Redfin added zoning and land use data to the description pages for more than 70 million homes in partnership with Zoneomics, an AI and machine learning-powered real estate intelligence platform, the company announced on Monday.
Properties on Redfin websites will now include a zoning summary, which includes the zone code, name, type and description, in almost 3,900 cities across the U.S. and Canada.
The partnership aims to “democratize” access to zoning data across North America, says Matthew Player, chief executive officer of Zoneomics, in a release. The company collects and makes available for users zoning data, land-use data and their analyses.
“Zoning data has a unique and crucial position in the U.S. and Canada, where it is essential but also needlessly gate kept from the homebuyer,” Player added.
The release says eligible properties will also include a list of permitted, conditional and accessory land uses. For more information, consumers will have the option to buy zoning reports from Zoneomics.
This feature makes Redfin the first real estate website to provide these details to help users understand the implications of their local zoning guidelines that regulate how properties are used, according to the release.
Christian Taubman, Redfin’s chief growth officer, says zoning is an important characteristic of American real estate.
“It impacts everyone, and you shouldn’t need special research skills to find the information you need,” Taubman added. “Redfin users ask us every day whether a property can be rented out on Airbnb or whether building another living unit in the backyard is allowed, and now they can find answers directly on our home detail pages.”
Zoning divides a municipality into residential, commercial, and industrial zones and includes restrictions about building types, utility line locations, restrictions on whether property owners can build accessory dwelling units (ADU) in their backyards, the size and height of buildings and the number of rooms.
Zoning also determines the type of properties allowed in a neighborhood and its density or if an owner can run a business out of their garage, house farm animals, or list a home as a vacation rental.
Homebuyers often find it difficult to navigate through these laws and regulations as such information can mostly be found on government websites or in local zoning codes, Redfin says. First-time buyers are often not familiar with real estate lingo, zoning laws and unrestricted land.
Redfin has plans to launch this feature on iOS next week and on Android in 2023.