Market Conditions in Houston>Question Details

Trulia Houst…, Other/Just Looking in Houston, TX

How does Houston's lack of zoning laws help or hurt the city?

Asked by Trulia Houston, Houston, TX Tue Jan 29, 2013

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Al Geffon’s answer
It's all about decisions as to where one wishes to live. There's nothing to stop someone from opening an auto repair garage next to one's $300,000 townhome in The Heights, or an "antique" shop across from that $400,000 bungalow in Montrose ... and the influx of commercial traffic can also be a detraction. But many folks are fine with it, and home values continue to rise. The majority of Houston properties are located in subdivisions and planned commuiities, which have restrictions on commercial activity ... essentially, working out of one's home is fine, as long as there are no signs or retail activity (i.e. a continual flow of vehicles) ... but that's about it . I don't think that lack of zoning has a major effect one way or the other. Houston is an incredibly diverse city, and the housing market reflects it. Many young adults/singles/DINKs, etc. are attracted to the non-zoned areas, while more traditional families opt for the subdivisions ... and there's always the 'burbs, including the enveloped cities (Bellaire, Southside Place, Jersey Village, etc.). If there was a negative effect, we would have felt it long ago.

Al Geffon
(713) 213-6350
al@geffon.net
Web Reference: http://www.har.com/algeffon
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 30, 2013
BEST ANSWER
Trulia,

It does not hurt it, that is for sure. Your own reports show us the #1 real estate market in the entire country!!

There is plenty of "zoning" in the regards to deed restrictions within subdivisions and master planned communities and there are smaller cities within the great Houston metro area (Bellaire, Jersey Village, Sugar Land) that have their own zoning laws.

Most buyers understand if they purchase in an area, typically inside the 610 Loop, that feature residential homes side by side to commercial interest such as a dentist or attorney office located inside a home or a small warehouse that they need to do a bit more investigating before buying. Larger issues are typically when a builder comes in and knocks down a small, older home and uses the large lot to put up new town homes next to the existing older homes. Still residential, but not the same look as the rest of the area. Deed restrictions stop this from happening in the suburbs, but nothing to restrict it inside the city.

Mark McNitt
m 832-567-4357
Bernstein Realty, Inc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 29, 2013
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