A real estate lawyer performs numerous functions within the rubric of real estate law. In fact, though we at Provident Law provide a full slate of real estate law services, there are many in this area of law who sub-specialize. And it’s important to get a real estate lawyer involved in a transaction well before it occurs—because the concept of land ownership is defined almost entirely by specific terms of art with which a layperson may be unfamiliar.
It may seem obvious to most what real estate law is, or what it should be, but when people stop to think about it often they realize that they don’t know the whole story. First things first: “real estate,” or “real property,” refers to land and buildings (or edifices) that sit on it. Real estate law, therefore, is the set of laws and customs governing who may live on, work on, use, or pass across a particular plot of land or building, and, further, who may sell or buy it, and under what conditions.
In today’s litigious culture, you would think it’s enough for property owners to worry just about risks arising from their own conduct – for example, slip and fall cases, environmental hazards, trespass issues, etc. Do owners really need to worry also about lawsuits because of their tenant’s conduct? Recent trends in case law suggest the answer is yes.
When Realtor.com released its report last spring on the burgeoning state of the “under $200,000” market, one thing was clear: anyone looking to find a starter home in the current market may have to settle for (or revel in—depending on one’s perspective) a home that can be purchased for well short of what a home in good condition would cost: a fixer-upper.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was experienced by many investors in the real estate industry as a confounding law whose rules and incentives had an uncertain effect on the taxes they would be required to pay. Things got so confusing that the IRS saw need to clarify how, in particular, the 20 percent pass-through deduction would affect such investors.
A major piece of news in the housing sector of late has been a plan proposed by President Trump to privatize the major government-sponsored entities (GSEs) in the marketplace—Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These entities, which were brought under government conservatorship in 2008 with a $191.5 billion bailout as a response to the housing crisis, have gone from being sources of concern in the market a decade ago to being quite profitable. But what might the effect on privatization be on the major modern form of home financing in the American landscape: the 30-year mortgage?
Between September 2018 and February 2019 we saw a moderate gain in home inventory prior to home shopping season, following a solid 44 months of consecutive inventory decreases. Some speculated that this perhaps meant that the number of people choosing to list their homes had at last begun to rise.
Unfortunately, this was not apparently a result of new listings going on the market—which would have indicated new sellers. Rather, the key metric at that time was that buyer demand had begun to fall off a bit due to a sustained period of rapid price growth, which resulted in a mild case of “buyer burnout” leaving housing listings on the market longer. An effect of this was a slight softening in the rise of housing prices.
The amount of mortgage debt in the United States is surprisingly low. Though the raw number of outstanding mortgages increased during the second quarter of 2019 to reach beyond the level met at the peak prior to the so-called Great Recession, according to the Federal Reserve of New York the number of outstanding mortgages relative to home values (not including home equity lines of credit) was a lower percentage of the whole than in 2009, when it reached a high of 54.7 percent. Indeed, in the first quarter of 2019 this number hovered at just around 35.4 percent. Why should this be the case, particularly when one considers the rather recent ramping-up of real estate values throughout the nation (including in the area surrounding Phoenix)?
The Arizona Supreme Court recently promulgated new rules for eviction actions. Per the new rules, before proceeding with an eviction action, landlords must serve tenants with not only the Complaint and Summons, but also with a copy of the controlling lease, any addenda to the lease, plus a written accounting of all rent payments for the prior six months. If the above documents are not properly served on the tenant, the tenant will have grounds to dismiss the Complaint for failing to comply with Rule 5, Arizona Rules of Procedure for Eviction Actions. The new law hopes to streamline evictions and help the parties understand early in the process what contract controls the dispute and what monies are owing. Read More
Join us Friday, September 27th from 9:00am – 12:30pm for our Short-Term Leases Seminar
At this seminar, attendees will gain an understanding of the landlord-tenant act, Arizona innkeeper statutes, homeowner association regulations and how they affect the short-term lease. Local industry experts will discuss important contract terms unique to vacation rental agreements and key differences between standard residential lease agreements and vacation rental agreements.
You won’t want to miss this seminar! Read More