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Lake County commercial real estate attorneysBy now, virtually every person in the United States has been affected in at least some way by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19. Here in Illinois, businesses that are considered non-essential have been closed for several weeks, and millions of people are staying home in compliance with the “shelter-in-place” order issued by Governor J.B. Pritzker last week.

There is no question that this public health crisis is already having a significant financial effect on the businesses and business owners who were forced to close. However, there is a specific group of people who have seemingly gone overlooked in news stories and reports. Many commercial landlords—or those who lease space to businesses—are facing a possible economic disaster of their own as they try to figure out their options during this unprecedented series of events.

Federal Foreclosure and Eviction Freeze Only Affects Residential Properties

On March 21, the federal government announced that it was instituting a freeze on all foreclosure and eviction proceedings. A number of federal agencies were affected by the announcement, but all of them are agencies focused on residential matters. The freeze on evictions and foreclosures was obviously good news for those who have not been able to work since the outbreak reached pandemic levels, but the government’s announcement did not directly affect commercial property owners.

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Posted on in Real Estate

Lake County real estate attorneysThere are countless reasons that you might wish to sell your home. Maybe you are moving to a new city, or maybe you have just had your offer accepted on a new home in a different part of Northern Illinois. You might also need to sell your house due to the circumstances surrounding your divorce. In many divorce cases, selling the marital home is part of the equitable division of marital property that is required under Illinois law. If you are selling your home due to a divorce, a qualified real estate attorney can help you do so while avoiding potentially costly mistakes.

Take Your Time

If you are like most people, you want the divorce process to be completed as quickly as possible while protecting your rights and best interests. Rushing the sale of your home, however, could cause problems. Selling a home involves many steps, and you will have a number of responsibilities before and during the transaction, and your soon-to-be ex-spouse will probably need to be involved as well. With the help of your attorney and your real estate broker, you should compile a checklist that includes everything that needs to be done, including but not limited to:

  • Arranging an appraisal
  • Inspection considerations
  • Necessary repairs
  • Listing the property
  • Scheduling open houses and other viewing appointments
  • Vetting offers from prospective buyers
  • Preparing and reviewing the transaction documents

Be patient, and only check things off once they completed to the satisfaction of everyone involved—especially your attorney.

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Lake County real estate attorneysThe prospect of buying the home of your dreams is an exciting idea for anyone. Thinking about the specific features you want your new home to have, fantasizing about how you will decorate your home, and considering all the ways that your new home will improve your life can understandably cause anyone to be eager. However, it is important to remember that buying a home will probably be one of the biggest financial decisions you ever make. Rushing this decision can lead to major mistakes that could cause significant financial problems for you down the road.

Purchasing a Home That You Cannot Realistically Afford

Your budget for your new home will largely be determined by your mortgage lender. The lender will determine the mortgage loan based on your credit score, tax documents, and other information. However, lenders sometimes approve homebuyers for larger loans than they can actually afford. Such approvals, in fact, were among the main causes of the housing market crash of 2008 and 2009. If you end up being approved for a mortgage loan that is larger than you anticipated, it may be best not to accept this larger amount. Financially overcommitting yourself in order to buy a more expensive home may lead to years of financial struggle and even foreclosure.

Underestimating the Costs of Being a Home Owner

If you are a first-time homebuyer who has previously rented, you may be shocked when you realize just how expensive owning a home actually can be. Most homeowners will tell you that maintenance costs, utility bills, property taxes, and insurance comprise a major chunk of their yearly expenses. Asking to view the home seller’s past utility bills and finding out about the property taxes and insurance costs in the neighborhood will give you a better estimate of these costs.

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Lake County real estate attorneysIf you are ready to buy your first home, congratulations! Being a homeowner comes with numerous benefits, but also many serious responsibilities. Your home will probably be the biggest financial investment you ever make, so it is essential to be aware of the obstacles you may experience in the home-buying process. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or you are currently a homeowner interested in buying a new home, there are a variety of ways that a real estate lawyer can help you.

Limitations of Real Estate Agents

When someone prepares to buy a home, they may assume that the only professional they will need to consult with is a real estate agent or broker. A real estate agent can offer helpful support and advice on a variety of issues, however, his or her guidance alone is not enough to ensure the home-buying process goes as smoothly as it should.

One major limitation that real estate agents have is that they cannot offer guidance regarding any legal issues that arise during the purchase. Not only do real estate agents generally lack the legal knowledge and education needed to give quality advice about legal issues, doing so can actually threaten their broker’s license. A lawyer will be aware of the federal statutes, state laws, local ordinances, and case-specific regulations you will need to comply with in order to avoid legal problems with your new home.

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Libertyville real estate attorneysThere is no question that buying a home can be an exhilarating venture. However, it is also a process you should not take lightly. It is important that you do not rush the selection process and that you ensure you are making an informed decision. For help with home purchase contracts and trustworthy legal guidance throughout the home-buying process, contact an experienced real estate attorney. While you are house-hunting, make sure to consider all of the relevant factors. Keep a watchful eye out for the following red flags that could signal that the home you are considering is not the right option for you.

The Owner Will Not Cooperate with the Inspection Process

Getting a home inspection when you are considering buying a new home is essential. There may be major issues with the roof, water damage that is concealed by wallpaper or paint, faulty wiring, plumbing issues, and other problems which are not noticeable without a proper inspection. If the homeowner seems hesitant to allow an inspection or does not want you to use your own inspector, this could be a sign that he or she is trying to hide something.

Missing Permits for Major Work Done to the Home

When you are considering a home, ask to look over the Report of Residential Building Record or the “3R” report. This report should include the permits issued for any major renovations or additions that were done to the home since the home was built. If there has been significant work done to the home and there is no record of it, this could mean that the work was not done to code. It could also mean that the renovations were poorly executed or are now unsafe.

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