Purchased a New Property In Florida? Beware of Solicitations!

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As many of you know, the process of purchasing a new home, or commercial property involves quite a few important documents that you need to be familiar with. Title and Deed documents are given to you by your attorney. Usually, these documents are also accessible online via your county’s property appraiser’s website FOR FREE. In instances where you have purchased a new property, you may receive a letters in the mail that might look like an official county or state document which states that you will need to take additional steps to finalize documentation, or that you will need to order vital documentation that shows ownership of your property.

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This mailing will have your name, parcel number, and property address on it. What Record Transfer Services is doing might not be illegal; however, these services are usually already performed either before or at closing by a title company or real estate attorney. A title search is usually performed by a title company or an attorney, who researches the vested owner, the liens or other judgments on the property, the loans on the property and the property taxes due before the closing is done. If duplicates are needed or documents are misplaced from your records, these documents can usually be found via your county property appraiser’s website or you may contact your real estate attorney.

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Given that the letter includes a deadline for which to request for these documents, it appears to be an official document, however, make special note of the disclaimer in fine print at the bottom of the letter: “This product or service has not been approved, or endorsed by any government…” Generally, if you receive a solicitation asking for more money after your closing, it is not necessary and is rarely legitimate. If you are not sure or you would like more information, contact your Florida Real Estate attorney or title company as soon as possible.

Interested in Florida Real Estate Investment? Here are Some Tips!

Real estate investing can be an extremely rewarding process, but it can also carry some worth-noting risks.  Troubleshooting for these issues begins before the purchase takes place and continues throughout ownership.  Here are some tips to help get you started.

The thing to address first and foremost is the financial aspect.  Buying profitable real estate means investing in properties that are cash flow positive. Rentals should provide a fair rate of return on the invested equity.  Also make sure to secure long-term fixed rate financing. Financing or refinancing a property can end up costing you more in the long run or effect transfer issues.

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When it comes to “fixer-uppers,” you may want to look elsewhere.  Projects that involve extra remodeling or renovations are very much likely to loose money in the end.  Estimating the cost of repairs can be difficult to the average buyer, except for construction contractors that have experience in such. Obtain experienced contractor opinions before you consider a “fixer-upper”.

Take an in-depth look through all title documents.  This includes the title insurance policy, title abstract, schedule of exclusions, and a survey of the property.  Schedule some time with an Florida Real Estate Attorney to assist you in going through all items in detail and addressing any issues before you go forward with the purchase.

Proper insurance should always be put into place for each specific property and circumstance.  Speaking with an experienced Title Insurance Agent will make it easier to cover all liabilities and reduce the chances of anything severely impacting your finances.

All areas touched on above are great places to start when considering a new real estate investment.  If you are relatively new to property investment, speaking with seasoned long-term investors and Florida Real Estate Attorneys may offer some insight into how to go about taking on a new project. At Gulati Law, we are able to work with you in all these areas. Contact us for more information today!

Source: Zillow Blog

Foreign Buying Flipside- Published in Orlando Realtor Magazine

We are honored that our very own Attorney Gulati’s Article on Foreign Buying Flipside was published in the Orlando Realtor’s Legal Resource Winter Edition.

This Article discusses the FIRPTA withholding in Real Estate Transactions. To read more click here.

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The Biggest Estate Planning Mistake

The most common mistake that can be made when estate planning is the failure to keep your forms and documents up to date.  As simple as it sounds, there are countless instances where people who did not have updated beneficiary forms inevitably ran into complications later in the process.

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Without proper documentation, the money and property you saved for your loved ones may fall into the hands of ex-spouses, irresponsible or untrustworthy family members, or other unintended heirs.  Besides having control over who gets your money and how much, designating a beneficiary also avoids probate in some circumstances.  Updating your estate plan regularly, you can be certain your wishes will be carried out in your absence the way you want them to.

Here are some of the forms that you should update regularly: bank accounts beneficiary lists, retirement accounts, life insurance benefits, and so on.  If a divorce, death, or any other life or relationship change occurs that will affect how you plan your estate, it is imperative you make those document changes immediately.  Contact us today to speak with a Florida Estate Planning Attorney and ensure you are protected in all aspects of your estate planning.

