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Fractional Investment in Real Estate: What is It?

Not everyone has the investment resources of a certain real estate tycoon turned president, and that has often served as a bar to participation. In modern times, as real estate projects seek more and more investment, the solution has been to expand the class of those able to invest, bringing in new capital from investors who might not, as individuals, have the means to invest in high-end real estate. Enter fractional ownership of real estate – smaller investments from larger numbers of investors. This vehicle for investment can make the dream of serious real estate investment a reality. More >

Kentucky Legislature Tweaks "Full Name" Requirement on Deeds Yet Again

For the third year in a row, the Kentucky legislature has tweaked KRS 382.135, once more revising the “full name” requirement on a deed.

Prior to 2016, KRS 382.135 did not explicitly require a name on a deed for real property. The Kentucky legislature changed KRS 382.135(1) to include that a deed must contain “the full name of the grantor and grantee” of the property. Here, the problem is that the legislature failed to define “full name” for individuals or businesses, which caused confusion for both. Kentucky’s Attorney General subsequently produced an opinion, OAG 16-006, that the “full name” of an individual means, at minimum, that individual’s surname and “some combination of a personal name or initials.” The AG completely sidestepped the issue of business names, and this opinion on individual names isn’t binding in Kentucky courts anyway. More >

I Love It When a Comprehensive Plan Comes Together

It’s that time again – Lexington has been and remains busy assembling its 2018 Comprehensive Plan, titled “Imagine Lexington,” which will provide guidance on how the city will regulate land use over the next five years. This is a complex process that takes place in two phases. The recently concluded Phase I has already set out the goals and objectives of the plan, which we’ll examine in this blog post. The next phase, Elements and Implementation, may take the remainder of 2018 to hash out, although the Planning Commission suggests it will draft it through the summer. This plan is not just mandated by law; it helps mold a vision for the community of how it handles growth and expansion, which will shape the city for decades to come. More >

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 >

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