the buyer to the transaction is;

A. Listing Broker

B. Agent

C. Buyers Broker

D. Selling Broker

3. The most common listing or brokerage agency relationship is;

A. Special Agency

B. Exclusive agency

C. Exclusive Right to Sell

D. Dual Agency

4. A buyers broker represents the buyer in an agent principal fiduciary capacity.


5. The broker who enters into an agency agreement to sell property on behalf of its owner is the listing broker.


6. The least likely transaction price for a property is the market value.

T/F The market value is the most likely transaction price

7. The process of converting an income stream into a lump sum estimate of present value is called capitalization.


8. Value in use and value in exchange are not two of the concepts considered by appraisers.

T/F They are the two concepts considered by appraisers.

Chapter 11

Kasper Hovannisian

Chapter 11

1. The total amount of taxable property value of all taxable real estate within the county is;

A. Tax Assessor

B. Sales Tax

C. Property Tax

D. Tax Digest

2. The estimate of a property's market value for taxation purposes

A. Ad valorem value

B. Mass Valuation

C. Assessment Appeal

D. Tax Assessor

3. The creation of geographic areas of similar land uses and density of land is;

A. Zoning

B. Comprehensive Plan

C. Conformity

D. Area

4. A mill equals 1 per 1,000.


5. The assessor determined value used to calculate property taxes is the assessed value.

T/ F

6. A church is a tax exempt property.


7. The assessed value after all applicable exemptions is the assessment ratio.

T/F This is known as the taxable value

8. The person responsible for calculating the tax digest is the tax assessor.


Chapter 10

Kasper Hovannisian

Chapter 10

1. A personal promise to pay back a loan is;

A) Secured debt

B) Collateral

C) Unsecured debt

D) Payment clause

2. A states view that a mortgage is simply a lien on real property

A) Lien theory

B) deed of trust

C) Title theory

D) Amortization

3. A document transferring legal title to a trustee is;

A) Deed of reconveyance

B) Deed of trust

C) Title theory

D) Amortization

4. A mortgage originator is a specialist who focuses on loan organization.


5. The gradual reduction of a debt through systematic principal repayments over the life of the loan is called debt service.

T/F This definition describes amortization

6. The pledge of property to back up a promise to pay is called collateral.


7. A reference to a mortgage is the promissory note clause creating a link to the mortgage and the collateral.


8. A personal promise to repay the loan backed up with collateral is unsecured debt.

T/F This is known as secured debt.

Reminder - Final Exam

Don't forget.  You may take the final exam on Monday at 2 PM in room 191 PB (UBC) or Wednesday at 3:30 PM in our classroom.

If you are re-taking the Investment Problem section from Exam 3 you must bring and turn in Exam 3 to me before you retake the Investment Problem.  You may use an index card for the Investment Problem only.  The Investment Problem re-take is not a requirement.

As announced in-class, the final exam will cover chapters 10, 11, and 12.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Chapter 12 Mutliple Choice & True/False Questions

Multiple Choice

1) What method is taught but not used often by appraisers?

b)Value in use
c)Descriptive appraisal process
d)Prescriptive appraisal process

2) What method isn't taught to appraisers, but is the one most often used by them?

a)Descriptive appraisal process
b)Value in exchange
c)Prescriptive appraisal process
d)Normative process

3) How many steps are involved in the prescriptive appraisal process?



1) An agency that exist when a broker represents both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction is known as a dual agency. T/F

2) The process of converting an income stream into a lump sum estimate of present value is known as the descriptive appraisal process. T/F

3) The normative process is a systematic process appraisers are taught to follow when valuing real estate. T/F

4) The listing broker is the broker who brings the buyer to the transaction. T/F

5) The special agency empowers agents to act on behalf of their principal in a transaction. T/F


2)F - Capitalization
4)F - Selling broker

Chapter 11 Mutliple Choice & True/False Questions

Multiple Choice

1) A technique used by assessor's to create ad valorem assessments on a large umber of properties is known as

a) Tax digest
b) Mass valuation
c) Ad valorem value
d) Assessment ratio

2) Which of these is false?

a) Property tax due = Taxable value x Millage rate
b) Effective tax rate = Property tax due / Ad valorem value
c) Assessed value = Ad valorem value x Assessment ratio
d) Taxable value = Assessed value - Millage rate

