Real Estate of Mind: Impact of Zoning

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - When you are shopping for a new single family home, those with a rental in the back or what you may call a "mother-in-law" unit can be really attractive. The rental income could help you pay the mortgage. But make sure you check on the zoning. It could impact what you can and can't do after you buy. Kathy Grindle, a realtor with Coldwell Banker joined us on Sunrise to talk zoning on Real Estate of Mind. Check out the video and her helpful notes below.

1.  Check out the zoning of the property.  Most residential properties are zoned R-5,  R- 7 .5 , R-10, etc.

  • This determines the amount of land required per residence.
  • A property zoned R-5 with 5,000 sf of land can only have 1 residence, the same zoning with 10,000 sf of land may be able to have 2.  
  • Many people are looking to have a separate or rentable space when they purchase a property to help support their mortgages.  They may not realize that the zoning regulations where they are purchasing may prohibit this type of activity. 

2. Understand what can happen if you want to make improvements to a property.

  • Some properties have non conformities that are "grandfathered" because the use was allowed when the property was built.   There may not be issues if you don't plan to make any changes.
  • Changes to the property require building permits which will cause the property to be reexamined in terms of zoning.
  • This may prevent you from using the property the way you had wished to.

3. Here's a property current property on the market that was nicely upgraded, but impacted by zoning.

  • 1305 Mokolea Drive in Lanikai
  • Was a duplex, now a very handsome single family home with character and a beautiful view of the ocean.
  • Priced at $1,495,000
  • Other features. This property is terrific.  It's a 1938 vintage Lanikai beach house.  Terraced gardens, lovely out door sitting areas, incredible view.  And, it's the lowest priced view property in Lanikai.