04-11-2010 11:45 PM
Is there any major difference between a city that is incorporated vs a city that is not? I understand that the difference is that an incorporated city has a major and city council but does that mean anything in terms of real estate?
04-12-2010 11:23 AM
It would not be a city if it is "unincorporated". There are unincorporated areas of the county, Los Angeles for example has quite a few unincorporated area. One difference is zoning. There are no city zoning ordinances in unincorporated areas but there are still county zoning ordinances. City Rent Control ordinances do not apply in unincorporated areas. I am sure there are others but these are what I would deal with when I appraised commercial properties.
05-25-2010 12:23 PM
There may also be a difference in what entity provides public services, like police, fire, water, sewer, trash, even animal and vector control. Find out before you buy!
05-25-2010 11:25 PM - edited 05-25-2010 11:29 PM
Yes, an incorporated City will have its own government - in addition to the County, State, Federal governments above it. Since an unincorporated area of a County has that one-less-layer of government, it usually has less-restrictive, and fewer laws and codes (and possibly slightly lower property and sales taxes). But, that can also mean that you see things that are less likely to be allowed within city limits (i.e. more properties with additions/modifications done without building permits; more properties on septic sewage systems). A client and I saw a property in Topanga Canyon, CA that literally had a gutted race car mounted on the roof of the home - for decorative purposes. The owner could never have expressed his/her creativity like that in the nearby City of Calabasas, CA. There's a tradeoff to everything!
06-14-2010 01:30 PM
This is a very later reply, but I'd like to get this on the record. The answer to your question depends on what state (or province for our Canadian members) the "unincorporated city" is located in. Most of the replies have been from people in California, but in Virginia cities are independent of counties. Unincorporated cities are towns and villages that are still part of the county and are assessed and taxes by the county. Virginia even has class 1 and class 2 cities that have different responsibilities for local court systems and the duties of the office of the sheriff.