3) A common assessed value deduction to permanent residents who use their property as their primary residence is known as what?

a) Exemption
b) Assessed value
c) Assessment ratio
d) Homestead exemption


1) The ratio of assessed value to the ad valorem market value estimate is known as the assessment ratio. T/F

2) The assessment office's numbering system to uniquely identify each parcel in the taxation district is known as the tax digest. T/F

3) The assessor's estimate of a property's market value for taxation purposes is known as the ad valorem value. T/F

4) The assessed value after all applicable exemptions is known as the mass valuation. T/F

5) A rate of 1 per 1,000 is known as the millage rate. T/F


2)F - Assessor's parcel number
4)F - Taxable value

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What it Takes to Invest in Real Estate

by: Mohammad Aljehani

Real estate industry is one of the oldest industries on the planet. People have been using real estate since the beginning of the human being and will still use it forever. It has an infinite use and value. Real estate will always worth something. It is a gift for the people to use in the best ways. There will always be a market for real estate even if people reached to another planet to live in. Therefore, investing in real estate is considered one of a lot of people’s concern because of the benefits this field provide for its owner. More details will show the significance of real estate, how to start investing in a real estate business and what plan should you have? And what critical decision should you take when investing in real estate with leverage.
Real estate is so important because of different reasons. It has a big value since the earlier ages because of the shelter and privacy it provides. As more population increases, people started putting boundaries and distinguishing who owns what. Beside the shelter it provides, people actually can make money out of it. Owning a piece of land is almost everyone’s dream. even though due to economy break down nowadays, still owning your own land is more valuable than anything else for the reason that you can stay under your private roof when you have no place to go to and you can trade it for a good amount of money whenever you feel it is a good time to put it in market. Because real estate is such a highly demanded product, investing in it would be a direction for a lot of entrepreneurs out there.
Before investing in real estate everyone should consider a plan before beginning on a project or an investment in order to have an organization of steps on how to complete the goals you acquire. Part of the plan you must consider is to see what you want to invest on and how. Also the local economy in where you want to invest in. You want to make sure that people in the area are actually buying, the amount of population that moves around there, are businesses succeeding or closing? And whether or not there are people working around that area. It is best to investigate the best place to find out about the economy of a certain area that you are interested in. Maybe consider looking at websites, magazines, newspapers, or take some ideas from certain books to fulfill your mind with certain or several ideas, as a fresh start. Later after being and feeling prepared to move on to the next step, meet people and some investors around there, places and attend to certain events if there are any. Have the eyes of a Real Estate Investor because this is what will train your mind to move forward and view what is successful and what is not.
The third step to consider is looking at the money in your pocket. Now in this economy it is not the best time to be making loans so it is best to start off with a good amount of money to have a better start up fund to adjust you for a while just in case there are issues that need to be addressed with the property, or delays in selling or renting a property. Before you even putting your money down on the table it is important to start off with an offer. Making no offers leaves you with nothing but wishing and hoping bad overall strategies for success in anything. You have to create a good dynamic of work when it comes to this , makings offers builds more confidence, makes you open up to new offers and can even be accepted. No matter what you know the deal will close so it is best to put in effort in what you want. As for the last step, finish what you have begun. Decide ahead of time you will finish what you start and close on every deal you make an offer on. Real estate will always bring deals that are not granted at how you want them, so you must sustain to being positive and bringing the closest deal you want to a close at your offer or closet offer. In the end you will be left with what you have invested on.
Due to a lack of cash flow, you will consider borrowing, but you should calculate the risk that would result from a decision you are about to take. Now a loan on secured by real estate collateral is known as a mortgage. Which is known to be popular but sometimes not the best option, real estate investments provide an opportunity to generate cash flow. Apart from commercial banks, savings banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions, real estate investment loans can also be obtained from insurance companies, mortgage bankers, mortgage trusts and so on. As we all know there are two types of mortgages residential and commercial loans. If one is to decide on a loan you must be careful before you proceed on what you have in mind because loans are a risky thing if you don’t succeed in you plan. Many investors have had financial trouble by looking at past and recent history and also for relying on the future to produce the same results. First point to consider is that once a business starts you must focus closely on the percentage rate for the number of years. If percentages are from 15% to 30% you are looking at a risky proposition that maybe leading to loss or something worse. Second point, you must avoid ending up with a high payment to avoid credit losses or higher than expected vacancy. Third point; do not let good financing lead to a bad investment. Avoid behaviors sticking in your mind, if the property is overpriced let it go, and move on to something more of your average price to avoid drag and loss of property. And last point; always remember that cash flow is what will bring you and your investment up if you work on it correctly. If your income and your mortgage costs and expenses are putting a nice cash return in your pocket every month, keep the work up and success will be right at your front door.
In conclusion, beside all the planning and calculations an investor would put in, an important element that lead to an action is the investor’s gut. That does not mean it is a typical gambling game because real estate business still need studies and data to work with before making a decision along with your guts. It is a risky business but it worth the risk taken at the end.

