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IL real estate lawyerIf you are a first-time homebuyer, there are many legal terms with which you may not be familiar. In residential real estate terms, a deed is a document that proves the transfer of a title of a specific property from one individual to another. A title is the legal right to use and alter the property if the owner so chooses. With a title, the owner can also transfer interest or any portion to others through the deed, which represents the right of the owner to claim the property. The main difference is the title describes or names the primary holder of the property, whereas the deed is the official legal document that is filed.

The Importance of a Title

There is an old saying, “What is in a title?” Basically, title is the legal term that refers to ownership of something. It may be helpful to think of the word “entitle,” which means having ownership or control over something. In real estate, that would be property. A title is a very important element in residential real estate transactions. When a person holds a title to a home, they possess the legal rights, ownership control, and responsibility of that house. Titles can be held by a single person or by two or more individuals, such as a married couple or an adult and his or her parents. It is important to note that titles can also be held by corporations, organizations, and trusts where all the involved parties share certain ownership rights.

Details of the Deed

A deed is the actual paperwork that is signed by someone who is selling or transferring over the rights to their property, and this person is typically known as the grantor. The person buying or taking possession of the home is referred to as the grantee. The deed includes the names of the property’s seller and the buyer, and the seller must sign it to confirm the transfer of ownership.

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IL real estate lawyerCommercial and residential real estate matters can be complicated since they often involve a lot of paperwork and legal terminology. However, it is important to understand all of the terms to avoid losing time or money. One such real estate issue many people may not be familiar with is a mechanic’s lien, which is a legal document that is filed against a house or other similar type of property. Mechanic’s liens are a means by which subcontractors and suppliers can seek payment for upgrades or enhancements that were performed on a property if they are not getting paid per the terms of their contracts.

Making Home Improvements

Homeowners can face a mechanic’s lien even if they do not miss repair or home improvement payments. For instance, if you have your kitchen remodeled and the contractor does not pay the material supplier, that individual or company can put a lien against your house as a way of recovering the money they are owed. You are then responsible for paying any subcontractors, suppliers, or workers for their labor (time) and materials.

Many homeowners do not know that even if they already paid a contractor for work, if the other parties or tradesmen involved in the project are not paid by the main contractor, the subcontractors can come after the property on which the work was performed, such as a house. Ultimately, if you own a home, you may be required to pay for the work a second time, or worst-case scenario, you may have to sell your house if you cannot afford these extra costs.

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IL real estate lawyerA commercial lease agreement is a written contract used to rent an office, retail, or industrial space. This legally binding document outlines the terms and conditions associated with renting the space. These types of leases are generally more involved than a residential lease because commercial properties cost more to maintain. The contract is typically between a party who owns a commercial property (landlord) and a tenant who rents the property or building space in order to operate a business, usually in the retail, office, or industrial fields. Per Illinois real estate law, there are certain issues that must be addressed in a commercial lease agreement in order for it to be valid.

Finding the Right Fit for Your Business

Commercial leases are important since they provide income for the property owner or landlord and also provides the business owner with a safe and secure place in which to do business. In addition, these agreements establish rules for how the business can be conducted, as well as the rights and responsibilities of each party. Specific details about what kind of business will be conducted should be clearly stated so as to avoid any illegal activity. Standard residential leases usually last one or two years, while a commercial lease can be 10 years or more, especially if the business is thriving.

Similar to other states, Illinois has three main types of commercial leases:

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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.

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Wheaton, IL real estate attorneysThere are a number of reasons that you may want to purchase a home that is being sold by the owner. It could be that the property has everything you have been looking for, or it could simply be a desire to complete an expedient purchase. Whatever the case, there are some risks that you should be aware of, and some factors you should consider, when purchasing a "for sale by owner" (FSBO) property. These risks and factors - and how you can effectively manage them - could prove to be crucial.

You May Have to Do Some Leg Work

Real estate agents are paid (and trained) to address many details for both the buyer and the seller. A FSBO owner, though interested in selling their property, does not have the same knowledge or experience, which means they may fail to provide you with important information. This oversight may not necessarily be intentional, but it is something you should be aware of. Furthermore, FSBO owners may lack the organizational skills needed to complete paperwork in a timely manner.

Be prepared for possible delays and never agree to anything until you have done your homework. At the very least, this should include an investigation on any previous insurance claims filed on the home, a market analysis of the area, research on zoning details and specific details of the property, and an experienced real estate attorney who can protect your interests by examining the contract and other details of the transaction.

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