top of page

A House Came Up For Sale. Was This An Opportunity?

Our friends got word that a tiny old house across the street in their neighborhood was going up for sale. But it seemed like there could be more than meets the eye.

They turned to UrbanForm to find out more. Using their mobile phones, they went to

This is what they saw:

Even though it was a small cottage house, the property was actually zoned for multi-family.

UrbanForm zoomed automatically to their location, so they could see that although the street they were on seemed like it was all single-family, one side of the street is actually zoned for multi-family (RM2).

Next, by clicking on the Existing Structures tab, they found out that the building was 1,600 square feet, built in 1945, and had an assessed value of $220,200. It was also not landmarked or in a historic district.

Basic information about the building is found immediately, including the square footage, age, assessed value, landmark/historic designation and others.

Then, they checked the MaxBuild statistics. This is where they could learn how much can be built on the property. When they selected the property across the street, quite quickly they saw that the zoning allowed a significant amount of allowable floor area (FAR).

Using the MaxBuild statistics, they could see that the zoning allowed a large building to be built on this lot—up to 8,212 square feet as-of-right, without any bonuses.

But since it was zoned RM2 - Multifamily, they knew a certain minimum number of units would have to be provided in any redevelopment. They clicked on the Units tab to see this: Based on the size of the lot, a redevelopment here would require a minimum of 3 lots.

Next, they wanted to check the height limit available on this site. They could have clicked on the Height Limit tab, but they wanted to play with the 3d visualization ability made possible by the MaxBuild Envelope function. They clicked on the toggle at the top left and zoomed around to see this: Using the MaxBuild Envelope 3d feature, they could see quickly that the lot actually has a height limit of 45 feet. That’s 10 feet more than the lots across the street.

They knew within seconds that this property was zoned to allow:

  • a minimum of 3 units,

  • up to a maximum of 8,212 square feet,

  • with a height limit of 45 feet.

But they also found that there were FAR bonuses available that would allow them to build up to 13,140 square feet on this lot, utilizing the Deeper Housing Affordability provisions of the zoning code.

UrbanForm gave them an ability to see possibilities that would have taken hours otherwise—all made possible with UrbanForm’s technology.

Sign up for a free trial of the Pro version today and see how it can be something that changes the way you see zoning and real estate.


bottom of page