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How to Verify a Property Allows You to Raise Livestock

by Mac Chinsomboon 04/06/2021

Image by William Dais from Pixabay

If you have your heart set on raising livestock at your new home, you have to check local laws and other rules to ensure that activity will be permitted. Everything from zoning laws to HOA rules influence whether you can have even the smallest farm animals on your land, including mini-goats, rabbits and chickens. And if raising livestock is not allowed, then hefty fines could follow as soon as those animals arrive home. Thankfully, when you know where to look, you can easily check if a property allows you to keep livestock. Here’s what you need to know.

Check Zoning Laws

Zoning laws are the first place to check for information on the animals allowed on the property. These laws detail which animals are permitted to reside on the land and in what quantities. You may find that a property allows you to raise ducks or chickens, for example, but limits their numbers to four or fewer.

In many areas, zoning laws also provide information on the allowed structures for those animals. The laws may go into how far the housing structures and pens must be from the property lines as well. While you might be able to keep chickens on the land, their coop may need to be at least 10 feet from the property lines to remain in compliance.

Review Nuisance Laws

Nuisance laws go beyond zoning considerations in keeping hazards from impacting the condition of your property and the surrounding area. These laws pertain to noise levels and more, keeping neighborhood blight to a minimum. Through those protections, you and your neighbors can continue enjoying your properties to the fullest extent.

When reviewing these laws, look for mentions of:

  • Noise level maximums
  • Yard square footage minimums
  • Waste removal requirements
  • Neighborhood notification rules
  • Before getting any animals, verify you can abide by those laws to keep from having your right to keep livestock revoked.

    Look for an HOA

    Homeowners association, or HOA, rules go beyond local laws to preserve property values and protect the integrity of the neighborhood. These rules may further limit the livestock you can keep on your land or outright prohibit it altogether. The restrictions can change at any time, too, as the board of directors assesses the needs of the neighborhoods and votes on such matters. Looking for a property without an HOA is the only surefire way to avoid abiding by rules that go beyond city laws.

    By looking into these three areas, it is possible to determine if a property will allow you to raise livestock before buying a home. Your real estate agent can also assist in finding out this information and helping you select the perfect property for your needs.

    About the Author

    Mac Chinsomboon

    Degrees: BS Engineering, MBA Finance, Juris Doctor.

    I'm your typical MIT-trained intellectual - but I also happen to be a top producing real estate broker that has a proven track record of results for my many clients that continue to refer their friends and family. I started in the business as a real estate investor myself. Having the mindset of an investor helps me understand the viewpoint of my clients as home owners, investors, and developers. My engineering background is what I use to determine what works and how to build what works - it's an ethos I live by. Along with my finance and legal backgrounds, they help me balance efficiency, reliable outcomes, return on investment, value, performance, and all with a calculated margin of safety to fully protect those around me.

    I've closed hundreds of purchase and sale transactions over the past several years - everything from the lows, to the peaks of the market, and the rebound that we're currently in. This means that I've experienced just about every issue that one could ever expect in a transaction - and how to head it off before it becomes a real or bigger issue. Of course, as with Life, issues will "evolve", and my goals are to try to discover them as best and early as possible, to protect both my buyers and sellers - don't get me wrong, there will still be bumps along the road, but my goal is mitigate and minimize them for you.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT Sloan), MBA - Finance

    University of Colorado - BS Electrical Engineering

    Purdue Global - Concord Law School, Juris Doctor

    Massachusetts Real Estate Brokers License

    National Association of Realtors

    Massachusetts Association of Realtors

    Boston Association of Realtors