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  • Writer's pictureMichael Reyes

Can You Legally Live in a Commercial Property

What kind of property comes to your mind when you hear people talking about investments in real estate? Most of you will answer – commercial real estate. Because it offers an effective way to have a new revenue stream with higher return on investment.

Nowadays, individuals are dreaming to live in a commercial property as compared to the traditional suburban lifestyle. The charm of lofty spaces, high ceilings and unique architectural features makes these properties more tempting for an investment option. 

But can you live in a commercial property? Or to make it more clear, can you live in a commercial property in Texas? Well, the answer is yes as well as no and it’s not as straightforward as you think. It depends from state to state.

Let’s look into the details of this question here in this blog.

What is a Commercial Property?

Commercial real estate properties have different purpose as compared to the residential ones. Residential properties are mainly designed for habitation. While, commercial properties are constructed for business purposes such as office space for lease or sale. The examples of commercial properties are restaurants, warehouses, business buildings and retail space.

what is a commercial property

Different Types of Commercial Properties


Generally, there are 2 kinds of office buildings: Urban and Suburban. You can find urban office buildings in big cities or high-rise properties. On the other hand, suburban buildings are smaller in size.


Retail buildings are commercial spaces like shopping centers, restaurants or standalone buildings.


Industrial buildings are used for industrial operations. They are mostly located outside the urban areas, especially along major transportation routes so that the people can see them while commuting. Some examples of industrial buildings are – light assembly, flex industrial, heavy manufacturing and bulk warehouse.

What Does Zoning Allow?                                                   

The main aim of zoning is to keep the nuisances at bay and maintain an orderly growth in the community. Local zoning laws list the kind of activities that individuals can carry out in the specific zones. In most cities, the laws regarding commercial, residential, and industrial properties vary. So, check in with local zoning authorities to be clear about the zoning laws. However, there are some exceptions too. Variance process allows the property owners to use the property for different purposes as compared to how the zoning laws permit. Variance is granted on case by case basis by a local government.

Zoning Laws

Legalities of Living in a Commercial Space

You cannot reside in a commercial property as per the law. This is especially due to the reason safety and health codes that commercial properties don’t align with. However, in exceptional cases, commercial buildings can also be used for residential purposes, as stated above with the help of the variance process.

What are the consequences of breaking the zoning laws?

Violating zoning laws comes with serious implications. You might have to pay the penalty or can be evicted. In some severe cases, it might also lead to imprisonment. However, if you have proper permissions from the higher authorities, you can convert a commercial space to a residential space.

Converting commercial property into residential

The trend of mixed-use properties is going on an upward trajectory. Mixed use properties are used for more than one purpose like for commercial or residential purposes. Local zoning laws of some cities allows the commercial properties to be used both for dwelling and business purposes. This blurs the lines between commercial real estate and residential homes.

Factors to Consider Before Deciding to Move Into a Commercial Property

The major factors that affect your decision of moving to a commercial property are –


The location of the business determines all other aspects for its success. For instance – Establish your building in a space where your target audience is close to you. Before doing that, find whether it will be easy or challenging to convert your customers and if they fit into your market segment. Factors like their purchasing power and lifestyle also affect the location where you will be setting up your commercial space.

Yet another thing is the competition level. How many competitors are near your location where you are thinking to establish your business? You don’t want to set it up at an area with similar businesses or an overcrowded place. Find out your USP as compared to other similar businesses. Ensure that your commercial property has enough parking space and you get the required human resources to work for your business.

Property type

The type of property is dependent on the purpose you want to solve with your business investment strategy. Find out whether the commercial space you are buying has enough equipment and staff. It is very important to look into whether the building will be able to adapt to the future changes or in cases of growth or whether you need to move it again.

Present condition

Check and inspect the present condition of the commercial property thoroughly. Make a list of necessary repairs or anything that you want to be replaces. All this documentation plays a significant role in the cases of insurance claims and compensation. Ensure that the property has necessary equipment or appliances to make your staff feel comfortable.

Benefits of Living in a Commercial Property

There are numerous benefits of living and investing in a commercial property. Some of them are –

  • Offer more space in prime location.

  • Business owners need not commute to long distances.

  • Lucrative returns as compared to residential real estate.

  • Living and working at the same location is always enticing.

  • More flexibility in lease terms.


So, can you live in a commercial property in Texas? The answer is a resounding yes. Keep certain regulations, alterations and permissions in mind. And if you are still facing challenges, it is always advisable to get in touch with legal experts before arriving at any decision.


Can you live in a commercial zoned property?

Living in a commercial zoned property may be possible, but it depends on local zoning laws. Check regulations in your area to see if residential use is allowed in commercial zones.

Can you live in an office space?

Living in an office space is typically not allowed unless the property is zoned for mixed-use or residential purposes. Consult local zoning laws to determine if converting an office space for residential use is permitted.

Can you legally live in a commercial property?

Whether you can legally live in a commercial property depends on zoning regulations and building codes in your area. It's essential to research and comply with local laws before converting a commercial space for residential use. You can consult a legal expert for the same.

Can you live in a warehouse?

Living in a warehouse may be feasible in certain circumstances, such as if the property is zoned for mixed-use or if you obtain the necessary permits and approvals for residential occupancy. Check local regulations and building codes before converting a warehouse into a living space.

Can you live in a commercial space?

Living in a commercial space may be allowed if the property is zoned for mixed-use or if you obtain the appropriate permits for residential occupancy.

Can you live in an industrial property?

Living in an industrial property is typically not permitted due to safety and zoning concerns. Industrial properties are often zoned for specific industrial activities and may not be suitable or legal for residential use. Check local regulations and seek professional guidance before considering living in an industrial property.

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