Building a house: major problems ... get a lawyer? Get concessions?

It looked pretty straightforward when we signed the deal. Most lots were a certain size, and the way it was laid out we’d get an 18 foot deep back yard.

Unless we bought a “long” lot. Then it would be 23 feet of buildable space. For an extra six thousand dollars.

There were the usual problems of delays, and instead of moving in next month, the house hasn’t been started yet.

Nothing abnormal … the city just held up the permits for the entire neighborhood.

I spoke to my sales guy, and we can more likely expect to move this summer. Fine.

Except that my back yard, instead of 23 feet deep with buildable space is going to be about half that. He blames the city, I don’t care who is to blame.

He tried the usual sales bullshit on me “well, how big is your yard on your current home” and I blew through it, saying that didn’t matter, because I don’t care what I ahve, I care about what I was paying for. Eventually he handed me off to someone else who can answer my questions (I also, if the house hasn’t been permit-authorized yet, want to make two changes that are minor at this point).

Now what? Obviously, they’ll give us all our money back and we can pull out (but since the house is likely to be valued, once built, at 50% more than we paid for it, we won’t) and I’m almost mad enough to do it.

But if I can at least lose the $6000 extra we paid, or turn it into an upgrade (say, floor over the living room to have an extra loft and lose the silly cathedral ceilings) … anyone ever done this?

I’ve got reccommendations for a real-estate lawyer, but wondering if anyone has done this and with what success. It’s a locally based company, owned by a conglomerate. My aunt used to know the folks who owned it, but not so much anymore.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Ideas?

I wish I knew enough to help, but I don’t so I’m posting just to bump this for you.