Real Estate & Construction Law

School Costs Cannot Form Basis to Deny Housing Construction Permits

The Massachusetts Land Court, in two separate opinions, has held that the costs of educating school-age children who may occupy a housing complex is not a valid basis for denying a developer's request for a building permit. While the Massachusetts Appeals Court had skirted this issue years ago, these two cases are the first to squarely address the question of whether fiscal impact on a public school system is a valid ground on which to deny a housing proposal. The Bevilacqua Co., Inc. v. Lundberg, et al.160 Moulton Drive LLC v. Shaffer.

When does the statute of limitations clock begin running in multi-phase, multi-building real estate development projects?

Large, multi-unit, multi-building real estate developments can be seen all over the greater Boston area these days. As with any major project, problems can arise, and what looked like perfect, shiny new building may start to form a few cracks. Once cracks start to appear, when does the statute of limitations clock begin to run?

What happens if one spouse builds a house and the other spouse does not help?

In a recent 1:28 decision, the Appeals Court of Massachusetts considered a challenge to a judge's order that real estate acquired by the Husband prior to the marriage should remain with the Husband following the divorce.

Protections Afforded to Homeowners by the Massachusetts Homestead Act

The Massachusetts Homestead Act allows homeowners to shield up to $500,000 of equity in their principal place of residence from claims from unsecured creditors (i.e. credit card debt).

What Happens if the House is Sold During the Divorce?

It is the unfortunate case that, in many divorces, the marital home is sold as part of the divorce proceedings. Sometimes, the decision is made for non-financial issues - the house is tied to too many memories and both parties decide that they are better off starting anew. More often than not, however, the financial circumstances are such that the house is simply unaffordable. Perhaps the party who wants to stay will no longer be able to afford the carrying costs; an unfortunate corollary of most divorces is that oftentimes one income or even two are insufficient to maintain two different households. Whatever the reason, often by agreement and sometimes by court order, the marital home is just ordered to be sold either during or after the divorce.

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