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Controversy brewing in Miami over rights to preserve or tear down

When our South Florida readers are looking into either buying or selling a home, almost all of them surely enter the market hoping for a smooth, tension-free process. However, anyone who has been involved in a real estate dispute knows that problems can arise from almost any corner, at almost any time in the process. And when problems do arise, most times the only hope is that they can be taken care of quickly and easily - and not lead to litigation.

For some in South Florida, and in Miami especially, problems are starting to pop up with more frequency during some real estate transactions as the housing market recovery rolls out into a full-on sprint. According to a recent report, some buyers who are acquiring certain properties - some would say they are historically significant properties - are running into problems when they decide to bulldoze the existing homes and build anew.

The problems arise mainly due to the thinking of some that many Miami homes, mainly those which were built in the early 1900's, deserve to be preserved and restored instead of razed and forgotten. The architecture of some of these early beachfront homes is from a particularly striking era in Miami's history, some would say, and their destruction is said by some to be "immoral."

Those with preservationist thoughts appear to have the backing of the Miami mayor. And, some groups will be moving aggressively to designate those homes in the area which they believe should avoid demolition.

The growing dispute in the Miami area between those who are seeking preservation and those who are seeking to assert their property rights will be an interesting situation to monitor. But, for those who find themselves embroiled in these types of property disputes, a thorough evaluation of all of the legal options could be well worth their time.

Source: The Miami Herald, "In Miami Beach, homes face teardown frenzy or preservationist zeal," David Smiley, Dec. 22, 2012

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