Cape Coastal Homes Logo
You are here: Cape Coastal Homes / Latest News / What To Know When Buying A Property For Home And Work

What to know when buying a property for home and work


What to know when buying a property for home and work

What to know when buying a property for home and work

Estate agents are increasingly fielding queries from prospective buyers about properties in which to live and work, especially in the age of the mobile office, but you need to know what to look out for or you could be house-hunting again soon.

“If part of the reason for buying a new property is for business, then you need to consider the ‘where’ for the business and not just the ‘where’ for where you want to live.”

This is according to Lew Geffen who says if your business is confined to you and your computer then you can work just about anywhere. However, if the business involves clients coming to the premises, the game changes.

Geffen says there are certain businesses you can run from home, but if the operation is going to involve any sort of retail aspect, issues such as location and off-street parking come into the equation, and unless you know what to look for ahead of time, you could get burned.

Maryna Botha, specialist property attorney at Smith Tabata Buchanan Boyes (STBB), says for those thinking of running a business from a residential property, it is essential to consult the guidelines laid down in the applicable municipal zoning scheme or land use planning ordinances.

Botha says as a general rule, for conventional residential property to be used for a home occupation, the ‘dominant' use of the property must remain the accommodation of a single family, the proprietor of the activity must live on the property and no more than three employees may be engaged in the activity concerned’. Regardless, local councils should always be consulted.

So, when looking to buy property to live in and to run a business from, it is necessary to consult the zoning provisions and the local council wherever you are and, according to Geffen, consider where the property is in relation to other local businesses, shopping centres or high streets.

“If part of the reason for buying a new property is for business, then you need to consider the ‘where’ for the business and not just the ‘where’ for where you want to live.”

Using the City of Cape Town’s zoning scheme regulations as an example, Botha says if you want to run a business from a home and the house is zoned as Single Residential 1, the property must still primarily be used as the home for a single family - because that’s what it’s zoned for.

However, she says there are additional use rights associated with such zoning, being to conduct a home occupation, bed and breakfast or a home childcare facility from the property, subject to certain conditions.

“The intended use of the property or type of business also comes with a host of further regulations such as having just one unilluminated sign outside, no bigger than 0.2 square metres, and if you intend to sell anything, it must have been manufactured on the premises.”

Geffen says people often look to buy houses to turn them into bed and breakfast establishments, especially people who are newly retired, or young couples wanting to supplement their incomes.

“You can do this easily in a residential area if you have bedrooms to spare, but there are a few things to keep in mind when you’re house-hunting for this type of property.” The first is that the location has to be commercially viable. If you’re not on a tourist route or near a major business centre, then try to locate yourself close to a university, he says.

Geffen says to also keep in mind that you have to live on site and you need to comply with minimum off-street parking requirements for the rooms you let, plus you will need one or two for yourself.

He says the best thing to do, if you’re property hunting and intend to work from home, is to contact a reputable agent and explain exactly what you need.

“An agent should be able to guide you through the zoning and legal hoops and make sure that - if necessary - you have legal advice before you go ahead and make a purchase.”

Buying a house is, for most people, the biggest purchase they’ll ever make and, especially if it has to double as the place you earn your income, you simply can’t afford to make a mistake, he says.

Source  -  Property24 / L Geffen


Author Property24 / L Geffen
Published 26 Jan 2015 / Views -
Disclaimer:  While every effort will be made to ensure that the information contained within the Cape Coastal Homes website is accurate and up to date, Cape Coastal Homes makes no warranty, representation or undertaking whether expressed or implied, nor do we assume any legal liability, whether direct or indirect, or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information. Prospective purchasers and tenants should make their own enquiries to verify the information contained herein.