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Libertyville real estate attorneysAs the country slowly begins to open back up in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, many individuals and families will soon be in the market for a new home. In fact, the spring season is usually one of the busiest times of the year for the real estate industry, and this year is not likely to be an exception.

It is not uncommon for a person to buy a home without the help of a real estate attorney. However, there is value in hiring one to help with your transaction. This is especially true if you run into legal issues along the way. It is important to understand how a real estate attorney can help and when you should absolutely have one on your side.

When a Real Estate Attorney is Necessary

If the property you are purchasing has unique issues, such as a pool, a fence, or other structures that could cause problems with local zoning and building codes, an attorney can help to ensure everything was built according to code and with the proper permits. An attorney can also help ensure that property lines have been adhered to when structures are near property lines. You should certainly hire an attorney if you have any plans to build or expand on the existing structures. Doing so can help ensure that any plans for the house are in compliance with all applicable local zoning laws.

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Lake County real estate lawyersIf you are ready to sell your home, you may have several questions and concerns including whether or not you should employ the assistance of a real estate agent. Selling a home is a major undertaking that is full of potential complications, but it is possible to sell your home without the help of an agent. There are both advantages and disadvantages associated with selling a home “for sale by owner” or FSBO. While you avoid paying a listing agent’s commission, you also incur major responsibilities. According to one study, only about ten percent of people selling their homes complete the sale without assistance from a real estate agent. If you want to learn more about your options when selling your home, an experienced real estate lawyer can be a tremendous resource.

What Are the Pros and Cons of an FSBO Sale?

When you sell your home without input and guidance from a real estate agent, you gain total control over the sale. This means that you get to determine the listing price, the selling strategy, and the details on the listing. You will also be in charge of organizing open houses or tours of your home. For many, this level of control is appealing. Individuals who sell their homes on their own also avoid paying the listing agent’s three percent commission fee.  

On the other hand, selling your home without help from an agent can be complicated and time-consuming. Many sellers who attempt an FSBO sale eventually realize that they do not have the marketing expertise or negotiation skills necessary to maximize profits from the sale of their home. It can also be very challenging to ensure that your listing is actually viewed by potential buyers.

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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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