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Real Estate Archives

Important Papers

I think most people know to organize important papers such as estate planning documents, life and health insurance policies, and car and boat titles. Of equal importance is the title insurance policy issued upon the purchase or refinance of your home or investment property.

Hurricane Matthew

After living through the stress of Hurricane Matthew, I want to make sure that our readers are not victimized by the aftermath of this weather event. Please consider the following:

Purchasing Real Estate? Be Aware of this Advanced Scam

Scammers are now targeting real estate purchasers with a new tactic. One of the latest Scam Alerts from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) highlighted a phishing scam for mortgage closing costs. This scam is more advanced than the standard email phishing scam because it requires that the scammers first hack into consumers' and real estate professionals' email accounts. The scammers then proceed to tell a legitimate purchaser that the wiring instructions have changed and provide the purchaser with "revised" wiring instructions. The wiring instructions provided by the scammers route the money to the scammer's account.  Any victim who falls for this will likely never see their money again.

Buying Another Home While Getting Divorced

For the average person, real estate transactions can be difficult to understandeven when in an ideal situation.  However, lately our firm has encountered several situations where a transaction has been complicated by a pending divorce. Assume you are divorcing your spouse and you want to purchase and live in another home while the divorce is pending. What, if anything, does your spouse need to sign so that you can buy your new home?

FIRPTA Withholding

The Foreign Investment Real Property Tax Act ("FIRPTA") is a federal law which requires the buyer of U.S. real estate to withhold a percentage of the gross sales price to secure payment of U.S. income taxes when the Seller is a non-resident foreigner.

Whose Lien Comes First?

Competing real estate lien priority was the issue that the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal recently issued an opinion on in U.S. Bank National Association v. Grant. The question was whether a homeowner's association lien for unpaid assessments has priority over the lien of the first mortgage lender in a foreclosure proceeding. The appellate court found in favor of the lender as the declaration establishing the homeowner's association lacked specific language indicating that the HOA lien "related back" to the filing of the declaration or had priority over subsequent mortgages.

Taking Title to Real Estate in Florida

How individuals take title to real estate in Florida is critical and can lead to unintended consequences if not done correctly. Recently, one client found out that because of the way she and her boyfriend took title to their home she only received a half interest in the home they shared for many years. The other half went to his children. You need to discuss how to title your real estate with the attorney or closing agent preparing the deed.

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