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How to Convert Business Property to Personal Use

In most areas, you can gain a permit to convert business property to personal use if it does not cause a conflict with business neighbours. Switching a restaurant to a residential property or converting an office building to a home are common types of conversions.

Many business properties provide the city with specific tax revenues and are zoned with certain restrictions, so you may have to petition local authorities to get a property rezoned. Always consider the feelings of your neighbours in filing such a petition, since they will probably file a protest if your conversion changes traffic patterns or affects their revenue potential.

Change business property to use for private living by addressing issues with parking. If you change a parking area, this might affect other businesses nearby. Examine the possibility that having a paved or gravelled parking area might affect the value of your private property. Talk with realtors who have worked with properties that have been converted from business to personal use. Ask them about any issues that arose.

Visit the county courthouse to check out any possible liens on business property you will convert. Although it's unlikely, you might not know about liens filed against the property while you ran a business there. Ask about zoning for the property and if you need new zoning for your property. Review the property map and find out about public drains, electrical issues affecting the property and any special plumbing problems. Engage a building contractor to help your review the building from top to bottom.

Gather all tax information and discuss rezoning from this perspective with city officials. Make sure they are in agreement that you can proceed with your project. Conduct an inspection of your building by covering it from top to bottom with a city official or representative. Pay a property appraiser to assess the worth of the business property. Have the appraiser evaluate the worth of the property for personal use or a residence. Discuss the conversion from every aspect with the appraiser. If you decide to go ahead, renovate or build to stay within market values. You want to recoup your investment and not lose money in the process.

Submit your plans to local authorities and obtain a building permit. Build from scratch or renovate the business building to take advantage of a good view for your new personal space. Tear out interior walls back to framework. Design a new personal space by reframing the interior of an existing building to keep all interesting aspects of the commercial building. New York City lofts are a good example of how conversions include interesting old windows, pipes and wood flooring indigenous to the structure.

Pay an electrician and plumber who fully understand the laws to help you follow city codes for the renovation. Don't just rely on employees or subcontractors.


  • Soften the interior of a commercial building by adding wood flooring over concrete and drywall over block walls. Keep old furniture and desks housed in a commercial building to utilise in your new space. Use old wood to build new shelving units or media cabinets. Keep an old commercial sign from a restaurant or car lot as artwork for your new walls. Do remove old landscaping and grass that will make the property look dated as you convert the look of the property.


  • Always update the wiring when you convert a commercial property. Never install new wooden framework for walls and ceilings without replacing most old wiring.

Things Needed

  • Realtors for consultation
  • Zoning information for your area
  • Map of your property
  • Tax information
  • Inspection of building
  • Property appraiser
  • Building permit
  • Electrician
  • Plumber
  • Document of city codes