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4 Reasons To Always Get A House Inspected

real estate contractDid you know that the National Association of Realtors has data that says 77% of homebuyers have a prospective home inspected prior to purchasing? If you are selling your home, consider having it inspected before putting it on the market. This will give you ample time to make the necessary repairs and list your home for more than you otherwise could. For both buyers and sellers entering into a real estate contract, it is important to get an inspection done. Here’s why.

  1. Electrical Issues
    If you are buying a house, you want to make sure that the wiring is working as advertised. Faulty wiring can lead to excessive energy consumption, non-functioning outlets, power outages, and fires. A home needs to have quality and up-to-date electric. If it doesn’t, the seller won’t get the price they’re asking for, and the buyer will be stuck with a frustrating and potentially dangerous home.
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  3. Foundation Leaks
    Whether it’s because the drainage system is incorrect, the gutters are clogged, the foundation has cracks, or the basement windows are improperly sealed, foundation leaks are expensive to repair. If you find foundation leaks in a home, you might be better off looking elsewhere.
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  5. Roofing Repairs
    A damaged roof can cost more money than most home repairs. If you notice shoddy shingles, leaks from a ceiling, or a general aged appearance to the roof, you should either look elsewhere or consider a roof replacement as an investment before entering into a real estate contract.
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  7. General Damage
    If the home has a run-down feeling to it, consider that a big red flag. Not all homes that look pretty are problem-free upon inspection, but nearly all homes that look worn down do have problems. If you’re a do-it-yourself type of person, you might find good deals in these types of homes, but certainly inspect them first.

When buying or selling a home, it helps to have some knowledge of real estate law cases. Rely on a real estate lawyer for answers to questions you don’t know. Always have a home inspected, whether you’re buying or selling, so you can feel comfortable that there are no building code violations.

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Pros and Cons of Buying A Foreclosed Home

buying a foreclosed homeThere are many questions thrown around all asking the same thing: How long will it take to buy a home? The answer obviously depends on the contract you signed when you agreed to purchase. The day you are able to move in will be specified in the contract, either stating the closing date or the number of days from signing. Typically it takes between four and ten weeks, but it varies based on location.

One way to make the buying process faster is by considering the purchase of a foreclosed home. Since there is next to no room for negotiation on foreclosed houses, and you have to move quite quickly before another person or investor scoops your desired property up, the process can be speedy and often less expensive than traditional methods. There are some downsides as well, so let’s take a look at the pros and cons of buying a foreclosed home.

Pro: Once you find a home you like, the process goes very quickly. Since the occupants are already moved out, you might be able to move in inside of a week.

Con: Preparing for this rapid-fire transition takes time. You need to have a financial backer ready with a loan, a realtor or real estate attorney ready, and the ability to pull the trigger on a house you like without hesitation.

Pro: Buying a foreclosed home can be quite cheap compared to the residential real estate market as a whole. This is because the banks that loaned money to the previous occupants haven’t yet been reimbursed for their loan, so they want to sell the house fast to get back what they’re owed, and maybe a little more for themselves. They are not so worried about huge profits, but will not sell at a loss.

Con: There are essentially no negotiations. The price is the price, and very rarely will it drop. This is because the banks need to recuperate their investment, and spending time negotiating would siphon resources away from more important prospects.

Pro: No haggling means you know the price you will pay.

Con:It also means you get the house in ‘as is’ condition. No discounts for necessary repairs.

Buying a foreclosed home can be a great and speedy alternative to shopping the market for months at a time. Make sure to look into personal property law cases and get to know the legal process a bit more with the help of a lawyer. This will ensure you are well prepared for owning a foreclosed property.

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First Time Tenants Need To Know These 7 Important Lease Conditions

lease agreementThe importance of a lease agreement cannot be stressed enough and is there to protect both the renter and the landlord. In fact, leases are one of three contracts that California’s Statute of Frauds requires in writing. Approaching a lease agreement as a first-time tenant can be intimidating. It is best to know some of the common terms of these contracts, and what they mean to you.

  1. Tenant List
    If you plan on living with another person and they are not your dependent, you must include them on the lease agreement. This makes both of you legally culpable for upholding the contents of the lease.
  2. Cost
    In any lease, the cost of rent per month should be clearly noted and explained. The conditions in which the landlord can raise the rent, the conditions that would allow a tenant not to pay rent, and all additional pricing information should be fully detailed on the lease.
  3. Term
    The duration the lease will last, the protocol for subletting, and consequences for early termination on either the tenant’s or landlord’s end must all be delineated.
  4. Right To Entry
    A landlord has the right to enter your apartment if they’ve given you notice or in the case of an emergency. The laws vary based on location, so it is best to specify conditions both parties can agree upon.
  5. Utilities
    Who pays for the utilities? If the landlord advertises the property as having gas and electric included, make sure this is reflected in the contract.
  6. Maintenance
    Who takes care of what? Generally, any property damage or negligence that you caused will come out of your security deposit. On the other hand, any mechanical failures of the property are generally on your landlord to fix. Make sure a fair division of responsibility is reflected in the lease.
  7. Security Deposit
    Many landlords simply pocket your security deposit and you’ll never see it again. To avoid this, take pictures before you move in and after you move out. In the lease, read the section about your security deposit to see what it covers, and what your landlord is allowed to use it for.

