Should I buy a house that is zoned commercially?

3 Replies

Hey guys!

I have the opportunity to buy a house for what seems like a sweet deal off-market and through family. It's a 5 bedroom triplex in Great Falls MT with repairs needed to the foundation.

My idea is to buy and hold(there's good cashflow) with the option of selling at an appreciated price. But the problem is that it is zoned commercially. From the little bit of research I've done it sounds like this could make selling a real nightmare. The house literally has businesses on it's left and houses on it's right.

So my question is what are some of the common problems you run into owning a house that is zoned commercially?

And, What are the proper questions I need to ask to find out what I need to know to make a sound choice?

I appreciate the help!


If repairs are needed to the foundation and you have enough space - tear it down and build up (4 plex or more) for a higher cash flow. Get creative since it's family - if you own the property you can obtain 100% construction financing to develop something new ground up and charge higher rents.

Zoning is fine and actually makes the dirt more valuable.  I would in no way tear down as suggested.  If it's cash flowing just get an inspection and estimate on repair costs.  No need to interrupt a cash flow and add a ton of expenses.  Find some local rent and hold investors for advice.

Hi Levi.  Are you local to Great Falls?  Depends on the neighborhood.  Where is it located?  And what year was it built?  What is your niche renter? GF has some serious foundation issues...some that are fixable and others you don't want to touch.  Personally, I don't touch anything older than 1960-70.  Unless you are a foundation contractor/engineer, it usually is not cost effective to do the repair.  Unless your family is giving you a really good deal?