What to Do if You Suspect Appraisal Fraud

Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you will ever make. To ensure that you pay fair market value, an appraiser will inspect the property and complete a report that includes the amount they believe the property to be worth. This report is then used to help you decide whether to buy it. Your mortgage lender will also review the appraiser’s feedback to determine whether to issue you a mortgage. Although Read More

Is it a Good Idea to Place Your Home in a Trust?

A revocable or irrevocable living trust is one of the most common estate-planning documents in use today, second only, perhaps, to a Last Will and Testament. Like a Will, a trust can distribute certain assets to your heirs upon your passing. There are some situations, though, where it makes more sense to place an asset into a trust instead of designating in it your Will.  For larger assets, like real estate, it Read More

Living Will or Health Care Surrogate: Which Do You Need?

With the impressive amount of modern advancements and innovations in medical technology, the need for living Wills and health care surrogacy documents has increased dramatically. This is an especially sensitive and delicate area of estate planning, but it is still vitally important for avoiding long, protracted, and painful fights in court. This blog will provide a general overview of the two documents available to Read More

5 Tips for Making an Offer on a House

COVID-19 has made for an interesting housing market the past few months, and the only thing certain in the near future is that uncertainty will continue to reign. That said, there are many areas in Florida and the rest of the country that can be considered a buyer’s market. In these conditions, you may have to pull out all the stops to snag your dream home. This blog will lay out some tips for making the best offer Read More

Home Inspections vs. Home Appraisals

If you are officially on the hunt for your dream home, you will be spending a significant amount of time in the near future on various fact-finding missions. You have an area and house size you are looking for; now, you just have to learn all about each house you visit and determine whether it checks enough of your boxes.  A crucial aspect of this fact-finding mission is conducting evaluations of your house. Two Read More

Where To Start With Your Estate Plan

If you are among the majority of American adults who have not done anything to create an estate plan for themselves, don’t feel bad at all! Planning for your eventual demise is an uncomfortable thought for most people, and there is a prevailing attitude that estate planning is only for the wealthy. That is not true for reasons we will cover in this blog, which is intended to act as a soft introduction to estate Read More

Locating Properties in Probate

Properties that are tied up in probate are especially attractive to potential buyers due to their price tag. Beware, though: closing on a probate property will take a while. Six months is a rough estimate of the minimum amount of time it will take for the sale to be completed, but don’t be surprised if the process takes well over a year. How Does  Property Become Probated? When someone dies without designating Read More

3 Things to Consider When Purchasing an “As-Is” Home

What is an “As-Is” Home? In real estate, buying or selling a home “as-is” means the current occupants or owners do not intend to make any repairs or renovations to the structure before ownership changes hands. Agreeing to this provision as purchasers means the sellers have no obligations to make any improvements. Often, buyers will request an inspection for fact-finding purposes only before agreeing to purchase Read More

A Brief Overview of the Far Bar Contract

Are you buying or selling real estate in Florida? If so, you have probably heard of the Far Bar contract. This form is used throughout the state for real estate transactions. In fact, it is the most commonly used real estate contract in Florida. To understand what a Far Bar contract is, the first step is understanding that its name actually contains an acronym. “FAR” stands for the Florida Association of Realtors Read More

Florida Real Estate Law: The 1031 Exchange

Tax-deferment strategies allow investors to defer state capital gains and recaptured depreciation taxes. Florida is the ideal place for a 1031 exchange; its strong tourism industry makes it an excellent place to own a vacation rental or investment property. To benefit from a 1031 exchange, you have to meet certain requirements and timelines. What Is a 1031 Exchange? Under section 1031 of the IRS Code, an Read More