When you have a home-based business, you have a unique real estate need. Instead of a traditional home, you need to find and purchase a property for personal and professional use. Keep in mind; it's a doable task, but it does present some hurdles that might not otherwise exist with a traditional home search.

1. Zoning 

The property must be located in an area that is zoned for commercial use. Particularly when it comes to neighborhoods controlled by a homeowner's association (HOA), the organization can prohibit any type of commercial activity on the premises, even if the business is online based. Make sure you let your real estate agent know about your plans beforehand so they can determine which neighborhoods will be accommodating of your needs, and which won't. 

2. Parking

If you need to accommodate foot traffic from customers, make certain you look at properties that provide extra parking. A house with an extended or wide driveway or property with street parking is best. Even if the neighborhood is accommodating of your home-based business, it might not be as welcoming of outsiders parked in front of other homes at all times of the day. You can bypass this type of grievance by looking for properties with the above-mentioned features. 

3. Entryways

If you need to accommodate customers, look for a property that also has a separate entryway for your customers. For example, some houses with walkout basements will have an additional door that provides direct access to space. A separate entrance minimizes foot traffic inside the personal spaces of your home and gives you a greater sense of privacy and security. Even if an entryway is not already in place, an agent can help you find a property with the structure to support this type of addition. 

4. Hazardous Materials

Some HOA governed communities also impose restrictions when it comes to the types of materials you can store within your home. Unfortunately, hazardous materials aren't always welcomed, particularly those that are highly flammable. Similar to zoning requirements, it's a good idea to familiarize the real estate agent with the type of business you plan to operate and the types of materials you need to store on hand to accommodate your need. You might even find that looking at properties not associated with an HOA is a better option, as they are often less restrictive. 

Real estate agencies do more than just show buyers generic property options. These agencies locate properties that meet the specific needs of their clients, no matter how intricate they are. With their assistance, you can find a property that you can call home and your place of business.