What Does a Single-Family Residence (SFR) Mean? How Can I Use It?

February 23rd, 2021 by Administrator
real estate

Before you sign the deal of your new dream home in Los Angeles, you should be aware of the jargons used in the real estate industry and how they affect your home buying decision. The real estate market of Los Angeles is showing remarkable year-over-year progress (31.6%) in the sale of single-family residences.

Though the term may seem simple, it is important to ask – what does Single-Family-Residence (SFR) actually mean? Is it different from a multi-family residence? Can I run a business in a property zoned as an SFR?

While a real estate agent in Los Angeles can help you understand all these aspects and clear all your doubts, educating yourself always pays off. Not complying with zoning laws means you are exposing yourself to potential financial and legal issues.

So, without any delay, let’s get started.

What is a single-family residence (SFR)?

A Single-Family-Residence refers to a property that is exclusively designed for single-family living. It cannot be zoned as a duplex or other multifamily dwelling. However, the property doesn’t have to be occupied by a family. People who are not related to each other can live together in a single-family home. The only difference is that the zoning stops people from creating partitions in a single-family-home and prevents letting different families live in those partitioned apartments.

How can I use Single-Family Home?

You can use an SFR property any way you want as long as you are being compliant with zoning laws. You can use it for any kind of residential living but cannot transform it into an apartment complex or a commercial space. You have the freedom to remodel it and change it the way you want for yourself, your family members, or anyone else living with you.

How is a single-family-residence different from a multi-family-residence?

Unlike an SFR, a multi-family-residence (MFR) can be categorized into a duplex, triplex, or high-rise apartment complex. Therefore, different families can live in such a residence. However, there is no restriction on its use. A lot of people buy a multi-family residence and then use it as a single-family-residence. So, you can use it in any way you want.

Can I run a business in a Single-Family Home?

There is no ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer to this question because whether you can buy an SFR for a business depends on what kind of business you want to establish there.

If you are going to open a retail store in an SFR, it is certainly against zoning laws. However, if you will just work from home over the Internet, it will most likely be permitted. The zoning authorities have offered certain zoning waivers for various types of business activities especially those that are run online.

However, the exact answer depends on the type and scope of a business along with the home location and specific zoning laws of that area. So, be sure to check these laws before you purchase any SFR property in Los Angeles or anywhere.

Can I apply for the change of zoning for my SFR property?

Not for every property or business! In some cases, the zoning of a single-family-residence can be changed. The approval is most likely given in those cases where there are several other multi-family-residence or commercial properties and the entire location is for mixed-use. However, it is not always easy to change the zoning of your property. So, make your decision only after becoming familiar with the local zoning laws for the property you want to buy.

Therefore, getting in touch with your local real estate agent and asking the right questions will greatly help you make the right decision.