Kimmons, James. "Real Estate Leverage - Top Risks of Real Estate Leverage." Real Estate Business Guide. Web. 8 May 2011. .
Dunn, Tom. "Beginning Real Estate Investing - How Do I Start to Invest in Real Estate?" Real Estate Investor Stories- DealFiles! Web. 8 May 2011. .

Monday, May 9, 2011

Stepping Stones to Homeownership

Cheyenne Ison
Consuming Activity: Stepping Stones to Purchasing a Home

The home buying process for a first-time homebuyer is often an experience that is prideful and exciting; however, the experience can also be confusing, stressful, and wearing. The majority of first-time homebuyers does not know all of the steps in the home buying process, and are often surprised by the complexity of the real estate transaction process. Some of the steps when purchasing a home include: choosing a real estate salesperson, getting pre-qualified and pre-approved for financing a home, choosing the best home based on needs and wants, signing multitudes of paperwork, and understanding the escrow and closing process.

One of the most important steps in purchasing a home is choosing the right salesperson to assist in the multifaceted buying process. A Realtor can be a wonderful tool in guiding the homebuyer in understanding real estate documents, finding the most qualified inspectors, and narrowing down the mass number of homes available based on the individual’s needs and wants.
Many people throw around the term “Realtor” when describing any real estate salesperson, but the term “Realtor” is not correct for all sales agents. Only real estate salespersons who are members of the National Association of Realtors are appropriately called Realtors ( Realtors are held to a higher standard than any other real estate salesperson; including but not limited to, subscribing to a strict code of ethics, treating clients with the utmost fiduciary duty, and they are expected to maintain a more advanced level of information when it comes to the home buying and selling procedures (

The bulk of first-time homebuyers are not able to afford a home without the aid of a real estate loan. Due to this fact, additional extremely important steps in purchasing a home are getting pre-qualified, pre-approved, and assisting the final underwriter to approve official funding of loan. The terms pre-qualification and pre-approval sound the same, but are actually very different. With pre-qualification, the loan officer obtains basic information from the potential homebuyer such as names, addresses, yearly income, basic debt, and social security numbers (Resource Lenders). This information allows the loan officer to give a basic qualification amount to the home purchaser without the guarantee of funding a loan to him or her. The pre-approval is a much more detailed process, as the loan officer will require two years of W2’s, income tax returns, all employer information, bank statements, current paystubs, and will run a credit report (Resource Lenders). The loan officer will run all of the buyer’s information and complete some debt ratios in order to determine the amount of money they will loan out (Resource Lenders). Once the buyer is pre-approved, the financing is typically guaranteed unless the appraiser comes back with a lower home value or there turns out to be some major health and safety concerns in the home that can’t be fixed.

The most vital and rewarding step in purchasing a home is of course finding the perfect home that is suitable to all of the homebuyer’s needs and wants. A Realtor will help in weeding out the undesirable homes by asking a variety of questions to the homebuyers, such as:

1. How many beds/baths are you looking for in a home?
2. Do you wish to have a smaller or larger lot?
3. Is living next to a certain school district important for you?
4. What style of home do you like most, one-story, two-story, etc.?
5. Are you looking for an older or newer home?

There are a hundred more questions a Realtor could ask in order to narrow down the home choices, but it usually starts out with those five questions ( Once the Realtor spends more and more time viewing homes with the homebuyers, he or she will listen and pick up on the little things that the homebuyer likes and dislikes in a home. The home searching process can be a lengthy one, for it is no small purchase.

