Title to Real Estate Property!

 

A deed is a legal instrument used to convey real property. There are three main deeds in Florida, or three methods of transferring property. They vary depending on the guarantee that is offered by the seller, the type of property, or reason for transfer.

1) General Warranty Deed

  • Most complete form of ownership, or highest level of protection to buyer
  • Guarantee that grantor (seller) has legal title

2) Special Warranty Deed

  • Provides limited warranty of title
  • Seller guarantees he/she has not adversely affected the title to the property during their ownership period
  • Common for transactions with trustees, or personal representatives, & foreclosures

3) Quitclaim Deed

  • No warranties or guarantees from seller
  • Most risky form of ownership
  • Conveys the interests of the grantor (seller) but grantor does not represent he/she has any rights to convey
  • Common to transfer property among family members or when dealing with a divorce
  • Common to clear defects in title

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In most real estate transactions, we recommend obtaining a general warranty deed in congruence with a title insurance policy to ensure you have complete equity, or ownership in your new property & proper protection for any unexpected encumbrances. However, every case is different and you should discuss your options with a Florida Real Estate Attorney.

Stay tuned for our next blog on – which Deed is right for you!

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.

Maintaining Accurate Records

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Regardless of the size of a company, whether a small business or a large one, it should comply with its state law record-keeping requirements.

Here is a list of some of the important corporate documents to maintain:

– A copy of the corporation’s articles of incorporation or organization;

– Corporate bylaws or operating agreement;

– Organizational minutes;

– Annual reports;

-Minutes from any shareholder meetings;

-Maintain an updated list of all executives, employees, etc;

-Accurate accounting records; and

-Important Financial statements.

 

For a year-end business check-up, contact your Business Law Attorney today!

Tips For Purchasing A Hotel in Florida

Before looking under classified ads for hotels for sale, you must first start by having an idea of your needs and expectations for your new business. The location, appearance, and structure of the property will all affect how to choose to move forward with the purchase. Looking at the history of the business is a good place to start, as well as potential ways to make it more profitable for you in the long run.

Speaking with an experienced attorney will offer detailed information and advice about a specific property after you have gone through a preliminary process of consideration. Check out the location well before deciding to buy there. A hotel is unique in the sense that business can be affected by so many different factors. If it is on the coast or by a beach, you may only get bookings during certain months once a year. In that case you may count on seasonal income whereas in a big city or town, you will want to be near businesses that travel and year-round tourist attractions. Also be careful of locations that are overpopulated or riddled with competition.

Experienced operators have an advantage in that they have established repeat clientele and are usually well known. Make a list of questions to be answered when looking at hotels for sale. That way, if they don’t pass the checklist, they won’t be worth considering. This step could save you a lot of time if you know what you’re looking for. Some of these elements could include staff members, food service options, how many rooms or guests on average, tenant demographics, and the Unique Selling Proposition for that hotel.

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Two key ratios that are important to note include the revenue per available room (revpar) and the staff costs to turnover. These numbers can help you calculate how profitable the hotel has been in the past and how much you will be making potentially. You can also ask current ownership on their approach with the hotel to see if  they have done anything new recently as far as management and/or renovations. The third major aspect of buying a hotel is the building.

It is necessary to first get a full survey and valuation taken, and also review the lease terms and conditions (if any) before moving forward with a purchase. Take a look at the physical condition of the rooms and public areas, making sure all fire and health regulations and codes are met. Check documentation for up to date licenses and everything you may need in order to make sure there is no more unfinished business on your part. A Real Estate Attorney can assist you by gathering all documents and information regarding the closing and offer any advice you may need for your new business venture. Contact us at Gulati Law and see how we can help you acquire a Florida Hotel!

 

Source: BizJournal

Pic Credit: Wyndham Hotels

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

Sale Pending: Can I Still Make An Offer?

In the world of online real estate searches, it can be easy to fall in love with a house before realizing that the property reads “pending sale”. Many homebuyers see a listing and assume that the property is unavailable, when in actuality that may not be the case. “Sale pending” can mean a few different things depending on how the market works for your area.

Understanding the basic real estate transaction process helps to understand what exactly a pending sale means. When someone chooses to buy a home, they make an offer “contingent upon” certain factors. This can be the completion of a property inspection, a bank appraisal, or loan approval. If there is an issue with the inspection or the buyer cannot get financial backing, the buyer has a right to exit the contract. After an offer has been made, the buyer typically has about 3 weeks to get the inspection, appraisal, and the loan approval.

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Although the sale is not a “done deal,” the seller is not able to enter any agreements with another buyer while these processes are being completed. Another buyer, however, is able to submit a “backup offer.” A backup offer functions as a backup plan in case the first offer falls though and the transaction never takes place. Some listings classified as “sale pending” may include transactions where all contingencies have been removed. This means the buyer’s loan has been approved and both the inspection and appraisal have taken place. In this case, the only thing left would be to move toward closing. This may take up to a few weeks, and technically the sale is still pending.

Even though all contingencies have been removed, there is still a slight chance that  the buyer may exit the deal. The buyer will not become the owner until the property is closed and the deed is recorded. Until this happens, a buyer may still need to back out in a case of emergency or if they risk losing the earnest money deposit. Falling in love with a pending property may not mean a dead-end for you. Find out about the status of the property and whether or not it is possible to make an offer at this point. You may also want to find out more information such as if they buyer has had any previous inspections and if there have been any real issues thus far.

The best thing to do when a home you are interested in is pending is to put that property on the back burner and keep up your search. If you truly would like to pursue the home, make your interest known and find out the information you need. The only next step is to wait and see what happens with the current sale.

Source: Zillow Blog

Gulati Law Receives an Appreciation Award!

On Thursday November 14, 2013, our very own Attorney Gulati participated in the North East Indo-US Chamber of Commerce Legal Panel with five other leading attorneys in the area. After a successful panel, she was presented with an Appreciation Award.

If you missed the event, here are a few questions she answered on the panel:

What are some common mistakes immigrant small business owners make?

  • Do not plan to protect their assets
  • No business plan
  • No budget
  • Did not get an attorney to review contracts before entering into them
    • Such as leases, confidentiality agreements, vendor, phone contracts, etc
    • Tax issues- did not seek advice from a CPA
    • Not getting the correct or required licenses
    • Starting with large amounts of debt

What factors should a home-buyer consider before purchasing a home or investment property in the current real estate market?

  • What kind of property are you looking into
  • Do your due diligence of the property and make sure it is outlined in the contract so you have ways to get out if there is something not favorable to you. i.e. Make sure you have contract contingencies in place.
  • Location- such as attractions, school district, community resources, this also helps resale.
  • Have a plan and exit strategy
  • How are you financing the property

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It was also our distinct pleasure to have Attorney Gulati discuss the FIRPTA requirements for foreign Sellers on November 15, 2013, at the North East Florida Association of Realtor’s- Global Business Council. If you would like more information on this presentation or a copy of the PowerPoint discussed, please contact us.

To join any of these great organizations please e-mail us for more information.

Contact Us Today!

    Gulati Law