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Can You Live On Recreational Land in Florida?

Can You Live On Recreational Land in Florida?

If you own or you’re planning to purchase recreational land, you should ask yourself several questions. Probably what remains atop everybody’s mind is if they can live on recreational land. You should also evaluate how long you can live on the land and whether you can stay there all year round. Unfortunately, there’s no perfect answer to all these uncertainties.

Cities across the U.S. and Canada have restrictions that guard recreational land use. Before you buy or build on recreational land, you should do due diligence to ascertain various issues. Below are a few things you should consider:

1.      Zoning Considerations

You should understand the land-use regulations and zoning laws specific to your state. U.S. real estate is regulated by various land use and zoning laws and regulations. Land control is primarily a provincial responsibility, and municipalities have zoning laws guiding land use. Zoning laws determine how land should be developed and the intended purpose.

Permanent structures can’t be built on land zoned for recreational use. However, different areas have varying meanings for recreational land. Nonetheless, you can’t live permanently on the land set aside by zoning laws for recreational purposes. In some states, you can’t camp or park a mobile home for more than a given period.

For instance, most states allow the public to construct a 500-square-foot cabin for fishing or hunting on lakefront recreational land. However, you can’t live there for more than four months a year. You can’t park your mobile home or RV for more than four months. While you can build a permanent cabin, you can’t use it as your primary residence.

Note that different municipalities have varying definitions of recreational zoning. Read Florida’s fine print, inquire extensively, and consult professionals before buying or constructing a structure on recreational land.

2.      Can Recreational Land be Rezoned?

It is exciting to note that you can build on recreational land permanently by having it rezoned. In some cases, you can find a perfect spot of land for development that has been zoned for recreational use. You might have also built a structure on the land but can’t reside on the building permanently. Rezoning recreational land is possible through zoning variance, special use permits or changing zoning designations.

3.      Access to Electricity, Water, and Other Amenities

Even if you are permitted to construct on recreational land, you should consider the following:

4.      Tax Challenges

Taxes are an important part of buying and selling real estate properties, especially if you want to change your primary residence to recreational land. Homeowners typically get tax breaks or relief when they sell their primary residence. According to the IRS guidelines, the first $250,000 ($500,000 for married homeowners) of capital gains is exempted.

However, citizens are only allowed to have one designated primary residence. Individuals with multiple properties should be wary of the tax implications of designating a recreational property as the primary residence. While you can enjoy tax breaks after selling your recreational property (if designated the primary residence), you can’t enjoy the same with your other properties. Before converting your recreational property into a primary residence, know that you’ll face significant tax liabilities on capital gains by other properties.

Should You Buy Recreational Land?

Buying recreational land from cash land buyers and sellers is a viable investment for the following reasons:

Endnote: Can You Live on Recreational Land?

Ideally, land zoned for recreational use has guidelines that dictate how it can be used for residential purposes. This includes restrictions on the type and size of building permitted, limits on the number of days you can live in the property every year, and more. While you can rezone and relocate to recreational land, the process is challenging because of the sensitivity of recreational land usage.

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