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Showing 42 posts in Real Estate Law.

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

Posted In Real Estate Law, Section 1031 transactions

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

Posted In Deeds, Real Estate Law

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

Posted In Deeds, Easement, Real Estate Law

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

Posted In Planning and Zoning, Real Estate Law

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?

Posted In Investment, Real Estate Law

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 >

The New TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Requirements

Farewell, HUD-1, we hardly knew ye. As of October 3rd, 2015, lenders will provide two integrated forms at specified intervals surrounding the closing date to comply with the provisions of both the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974 (“RESPA”). The new forms are the result of provisions from Sections 1098 and 1100A of the Dodd-Frank Act meant to combine and simplify existing documents to make them easier for mortgagors to understand. More >

The Dangerous Path of Property through Intestacy: The Need for Estate Planning with Respect to Real Estate

Posted In Real Estate Law

Winding up an estate is a difficult task, one that can take a toll on a group of the decedent’s family and loved ones. This process, however, is exponentially more challenging when a person dies intestate. Real property is particularly difficult to distribute without a definitive statement of intent on the part of the deceased. The various methods of descent in intestacy create tangled estates as families grow in complexity, and so many conflicts might be resolved otherwise through the careful act of creating an estate plan. More >

The Consequences of Walking Away: Breach of Contract in Commercial Real Estate

Posted In Breach, Commercial Real Estate, Purchase Contract, Real Estate Law

The temptation happens often: the deal is done, the ink is dry, the contract is finalized…then someone gets cold feet. Buyers don’t want to buy, sellers don’t want to sell, money gets tight, titles can’t be delivered, etc. What makes breach of commercial real estate contracts unique as opposed to most non-real estate contracts is that every single property is unique. No two properties can share the same physical location, but most also won’t share the same size, improvements, buildings, access, resources...the list is endless. It’s not as though the buyer can just buy the same property from another seller, and the seller who loses a buyer also loses expected capital. When one party breaches its duties in a commercial real estate contract, it’s important for the non-breaching party to understand what remedies are available. We’ll explore the most common remedies and what provisions should be in commercial real estate contracts to mitigate the effects of breach. More >

“Is this the airport, Clark?” – Aunt Bethany

Posted In Homeowners Association, Real Estate Law

Your guests have arrived and you’ve just spent that last ten hours Griswolding your home and now you and your company are standing in the front yard ready to bask in the warm glow of a million tiny lights, when your neighbor strolls over and says, “I wouldn’t do that. The homeowner’s association won’t allow it. Oh, and you can’t park there.” What? But you nearly died placing those reindeer on the roof! And where are all these people supposed to park?? More >

Tenant Absence During the Lease Term: Protecting Your Property

Posted In Landlord, Lease, Purchase Contract, Real Estate Law, Security Deposit, Tenant

Every landlord’s goal is to have his/her rental property under lease and occupied by tenants who will not only pay their rent on time, but who will properly use and maintain the property. After all, the property is an investment by the landlord of both time and money. While landlords typically relate property damage to tenants’ use of the property (i.e. throwing wild parties or vandalism), nonuse can also result in significant damage to the property, not only causing damage to the structure itself, but a diminution in value of the property overall. This is especially true during the winter months. For example, a tenant may take an extended vacation for the holidays or even abandon the property altogether. Any time a property is unoccupied for an extended period of time, maintenance issues may go undetected and/or other problems may arise unbeknownst to the tenant(s) or the landlord. These issues/problems may include the heat being turned off by the tenant, running water left on, a leaky faucet, a stove being left on, an electrical issue, or the shut off of one or more utilities by the respective utility company for nonpayment. Such issues can result in damage to the property, including, but not limited to, frozen/burst pipes, flooding, or fire. Moreover, the damage can extend to other units and/or affect the safety of neighboring tenants. Thus, it is important for a landlord to know when a tenant is going to be gone for an extended period of time. More >

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