Tiny homes, big problems: How a real estate attorney can help

Consumers in Pennsylvania interested in joining the tiny house movement can benefit from the use of a real estate attorney.

Tiny homes are the new big thing in real estate. From Tiny House Hunters on HGTV to feature spreads in Country Living, these small homes are catching the attention of prospective buyers across the country, including here in Pennsylvania. A CBS affiliate out of Pittsburgh ran a story on the national phenomenon, noting an urban developer was going through the process of getting approval to build the first tiny home in Pittsburgh.

Tips to avoid big problems from tiny houses

For those interested in tiny homes, it is wise to have a basic understanding of some of the more common roadblocks. Examples can include:

  • Location, location, location. Like all real estate, location is extremely important. Those who purchase or build a tiny home need to find land to place the home. Homeowners in this market need to take more than just the view and accessibility to grocery stores and other conveniences into consideration. In some communities, the presence of a tiny home itself can pose a problem. Depending on the desired area, building codes and zoning issues could make it illegal to place a tiny home in certain locations. Zoning issues are not uncommon. The CBS story discussed zoning issues faced by the urban developer attempting to receive zoning approval from the city. In some situations, legal options may be available to fight back if denied the ability to build or place a tiny home. These options may include variances, conditional use permits or re-zoning.
  • Construction. The feature in Business Insider gave the example of a couple that experienced a number of construction setbacks. The roof leaked, the chimney leaked and there were plumbing issues. Even small houses can be plagued with problems. If, however, these problems are linked to faulty construction work those responsible can be held accountable.
  • Dispute. The sale of a tiny home or a kit to build one generally involves a contract. A failure to fulfill the provisions of this contract can lead to litigation.

Navigating through zoning disputes, faulty construction, contract issues or other problems can result in significant time delays and lead to increased costs. As a result, those who are facing these issues are wise to seek the counsel of an experienced real estate litigation attorney. This legal professional will review your unique situation and advocate for your rights while working to build a case to help better ensure a more favorable outcome.