January 21, 2019
Which Zone of Housing is Most Costly For Homeowners?
Zoning ordinances are a standard feature of American real estate markets. These are sets of laws that set aside for particular use certain swaths of land based on a number of considerations. A given municipality may be divided between an industrial zone, a retail business zone, a housing zone allowing multifamily units, a single-family housing zone with a minimum lot size, and a rural zone where lot sizes are large and agricultural business is permitted. For the most part, a homebuyer won’t want to live in a home on industrial or retail-zoned property. Rather, a homebuyer should be looking at one of the three major housing zones: urban, suburban, and rural.
The character and nature of these zones—as well as how much one will need to pay to live in a home within a given zone—will depend in large part on which municipality one is regarding, as zoning is nothing if not locality-based.
Yet there are overall averages that we can take into account.
One wouldn’t be alone in assuming that direct housing costs tend to be higher in an urban-zoned area. But this assumption is based upon a generalization usually located in often-discussed costs of housing in New York City, San Francisco, Washington D.C., and the like. The fact of the matter is that the average cost of housing in a suburban area is more expensive—even if just slightly—than in the average urban area. (Of course this doesn’t take into account other costs, which do indeed push the urban zone higher than the suburban in terms of raw cost of living.)
Overall, the cost of housing per square foot is by far cheapest in rural zones. But of course, you can’t count on all the creature comforts there. There are rural areas that still lack modern plumbing, for example, because of the raw expense-to-use ratio of supplying it.
Once a buyer has found that perfect home for their budget—whether urban, suburban, or rural—we here at Topouzis & Associates, P.C. stand ready to help in the conveying and purchasing title clear of judgments and defects. And we help our clients put into place a good policy of title insurance—another “must” in the process—to make certain. Contact us if you’d like us to do this for you.