How to Develop a Successful Business Idea

IL business attorney, Illinois business lawyerMost of us, at some point or another, have had those fleeting thoughts about a product or service that could serve as the foundation for a new business. On the other hand, maybe you have watched another company offer goods and services while knowing that you could do it better. So how does one go from the “idea” phase to the “action” phase of starting the actual business based on the idea? There are, of course, many steps, but the first important one is to determine whether or not the idea is truly marketable.

What Is Your Idea?

Not every business idea is going to grow into the next Microsoft or Google, and that is okay. A successful service or product is not necessarily going to break records or reshape the world as we know it. In order to be profitable, your idea simply needs to solve some type of problem for those you intend to reach.

With that in mind, you need to think about what your idea actually is. Is it a physical item that you intend to manufacture and sell? Is it an improvement on an existing product? Or perhaps, it is a service that you expect to provide for your clients in exchange for payment. No matter what you have in mind, a clear understanding of the idea is critical.

Learn as Much as You Can

Before you launch your business, you will need to research the viability of your idea and how it might fit into the current economic landscape. For some people, industry reports and formal market research studies are appropriate, but it is important to look at more than numbers. You should also talk extensively with friends, family members, and trusted business associates regarding your idea. Be sure to look beyond the friendly and supportive comments and to hear what they are saying about whether they would spend money on your idea. If you want a forum with fewer personal entanglements, there are thousands of message boards and other resources available online where entrepreneurs from all over the world discuss ideas and share their perspectives.

Keep Yourself Organized

By its very nature, an idea is nebulous, and even if you have jotted down a few notes, there are many factors that you will need to consider as you take your idea from a concept to a business plan. As early as you can in the planning process, starting writing things down. Make a list of potential advantages and disadvantages, and keep track of any challenges or opportunities that arise along the way. These records will serve as the basis of your business plan, even if you need to put the idea on hold for a time and you decide to come back to it later.

Work With a Wheaton Business Lawyer

If you have a possible idea for a new business, it is never too early to speak with an experienced DuPage County business law attorney from Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC. Our team will provide the guidance you need and help you build your new venture from the ground up. Call 630-665-2500 for a confidential consultation today.

 

Sources:

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/225513

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2019/10/30/nine-ways-to-figure-out-if-you-have-a-winning-business-idea/

What You Need to Know About Buying an REO Property in 2020

IL real estate attorney, Illinois real estate lawyer, If you are trying to find a new home at a good price, you might have family and friends mentioning that you try to find a foreclosure property. In theory, this is not a bad idea. A home that is for sale because the current owner defaulted on his or her mortgage could sell for far below market value. In the wake of COVID-19, however, foreclosures have all but stopped, thanks largely to a moratorium put in place on foreclosures on federally insured mortgages. Private lenders have mostly followed suit, which means that there are probably not many foreclosure properties available. The good news is that you may have another option for finding a good value: a real estate owned home, more commonly known as an REO property.

What Is an REO Property?

When a home is foreclosed on due to default on the mortgage, the lender (or current holder of the mortgage loan) will eventually seize the home and attempt to sell it. This sale usually takes place at a public auction. In most cases, a foreclosure auction does not give participants the opportunity to see the property or inspect the home ahead of time. This means that bidders are effectively making offers on a property about which they know very little. Additionally, the highest bidder is usually required to pay cash for the property at the time of the auction. Financing is uncommon at foreclosure auctions.

With all of this in mind, some foreclosure auctions do not result in the sale of the home. If the property does not sell, it still belongs to the bank or lender. At this point, the home is considered real estate owned or REO.

Buying an REO Home

Once a property becomes REO, the bank will usually start to take steps to sell the home. After all, the lender already lost money on the defaulted mortgage, so there is a vested interest in making some of that money back. An REO transaction is handled in much the same way as a standard real estate deal. The bank may enlist the help of a real estate agent to get the home listed on the “normal” listings. Prospective buyers can see the home and have it inspected. They can also make regular offers and arrange financing instead of having to frantically outbid other buyers at the auction.

