Experts Make Your Dreams Happen
Government can be troublesome.
From my clients with waterfront homes facing Shoreland zoning regulations to folks who just want to put up an outbuilding, layers of government regulation and red tape kill some of the best real estate dreams. Here are three common examples:
Boathouses: New “wet” boathouses have been illegal since 1979 and existing ones may only be repaired and never expanded. While legal, “dry” boathouses are heavily regulated by the DNR and by county and municipal rules.
Outbuildings: Something as simple as a second garage needs to consider setback requirements, frequently must be built using specified approved materials, and God help the person who wants heating or air conditioning!
Waterfront houses: Among the most infamous projects, expanding or improving a lake house presents special challenges. Shoreland Zoning automatically applies, which mandates specific setback rules and gives other requirements. County agents are generally involved to enforce additional rules, leading to the stories told in waterfront communities about having to “leave one wall standing” or having to remain in the original cottage’s footprint in order to rebuild or expand a house.
So what’s a homeowner to do?
The answer is to have infinite patience, flexibility and the readiness to adapt, and a sense of humor. Infinite patience is important because government moves slowly. Reviews, inspections, and approvals take time. The one person who can approve something will be out of the office when you need them most. Flexibility and the readiness to adapt is vital because few plans survive in their original format. Wall placement, roof angles, and building materials will change as different layers of government get involved. Finally, keep that sense of humor ready. You will have days where a form gets kicked back for lack of a signature but the paperwork was already signed. Copies of forms will be requested after you already submitted the form in triplicate the week prior. Errors that no halfway intelligent person could ever make will be made multiple times.
It’s not uncommon for homeowners to retain an attorney who specializes in real estate. Though seemingly expensive, the time and red take specialist attorneys can cut through makes them well worth their price.
The important thing is to keep your eyes on the prize. Never lose your momentum; keep moving forward! While you will make plenty corrections and adjustments, you will eventually get what you want with patience, persistence, and that all-important sense of humor.
Are you contemplating buying a project? An old house on a great lot to tear down and build something new? Waterfront creations? That new pole barn you’ve always wanted? Please reach out! I know plenty of great contractors and can refer an excellent real estate attorney. They are all ready to make your dream become a reality as smoothly as possible.