Do you need to secure a variance for your home about to be built?

The process of building your dream home is often a protracted one that people find frustrating because of all the potential delays and red tape involved, especially in certain neighborhoods. The more unique and creative various aspects of the design of your dream home are, the more complicated getting necessary permits and approvals can become.

In some cases, the issue could be one of zoning. You could have acquired vacant lots that were once zoned as industrial, agricultural or commercial land, meaning you may need to request a zoning variance in order to build a single-family home there.

If the place where you intend to build is part of a condominium association or subject to the rules of the homeowners association (HOA), you may require a variance or at least prior permission from one of these local authorities in order to add a balcony to your home or paint your home in a bright or unique color.

The process of requesting a variance can take some time

As you likely already know, constructing your own home can be a lengthy process that takes substantially longer than simply buying a property. From potential delays in the design stage due to changes or clarifications you make to issues with permits and local permission, you could be looking at anywhere from a year to half a decade depending on the complexity and location of the project.

The more significant the variance you require and the greater the potential impact on neighbors, the longer you may wind up embroiled in negotiations and disputes related to that variance. Zoning variances, in particular, can require public hearings before approval. People often want to weigh in on how others use their private property.

For example, you may think your balcony will not disturb anyone, but your neighbor who currently has a view of the beach from their dining room and will not after you build the balcony may disagree. Considering the needs of other homeowners nearby and making compromises and changes to your design that show you intend to be a good neighbor can go a long way toward earning the goodwill of an HOA.

Many times, mistakes in the process through which you request a variance can add to the delays you experience, which is one compelling reason to consider getting professional, legal help if you intend to push forward with the construction of a home with unique characteristics.

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