Once the homebuyer finds his or her perfect home, the Realtor will write an offer based on the buyer’s terms, collect a deposit (in most cases one percent of purchase price), and will submit offer, copy of deposit, and pre-approval letter to the selling agent. The selling agent will present the offer to his or her seller and the seller will either accept or counter back with new terms. If the seller does accept than an escrow will open, and the deposit will be deposited into the escrow account. A typical escrow ranges from 30-45 days and all paperwork, appraisal, inspections, and loose-ends are tied up within this time period (HUD). In most real estate transactions a buyer will have 17 days to complete any and all inspections they wish, and within this time period are allowed to back out without losing their deposit if he or she does not like the outcome of the inspections. The buyer will sign a large amount of loan and disclosure documents within their escrow period. Once their loan is funded, the deed is recorded in new owners name within 3-5 days of loan funding and escrow will be closed.

It may seem to most that the home buying process is a tedious one, but the end result is what makes it all worth it: THE PRIDE OF BEING A HOMEOWNER. With pride also comes a bundle of rights, tax benefits, and the potential for building a high amount of equity (HUD). It is important for a potential homebuyer to find honest, trustworthy professionals to support them in the real estate purchasing process. The potential first-time home buyer will benefit greatly from better understanding the stepping stones to purchasing a home, thus not having to walk blindly into a real estate transaction.

Works Cited

"Buying a Home/U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)." Web. 10 May 2011. .
Mortgages, Refinance, New Home Purchase, Free Mortgage Calculators, and More. Apply Today. Web. 10 May 2011. .
My experience as Realtor: Cheyenne Ison
" Why Use a REALTOR®?" Find Real Estate Listings, School and Neighborhood Information and More -®. Web. 10 May 2011. .

Blog 3

Julie Nolan

Blog Post Assignment 3



When you buy a piece of land it is “zoned” a specific way, but how does it get it’s zoning and can you change how that piece of land is zoned? There are of course steps that have to be taken and also paper work that has to be filled out and sometimes even some other steps will need to be met. But in the end you can now use that piece of land that was originally zoned for one house to hold multiple houses.

Did you know however that zoning is common in most cities that not all require it? However, most cities do have zoning laws in place so before you decide that instead of having a house on your property you would rather have an office complex you should check with your local ordinances.

There is one main reason as to why zoning is pertinent at all and that is where the land is located. Property values increase when the property itself conforms to its surroundings. For example a house located right in the middle of a bunch of retail stores is going to be valued less than a house surrounded by other houses. No one wants their house to be too noisy on the outside they want to feel safe and also you would not want to be forced to put a fence around your house to keep people off your front yard which you might have to if you are surrounded by retail shopping. Some people think that we do not need zoning and actually hurts our urban development. These people that say this use the cities that do not require zoning as an example for their cause.

Government can use these zoning guide lines to regulate land use intensity. For example they can change the permitted density of a residential development or how tall your building can be and set back requirements. Some people may not realize what set back requirements even are and they are basically you buy a plot of land let’s say it’s a rectangle of 90 x 120 feet and your setbacks would be 10 feet from the front property line, 5 feet from the sides, and 5 feet from the rear this leaves 8977 square feet for the building envelope. Why do we even have setbacks? Well for one it helps if a fire starts in one property it will not spread as easily to another property also we cannot build a house right next to another house we need room for people to move in between these houses such as utilities workers or repair men and lastly just for plain old privacy, how else would we get privacy if set backs were not a requirement. If you want to see what I mean about the government controlling the height of a building you could go down to the Monterey area where they do this in a very visual and interesting way in my own opinion. If a house is being built or added on to and is zoned at a certain location you have to have stakes up to where your new building height will be so that your neighbors will know ahead of time and will have time to voice their concerns.

Many people might say that zoning is not needed look there are other cities that function just fine without it but stop for a second and think if there wasn’t a zoning requirement what could you be living next to right now instead of what it is now? Is the property next to you up for sale as we speak? If it is would the next owner leave it as a house or decide they want it to be a commercial use spot instead and now you’re living next to an adult bookstore instead. I think zoning helps us out more than we like to think it does so that when we run errands mostly everything will be in one location and we are not traveling all over the city for 3 stores and also to keep us safe and give us our quiet neighborhoods. For those that think zoning isn’t worth their time than go live in a city that does not have zoning requirements and see how you like it, these cities pretty much have it down pat a city cannot just transition into having zoning to no zoning it would be a disaster so most cities will keep their zoning requirements but as long as you understand why we have it and that you can’t just do what you want everyone should be fine.