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HMDA Reporting Eased for Community Banks and Credit Unions

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) has certainly not been making life easier for mortgage lenders in the past several years, with new regulations continually changing required disclosures and data collection, adding additional burdens to an already complex process. Luckily, the CFPB has decided to ease reporting requirements for certain smaller lending institutions on home equity lines of credit, and hopefully this will help ease the sting of new Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (“HMDA”) rules taking effect in January 2018. More >

Net Lease vs. Gross Lease: Which is right for me?

In the sale of a commercial property, typically an entire interest in the property is sold for a single price. However, there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to commercial leases. The difference between a gross lease and a net lease, for instance, can make all the difference. The different types of net lease can add even more confusion to the mix, leading to considerations such as gross lease vs triple net, rather than merely net vs gross lease.  For the sake of simplicity, this post will focus on the gross lease and triple net lease, as these are the two most common forms of commercial lease. More >

The Kind of Exchange to Like: Section 1031 Like-Kind Exchanges

Whenever you sell off a piece of investment property for a gain, you generally pay tax on that gain at the time of the sale. If you then use the post-tax proceeds to purchase another property that you later sell for a gain, you’ve effectively traded one property for another, but you were taxed twice along the way. Luckily, the tax code contains Section 1031, which allows for a tax deferred “exchange” of properties, and it can be a lifesaver for investors. More >

How a Restrictive Covenant Can Be Anything But

Restrictive covenants can be a protective measure to prevent competing uses, or they can be a thorn in the side of someone attempting to develop land subject to one. These clauses, whether set forth in deeds or as separate covenants, place restrictions on the uses of the property. Further, unless they have a particular expiration date, they run with the land despite future transfers. Whatever the intended effect of a restrictive covenant, they tend to be viewed with higher levels of scrutiny by the courts, as restrictions on land in perpetuity run against public policy preferences that hold that land should be given as freely as possible. In other words, you must choose the words of a restrictive covenant very carefully, or the provision may not mean what you think, or have the effect you intend. More >

Easements Made Easy: The Basics of Easements on Real Property

Easements are one of those real estate concepts on which it’s difficult to get a consensus. To some, they are harmless items that can be ignored. To others, they are a fatal encumbrance on a piece of property, restricting its use and diminishing its value. While both opinions may be true depending on the circumstances, the fact is that easements generally fall somewhere in between those two extremes. To understand why, it is important to have a general understanding of what easements are and how they affect real property rights. More >

Planning and Zoning: 3 Things to Look for When Purchasing Property

The conventional wisdom is that real property is a solid investment – after all, they aren’t making any more of it, and it’s often billed as “one of a kind.” Of course, just because the wisdom is conventional doesn’t mean it’s correct. In reality, there are a multitude of considerations that potential real property purchasers should take into account, and a careful review of these will generally result in sounder investment decisions. The condition of any buildings, access to the property and environmental assessments all should be factors in the purchase decision, but there are additional issues from a land use planning perspective that will impact whether an investment in real estate will pay off in the long run. More >

Investing in Real Estate: Where Do You Start?

Investment in real estate, whether residential or commercial, is a great vehicle for building wealth. For many people, however, the most difficult part of building a portfolio of real estate investment is knowing just where to begin. There are more options and moving parts than may be evident at first blush, so new investors might be either hesitant to enter the field or far too brash in diving into an investment without a definitive road map. Both paths are fraught with difficulty and failure. More >

A Supreme Court Denial Creates an Uncertain Foundation for Affordable Housing Attempts

Often, United States Supreme Court cases have repercussions and wide-ranging effects that are a predictable outgrowth of the particular holdings. What is not always so clear, however, is the way in which denying certiorari (turning down the opportunity to hear and decide a case) can affect those with a stake in the outcome of a particular interpretation. In the case of California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose,[1] the denial of certiorari by the Supreme Court may have a profound impact on both affordable housing and the housing industry itself in the short term.


[1] 61 Cal. 4th 435 (2015) More >

City planning board votes “no” to garbage transfer station on Lisle Industrial

BY BETH MUSGRAVE

Lexington Herald-Leader

April 26, 2016

A Lexington planning body rejected a bid by Republic Services to put a garbage transfer station on an 8-acre site on Lisle Industrial Avenue after a more than three-hour hearing.

The Board of Adjustment voted unanimously Friday after hearing testimony from Republic Services of Kentucky officials and a dozen neighbors who opposed the transfer station. Republic Services requested a conditional use permit to put the transfer station at 203 and 205 Lisle Industrial Avenue, which is zoned heavy industrial. The site was previously used by Wise Recycling. More >

A Primer on “Safe by Design” Land Use Planning

One of the more interesting facets of land use planning is its ability to impact our lives in a multitude of ways. We can intuitively understand and grasp the concepts of keeping certain types of land use apart – the landfill and the residential neighborhood, for example. These are facially obvious ideas, even if they can still generate controversy from time to time. What is not so obvious, however, is how and where land use planning can impact us in more subtle ways, especially with regard to public health and safety. More >

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