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Anonymous asked in Business & FinanceRenting & Real Estate · 2 months ago

Is it possible to buy an abandoned restaurant or commercial building and live in it without operating a business?

Just genuine curiosity.

Like instead of buying a house, if I just bought an abandoned McDonald’s and moved in. 


My point is like how would anyone know if I bought it and just never opened anything there and just lived inside without renovating it or anything  

It’s not like I even want to do this , I just have such a dumb curiosity. 

19 Answers

  • ?
    Lv 6
    2 months ago
    Favourite answer

    Well, I've seen people buy churches and renovate them and live in them...and schools...renovate and live in it, and people still convert warehouses into mixed use residential lofts and arts and crafts or light manufacturing if you have the correct zoning or you can get them to change the zoning, yeah.

    But a commercial property is usually much more expensive than a residential property and it is harder to get financing on a commercial property than it is for a residential.

    AND...a commercial property MUST have  commercial fire suppressant equipment in working order and it WILL BE INSPECTED twice a year. and that inspection can cost over $1,000 each time.

  • garry
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    yes as long as the local council let you , it could be zoned for light industry/residential , know some companies have close down and people live there if you dont mind other businesses .as i said check with the local council on local laws .the business might be gone but the building is still owned , you cant move in , its called squatting .

  • L
    Lv 5
    2 months ago

    It all depends on the Zoning Laws for that area.

  • Mark
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    It's a violation of zoning laws.

    But, I do know someone who did this.  She left her abusive husband, started a business, but had little income at the beginning and couldn't afford an apt.  So, she lived in her commercial building.  She had to be careful as the cops would patrol and if they saw someone inside would think it was a burglar.  She slept in her office and was careful not to be seen.  She finally made enough $ to get her own place.

  • 2 months ago

    In most places the zoning laws would make this illegal.

    You might be able to get away with it for a while because people who see your car outside or see you coming and going might just assume you are a contractor fixing the place up to re-open the restaurant or something. Most people aren't going to watch you 24/7 and therefore they won't realize that you're actually living there.

    But sooner or later someone will probably notice and say something and the local code enforcement folks would visit you.

  • 2 months ago

    No. You can't live in a place that is zoned commercial if you don't operate a commercial business there. That's what the zoning laws prevent. 

  • 2 months ago

    Nope, as it's 'zoned' for commercial use only, not residential.

    You'd have to apply for a change of use to your local government.

  • 2 months ago

    It's entirely possible to buy such a property. If the property is not zoned Residential, you cannot legally use it as a residence.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    It would depend upon the zoning.  Some areas are zoned commercial, others residential.  And there are different standards for each.  If the area was zoned residential or mixed-use, you could potentially bring it to code for a residence.  You'd probably have some extra paperwork as well, and may have to appear before the zoning board to justify the purchase and use.

  • 2 months ago

    it depends on local zoning laws.  Residences have to have certain requirements for food and sanitation. 

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