Most REO properties are sold “as is,” which means that any repairs that need to be done will usually be the buyer’s responsibility. The selling lender is unlikely to arrange for the repairs or to drop the price to account for them. Therefore, it is advisable to include a contingency clause with your offer that gives the option of canceling the deal if the inspection reveals that the repair bill will be more than you can handle.

Why an REO Property Might Work Now

As the Chicago region and the rest of the country slowly starts to open back up again amidst concerns regarding COVID-19, the real estate market has suddenly flooded with people looking to buy a new home. In fact, the influx of prospective buyers has, by most accounts, tilted the market pretty substantially in favor of those with homes to sell. It can be tough to buy a home in a “seller’s market,” as prices are often higher, and sellers are less willing to include extra considerations in the deal compared to sale in a “buyer’s market.”

While there are significantly fewer foreclosures in process right now, a seller’s market gives lenders the incentive to get their REO properties listed and up for sale. REO properties are still typically priced on the lower end of the price range for comparable listings, so you might be able to find a great deal even in a seller’s market.

Call a Wheaton Real Estate Lawyer for Guidance

As things start to get back to some semblance of normal in the wake of COVID-19, lenders will be seeking to move REO homes as quickly as they can. While deals are out there, the process of buying an REO property can be complex. Contact an experienced DuPage County residential real estate attorney to get the help you need. Call 630-665-2500 for a confidential consultation at Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC today.

 

Sources:

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/realestateowned.asp

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesrealestatecouncil/2020/09/21/a-newfound-reality-buyers-currently-outnumber-sellers-in-housing-market/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/09/10/home-prices-reach-record-high/

What You Should Know About Wills and Living Trusts

Illinois estate planning attorney, Illinois will lawyer, IL trust attorney, The process of estate planning can be challenging, depending on the size and complexity of your estate and what you want done with your assets upon your death. Proper estate planning requires a level of knowledge of the various tools, methods, and strategies that are often employed. For example, it is important to understand the differences between a will and a living trust and how those differences could affect your heirs. It is also a good idea to work closely with a qualified lawyer who can provide assistance in meeting your estate planning needs.

What Is a Will?

At its most basic, a will is a legal document that allows you to specify how your assets and possessions are to be distributed. A will can also name a legal guardian for any minor children. An important characteristic of a will is that it is a revocable and amendable document that you can control until your death. It can be updated, altered, or changed to accommodate changing situations, such as the death of an heir or divorce. Keep in mind, however, that there are some major limitations with a will—particularly when it comes to the amount of control you have over your estate after your death. The tax consequences for your heirs may also be significant if your estate plan consists only of a will.

What Is a Living Trust?

Living trusts are generally more complex than wills are, but they offer you more control over your estate after death. A living trust also gives you more control over how your estate is structured prior to your death. For example, you can be the trustee of your own estate and then plan for a successor after death or incapacitation, or you can simply name another individual as the trustee from the start. Like a will, a revocable living trust can be amended, updated, or revoked for as long as the creator of the trust is alive.

Compared to a will, a living trust also provides more privacy regarding the disbursement of your estate, and, in the case of larger estates, it can reduce the tax load for your heirs. Keep in mind, however, that living trusts must be properly funded, and they can be more expensive to set up initially. Still, for those with large, complex, or potentially problematic estates, the cost of a living trust may be well worth the peace of mind the trust can provide.

Contact a Wheaton Wills and Trusts Lawyer

If you have questions about wills, trusts, or any other estate planning tool, the team at Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC is ready and willing to help you. Call 630-665-2500 to schedule a confidential consultation with one of our experienced DuPage County estate planning attorneys today. We will work with you in finding the answers you need and the security you and your family deserve.

 

Source:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2104&ChapterID=60

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=4001&ChapterID=61