Purchase & Sale Agreements. The Sale Agreement (earnest money agreement) is the most important document in your transaction process. It pays to make sure that this form includes all of the protections and contingencies you might need if things do not go as planned. Buyers and Sellers, with or without realtor assistance (FSBOs), should get assistance at this step in the process. Residential properties have unique aspects to consider, and commercial or development properties often include custom elements.
Escrows & Closings. Once you have a signed Sale Agreement, the transaction needs to be processed for closing by an independent attorney or escrow company. It is important to make sure that all aspects of your unique deal are being handled correctly before and at closing. I can act as your escrow closing agent, or I can monitor the closing agent's work to make sure that she is correctly implementing your agreement blueprint.
Deeds & Title Issues. I prepare deeds for a variety of situations, and also provide the necessary related real estate excise tax affidavit forms. Sometimes a defect in title or a problem with the manner of registration is discovered, and I assist to fix the problem, file the necessary corrective documents, and make sure the title companies will be willing to insure the marketability of your title.
Real Estate LLCs. Don't let your investment become a liability. The Real Estate Limited Liability Company (LLC) is the vehicle of choice for holding title, for a host of reasons. Whether you own a property yourself or with other partners, it is important to establish your LLC with an appropriate Operating Agreement. Tax aspects are always considered, and selection of manner of taxation is included in the basic service.
Exchanges & Tax Planning. The federal income tax rules are constantly in flux. Tax aspects of real estate investments and transactions must always be considered, because the tax aspects significantly affect your net after tax profit. I act as intermediary for tax deferred exchange transactions, or I can monitor another intermediary's processing of the sale and purchase stages of your exchange.
Homeowners Associations. I have myself served as President of several new homeowners' associations (HOAs), so I appreciate the practical dynamics of handling HOA affairs. I represent numerous homeowner, condominium and commercial owner associations. I get involved with establishing and amending charter documents, like the CCRs, Articles, Bylaws and Rules. I often assist with enforcement questions and resolution of homeowner disputes.
Mortgages & Foreclosures. Any real estate loan needs to be adequately secured by an interest in the affected real estate. Deeds of Trust come in different flavors, and it is important to ensure that your loan documents are appropriate for your needs and the particular circumstances. If things go wrong, with payments or other undertakings, I can assist with Deed of Trust foreclosure matters.
Notes & Loan Agreements. Whether you are making or accepting a loan to purchase or improve a property, you will have one chance to get the paperwork right. Each loan has unique elements, and it is important to make sure that your loan documents (Promissory Note, Loan Agreement, Security Agreements) are prepared to protect your interests. The follow through with proper recordings and set up of escrow or collection arrangements is typically part of the service.
Landlord & Tenant. Most leases last for a long period of time, and it is common that some dispute or problem may develop along the way. I represent both Landlords and Tenants to evaluate options and resolve problems. The stakes can be significant. Sometimes the work involves the processing of an Unlawful Detainer (eviction) action, which requires close attention to the detail of the procedures followed. Sometimes the work involves the negotiation of some adjustment or termination of the tenancy involved.
Boundary Disputes. People make mistakes. When a surveyor, a deed preparer, or someone installing improvements makes a mistake, it often results in a boundary dispute which eventually gets discovered. Each case is unique, and it is important to be creative and aware of possible solutions to find the most efficient resolution. Sometimes only a trial can resolve the opposing positions.
Development & Use Permits. I help real estate developers with property acquisition, permit applications, Covenants (CCRs), subdivision, Easements, site evaluation, construction and resale issues. Some projects involve condominium forms, and some involve long term commercial leases. Lenders and partners often have their own requirements to be documented.
Construction. Nowhere is more variety encountered in key provisons than in the world of construction agreement forms. Construction work is inherently fraught with risks, and starting with an appropriate contract to protect your interests is very important. Once a problem arises, it can be difficult to find an efficient solution. The challenge is to nip problems in the bud before other consequential damages pile up.
Commercial Leases. Lease terms may vary from one to forty years, but in all cases having sufficient protections for a host of potential situations is important for both the Landlord and Tenant. A lease obligation is often one of a business's largest expenses, so it behooves you to get it right at the start.
Property Management. Owning an investment property is not as passive an activity as you might hope. Whether you handle ongoing property management responsibilities yourself or delegate them to a hired manager, getting good advice can make a large difference over time. Once you make a decision (or neglect to make one) you may need to live with the results for years.