Blog Archives

What should I know about foreclosure?


It is an unfortunate commentary, but when economic activity declines and housing activity decreases, more real property enters the foreclosure process. High interest rates and creative financing arrangements are also contributing factors. When prices are rapidly accelerating during a real estate “bonanza”, many people go to any lengths available to get into the market through investments in vacation homes, rental housing and trading up to more expensive properties. In some cases, this results in the taking on of high interest … Continue reading

What’s the problem with underground heating & oil tanks?


Underground heating oil tanks can pose many potential problems to both home buyers and sellers. They have been the source of many environmental problems such as contamination of surrounding soil and ground water. Leaks are generally caused by the rust inside underground tanks or by an electrical condition sparked by electric utility lines. Buyers should always have the tank inspected to make sure that it is structurally sound. Buyers who do not want an underground fuel tank can arrange for … Continue reading

What is radon?


A radioactive gas found in some homes that in sufficient concentrations can cause health problems.

What is Mello-Roos?


In purchasing your new home, your future monthly payments will be made up of principal, interest, real property taxes, and insurance. But what is the tax for the Community Facilities District, otherwise known as a Mello-Roos District? The Land Title Association (LTA) has answered some of the most commonly asked questions about the Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act. What is a Mello-Roos District? A Mello-Roos District is an area where a special tax is imposed on those real property owners within … Continue reading

What is a mechanic’s lien?


The Mechanics’ Lien law provides special protection to contractors, subcontractors, laborers and suppliers who furnish labor or materials to repair, remodel or build your home. If any of these people are not paid for the services or materials they have provided, your home may be subject to a mechanics’ lien and eventual sale in a legal proceeding to enforce the lien. This result can occur even when the homeowner has made full payment for the work of improvement. The mechanics’ … Continue reading

What are living trusts and why should I consider having one?


Estate planners often recommend Living Trusts as a viable option when contemplating the manner in which to hold title to real property. When a property is held in a Living Trust, title companies have particular requirements to facilitate the transaction. While not comprehensive, answers to many commonly asked questions are below. If you have questions that are not answered below, your title company representative may be able to assist you, however, one may wish to seek legal counsel. Who are … Continue reading

Should I be concerned about lead poisoning?


Lead poisoning is a serious problem that can lead to adverse health problems. In children, high levels of lead can cause damage to the brain and nervous system, behavioral and learning problems, slow growth, and hearing problems. In adults, lead poisoning can cause reproductive problems, high blood pressure, digestive problems, nerve disorder, memory and concentration problems, and muscle and joint pain. Lead poisoning is especially a problem in cities with older buildings. Typically, lead is present in the paint from … Continue reading

How do environmental issues impact me?


When purchasing a piece of property, it is important to be aware of any environmental liabilities associated with it. For example, you should find out if there are any registered underground tanks within several miles of the property, known contaminated properties in the neighborhood, or property owners who have been fined by the government for failing to meet environmental safety standards. Before, it took a costly site investigation to acquire this type of information, but now there are online environmental … Continue reading

What should I know about condominiums and PUD?


Builders, in an effort to combat the dual problem of an increasing population and a declining availability of prime land, are increasingly turning to common interest developments (CIDs) as a means to maximize land use and offer homebuyers convenient, affordable housing. The two most common forms of common interest developments in many states are Condominiums and Planned Unit Developments, often referred to as PUDs. The essential characteristics shared by these two forms of ownership are: Common ownership of private residential … Continue reading

How Should I Take Ownership of the Property I am Buying?


Real property can be incredibly valuable and the question of how parties can take ownership of their property is important. The form of ownership taken — the vesting of title — will determine who may sign various documents involving the property and future rights of the parties to the transaction. These rights involve such matters as: real property taxes, income taxes, inheritance and gift taxes, transferability of title and exposure to creditor’s claims. Also, how title is vested can have … Continue reading