Lease agreements exist to protect the personal property rights of both the tenant and the landlord. In order to ensure you are signing a fair document, read it carefully. If you are still unsure, run it by a real estate attorney for further clarification. When in doubt, always consult a lawyer about property law cases you don’t fully understand.

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The Foreclosure Process and Your Best Options

foreclosure processTyping the words ‘foreclosure process’ into Google is something no one should have to do, but the harsh reality is this: one out of every 200 homes will be foreclosed upon.

If you feel like you haven’t been given proper notice, then check your state laws. Most states have strict regulations on what constitutes a proper eviction or foreclosure notice. Likewise, if you have not received ample opportunity to pay ahead of the property’s foreclosure sale, you might have cause to challenge the sale. But what if you have received a proper foreclosure notice? Then it is time to talk to a real state lawyer immediately.

While your lawyer will be able to advise you on your specific legal situation, you may also benefit from a deeper understanding of the foreclosure process, which can be stressful and downright terrifying.

The foreclosure process

Step 1. Notice of Default: This is the official notice that the creditor has defaulted on the mortgage loan. In this letter, you will get information about how much you owe, how long you have to pay, and what will happen if you can’t. If you pay the amount due in the time allotted, your house will remain yours. If not, you move to step two. Before you pay anything though, run the document by your attorney. He or she will work toward finding out whether there is anything that would delegitimatize the notice of default, such as failure to comply with state real estate laws.

Step 2. Assess your options: Even when you can’t afford to pay what you owe, you still have options, but they aren’t great. If the foreclosure notice holds up against the law, you can try re-negotiating your mortgage payment plan via a loan modification. This can be tricky, but your lawyer can help you through the process. The second option you have is exchanging the deed for the balance owed. Third, you can short the property for less than the loan. You will still be responsible for the remaining balance, however. These options are best explored with the guidance of a real estate attorney.

Step 3. The House Goes Up For Auction: After the deadline to repay has passed, you will be expected to vacate the premises, and fast. Your creditor, in hopes of recuperating your unpaid mortgage, places your house on an open auction. It is common for creditors to only accept cash at these auctions, so while they often don’t make a huge profit off your house, the bidding usually starts at what you owed.

In the end, foreclosure is never an enjoyable process, but if you get a lawyer you will be on a much better footing for the fight to come. To find out more about past personal property law cases and their outcomes, ask your lawyer or consult the public records in your area.

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How Can I Avoid A Property Dispute With My Tenant?

property dispute mediationProperty disputes can be stressful for landlords and tenants alike. In some cases, a property dispute can even escalate to a court setting wherein the judge will hear the trial within 20 days of the filed request.

However, many landlords and tenants prefer to keep their disputes out of the court setting. This is what makes property dispute mediation an often preferred method of action.

Depending on the situation, a property dispute mediation may be necessary. However, there are ways in which you can help to prevent property disputes from occurring by avoiding the following disagreements.

  1. Cleaning the property
    One of the most common property disputes often involves the cleaning of the property. Should the tenant leave the property in a condition that’s worse for wear in comparison to the original state of the property, a dispute between the property owner and the tenant may result. To avoid this type of dispute, the property owner should supply the tenant with a copy of their lease agreement reminding the tenant of the condition of the property prior to their residence. This will help to provide a reference for the tenant.
  2. Property damage
    The second most common property law dispute involves damage done to the property. While tenants must take care to avoid causing property damage while they live in residence on the property, the property owner should always be reasonable in regards to wear and tear. To avoid disputes regarding property damage relating to hanging wall fixtures, etc, it’s recommended that property owners suggest alternative hanging options to their tenants.
  3. Cost of repairs
    Property repairs are often necessary, but the cost of the repairs are often disputed between tenants and property owners. For a property owner to touch the money in a tenant’s security deposit, they must have a significant case for claiming it. In order to avoid real estate law disputes involving cost of repairs, it’s best to be as transparent as possible regarding the price of the repairs.

Disagreements regarding property can’t always be avoided. Should your dispute escalate, property dispute mediation may be in your best interest. Contact a real estate lawyer today at DiJulio Law Group for more information regarding property law mediation.

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