Every so often, an opportunity arises for Arlington, Virginia, area homebuyers – and investors – to purchase homes at a good price because the homes are in need of light (or dramatic!) repairs, improvements, replacements or cosmetic attention.
While buying a house that needs some TLC can have real advantages (like being able to update it the way you want), the renovation process is not without its challenges.
So before you invest into any level of home buying inspired elbow grease, do consider the following tips to help preserve your home buying budget:
- Check Local Zoning
Zoning regulations specify how a property can be used and can – or cannot – be changed. Think about how you may want to change the property. (For my Arlington-focused buyers, you can start checking your local zoning from this interactive zoning map or by checking out Arlington County’s Zoning Ordinance PDF from here).
- Investigate Local Building Codes
Building codes are designed to ensure the structural and fire safety of buildings. Codes cover pretty much everything relating to building design, construction, additions, enlargements, alterations and even repairs and maintenance including standards for plumbing, electrical and mechanical construction. (Arlington buyers, start investigating local building codes here.)
- Check Permits
Have changes already been made to the home that required permits? If so, check the county website to make sure the permits exist and have been satisfied. (Homebuyers interested in Arlington County homes, check residential permits via this link)
- Bonus! One more consideration: Investigate development plans
Conduct research to find out whether the city, county or state has plans or has approved private-entity plans that might adversely affect the home’s value.
Use these resources and helpful links to get started
These additional, helpful links will connect you to information about local building permits and development projects in Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church, and Fairfax counties as well as Fairfax City:
City of Alexandria Permits and Projects
Arlington County Permits and Projects
- Building permits, applications and info
- Plans for significant projects in Arlington
- Quarterly development tracking report
City of Falls Church Permits and Projects
City of Fairfax Permits and Projects
Fairfax County Permits and Projects