Source: Estate Planning Digest 

Is Commercial Real Estate a Worthwhile Investment?

If you have been investing in residential real estate for some time now, you might have been considering commercial investments.  The absolute best way to get involved with investments is by doing research, getting advice, and contrasting the familiarity’s with some of the differences.  Knowing the pros and cons before getting involved in a big purchase can help you weigh your options and find out what is best for you.

One major difference between commercial and residential real estate is how the bank values them.  Commercial bank loans tend to require a higher down payment that can easily be more than 30 percent.  Check with your lending institution to find out if they deal with commercial real estate. We have a list of commercial lenders we have worked with in the past, just contact us today and we will be happy to provide them to you!

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Commercial real estate offers the potential for increased cash flow and higher stability.  Renting out several spaces in a multi-unit property means more income, and the return is usually higher per square foot if you’re getting the full potential out of the property.  This can also mean less risk. If one of several tenants leaves, you will only lose a portion of the return.  Commercial leases offer steady income because they are also usually much longer in duration.

As with both residential and commercial investments, it is always important to ask questions and do your research.  There are many parts to look into when purchasing commercial real estate specifically.  Some of these include questions about former management, lease renewals, population income, and the seller’s cash flow statements, among others.  See our Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Purchasing Commercial Real Estate- click here.

Source: Entrepreneur Article 

 

Inheriting A Business? Be Prepared and Start Now

Having a business passed down to you can be an exciting yet scary endeavor, and the situation varies widely depending on how well prepared you are for the transition.  Hopefully, you have spent enough time with the business to understand the plans, key players, and how to best serve your clientele.  Reviewing and updating documentation, creating rapport with clients, and developing relationships with accountants, employees, and managers can be crucial when undergoing a smooth transition. Exposure to all aspects early on can make the process go much easier for all parties involved.

file000941596447If you happen to be in a situation where inheriting the family business was unexpected or you did not have enough time to fully make provisions for the future, the best way to get started is by talking with some of the main team members involved.  You should consider talking to the following types of professionals during the set-up and transition:  business advisors, attorneys, accountants, financial planners, managers, and everyone involved in decision making for your business.  It can also be beneficial to hire advisors with your best interest in mind that can provide a third party perspective on where to start.

Getting everyone on the same page can be a challenge, but meetings and open discussions are vital in gaining a mutual understanding of the company’s short and long-term goals.  Now would also be a good time to discuss your new role in the business and the plans you have for the future.

The best way to get started when taking over the business is to do your research.  Look into documentation that can explain the current financial state of the company and the direction it was heading at the time of the crossover.  Some of these documents include: tax returns, bank statements, budgets, licenses, letters of incorporation or trademarks, and loans, credit, mortgages, and other forms of debt. After taking some time to review the information, start preparing your own ideas and questions about how this transition affects the legal and financial status of the business.  This would also be a good time to address any outside implications of the inheritance, such as disputes about succession, pressure from shareholders, and any other third parties involved.

After you understand the current state of your business, the next step is making sure you have team that is well organized and assured.  Keep communication lines open between employees, stakeholders, and all others involved with your business.  Let them know that you are doing the best you can to stay available and are willing to accept constructive input into the next steps for the business.  Ask for advice from the managers and advisors on how to make the transition easy as possible, and what has been working and not working in the past as far as methods and execution.  Try not to make any big changes yet – it is important to stay mindful of the team’s wishes, as they will be supporting you through a time that may be uncertain for the company.

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The last and most important area of focus is establishing a concrete business plan.  Hopefully before this time comes you have a strong guideline for how the business is run.  Now you can work on making this plan geared towards the plans you have for the future.  According to the Family Business Institute, about 30 percent of family businesses survive in the second generation.  Meeting with advisors and your banker on a regular basis while getting started can lead you in the right direction regarding customer needs and market conditions.  Putting in time and effort into the business will multiply your rewards worth reaping for years to come.

At Gulati Law, we have helped many small businesses transition from old ownership to new, and protect the new assets in the process. We have a private referral network in which we can refer depending on your needs. Contact us today if you have a question or need further information!

Source: http://under30ceo.com/you-inherited-the-family-business-now-what/

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