Browse through things to think about prior to purchasing a home:
Take the time to evaluate any plans for additions, reconstruction, or outbuildings for your home. Make sure these changes will meet the zoning and subdivision requirements. Read your subdivision indenture restrictions to ensure your future plans will not be in violation. The subdivision restrictions may be more restrictive than city ordinances and are administered by your subdivision trustees. Keep in mind that structures such as decks and outbuildings must meet setback distances.
Setbacks are minimum distances between structures and property lines. The setbacks, minimum area, and frontage requirements vary by zoning district. To find out the exact setbacks for your property call the Department of Public Works or browse through the Zoning Code on this website.
Setbacks & How They Are Applied
Local Codes & Ordinances
Check out whether or not the previous owner had proper permits for any improvements, such as a deck or swimming pool. Although a plot plan or spot survey is usually required when buying property, you may want to have a full survey done to see where the property lines are in relation to all structures or fences. A complete survey, with lot corners staked and identified, is the best way to ensure all structures on the property do not violate setbacks.
Common ground is the area platted within your subdivision that belongs to all property owners in the subdivision and maintained through homeowners trust indenture fees.
If the vacant land behind your house isn't common ground or owned by you, it may be developed for other uses and could be rezoned for other uses.