Remodeling can be an exciting way to refresh, revitalize, and add equity to your home, and property upgrade like new barns, paddocks and outbuildings can add flexible utility to your land. Letting your creative juices flow freely is all part of the fun of remodeling your home or property, but don’t let your inspiration get too out of control—there are real estate laws that could put your plans on hold or cancel them altogether. Before you let your inner design genius knock down any walls, here are some things you need to know about remodeling and the law.
Perhaps the most practical and relevant legal concerns for Marion County residents seeking to remodel are rules placed on homes by homeowner’s associations and deed restrictions. Many of the 55 + communities in the Ocala area have homeowner’s associations that govern anything from lawn maintenance to vehicle storage to exterior paint color. That’s why it’s crucial to check with your HOA before beginning renovations—you may love that new pineapple yellow paint job, but your homeowner’s association might demand you cover it up before it’s even dry!
Deed restrictions work a little bit differently and may be more applicable to Ocala homeowners with equestrian or agricultural properties. Deed restrictions are sometimes used to protect wetlands and other natural resources, but more commonly they limit what type of developments can be made on a piece of agricultural land. If you live on a property or in an equestrian community with deed restrictions and want to make agricultural updates like new barns, more paddocks, and even different types of livestock, you might want to double check the details of the restriction. Deed restrictions are public record and can be viewed on the Marion County Clerk of Court website.
Once you’ve ensured that your proposed renovations won’t conflict with any restrictions on your property, you’ll have to select a contractor to carry them out. While most contractors are perfectly legit, it’s an unfortunate reality some companies out there exist only to take advantage of homeowners. Luckily there are laws in place to protect you. The Truth in Lending Act gives you three business days to cancel any contract which implies a financial claim on your home that was signed in your home or anywhere other than the contractor’s place of business. This allows you to back out of a deal that seems shady, and keeps the contractor from filing a lien against your home to force payment. Always be wary of contractors that offer unsolicited inspections, employ pressuring and salesman-like tactics, or leave delivery and installation costs out of their estimates. You can also contact Showcase for our list of trusted vendors.
When it comes to the law and remodeling your home, check and double check! Once you know what can and can’t be done, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing your awesome new gym or beautiful new sunroom is there to stay. For more tips on the legalities of home remodeling, contact a Showcase team member–we’re always here to help!