In most cases, the city will not care if you use a commercially zoned property as a residence. Most of the zoning codes allow for more than one use.
The problem will come with financing. Typically, if a property is zoned commercial, you have to get a commercial loan. That would mean a higher interest rate and more money down. You will also pay higher appraisal fees for your loan because a commercial appraiser has to do the assignment.
The appraiser would have to find other properties with commercial zoning that have sold and then prove that the residential use did not negatively impact the value. Years ago, I sold a residential home on a street that had a commercial zoning. It was very tough but we did get it done because there were homes on most of the street, but the street was located in the commercial zone in Warminster.
Unless you think you would have some future commercial use for this property, it would be much easier to go out and find a residentially zoned property if you only want to use it for a residence.
Good luck. You can contact me if you have any other specific questions.
Stuart Udis, Esq.
PA Realty Law, LLC
Office: (267) 273-1779
6139 Germantown Ave, Suite 202B
Philadelphia PA 19144
Carol is correct in saying that it will be harder and more expensive to get financing when you purchase the property, but it will also be harder to sell for the same reasons. i wish you the best of luck!
Michael D Delp
4802 Old Bethlehem Pike,
Telford Pa. 18969