If you wish to make money in real estate, it’s essential to understand at least the basics of land use law. This will not only make you communicate with lawyers more effectively, but will help you become a more active participant in your own land use matters.
There are four basic sources of law:
1) Common Law: This is the law found in judicial decisions – case law. It’s important because it can create binding precedents.
2) Constitutional Law: There are 51 constitutions in theU.S.: one Federal and fifty states. What may be constitutional federally may be unconstitutional in your state. Here are a few basic constitutional principles that are important to know:
a) Due process – this means you have a right to a fair hearing; you can confront witnesses and evidence. The judges must also be unbiased and objective. Finally, government regulations must be reasonably related to a specific purpose of government.
b) Equal protection – if different properties are treated differently, there must be a reasonable purpose, such as a requirement that homes in a flood plain be elevated.
c) Takings – the Fifth Amendment says that the government can’t take private property for public use without paying just compensation. If the taking is non-invasive and the loss in value only partial, however, courts usually don’t demand compensation.
d) Freedom of expression and religion – government can regulate the placement of signs and establishments (for aesthetic reasons), but rarely their content (unless there’s a compelling reason). Likewise, people can’t be prevented from using their homes for religious purposes.
3) Statutory Law: all state zoning statutes are descended from a model law that the Federal government promulgated over 80 years ago. If you carefully study your state enabling statutes (and their amendments) you may pick up an important clue or two about how these laws can be used to your advantage.
4) Administrative Law: though often tedious, it’s important to know the administrative regulations that enforce statutes, common law, and constitutional law. These can be used as effective weapons in a struggle to support or oppose any development project.
If you don’t like a law, change it. People do it all the time. It can be a long, expensive, and risky process, but it may also be worth it. Take the time to figure out whether it’s the right choice for you.
Please note that this Scottsdale Real Estate Blog is for informational purposes and not intended to take the place of a licensed Scottsdale Real Estate Agent. The Szabo Group offers first class real estate services to clients in the Scottsdale Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area in the buying and selling of the best Luxury homes in Arizona. Award winning Realtors and Re/MAX top producers and best real estate agent for Luxury Homes in Scottsdale, The Szabo group delivers experience, knowledge, dedication and proven results. Contact Joe Szabo at 480.688.2020, [email protected] or visit www.scottsdalerealestateteam.com to find out more about Scottsdale Homes forSale and Estates forSale inScottsdale and to search the Scottsdale MLS for Scottsdale Home Listings.