As I mentioned in my last blog, I sat down with Jamie Abrams, Esq to discuss the value of using a real estate attorney in any real estate transaction; whether buying or selling a coop, condo, house, purchasing land. Jamie has over 20 years experience in real estate law and joined as partner of Bass and Abrams P.C. in 1994.
As Part II of our meeting, I thought it would be interesting to explore the type of scenarios that Jamie has come across over the years, both from a sellers side as well as the buyers side.
1) Jamie was representing a buyer who was purchasing a home in a subdivision in Putnam County. There was an original farmhouse on this historic dirt road with lots of acreage and kept wetlands. The owner decided to sell parcels and it became subdivided and recorded with the county. As part of the requirements to build on these 3-4 lots, the buyers had to only use natural materials, could only paint in neutral tones for house and roofing. Garbage had to be put at curbside the night before, and removed in the morning shortly after being picked up. Fencing had to be approved around the property and lights could not shine at neighbors. Yes, people did purchase the properties and build on them.
This original owner moved to Mexico after selling their farmhouse to another buyer, but the laws still were intact. Now, Jamie’s buyer wants to put in a pool and it was unclear according to the original rules whether they could and what they could do in terms of fencing. Can the person in the house make a decision now that original owner is gone? So the realtor and attorneys step in and approach each of the owners of the other three houses. They re-wrote the rules and each signed off on them. Now this gave the buyer the ability to put in his pool and fence it in!
2) Buyer 2 - There was a client that was buying a weekend house up in Greene County and lived in Brooklyn. He found a house that was surrounded by farms. He paid for a survey to insure what he was buying. He found there were all kind of “funny” lines through the survey. It turned out there was al electric fence put up by one of the farmers to keep his cows and horses from roaming onto others property, but the electric fence was on the buyers property. The buyer told Jamie that he loved seeing the horses and cows and didn’t mind! But, she said what happens when you are here 20 years, you have not had a contract written up, and they are able to claim that property as theirs. What happens if a cow comes onto your property and destroys things? So, they had a contract written up between the farmers and the buyer that the buyer is aware that the fencing is there and in order to consent to having it there, the farmers must totally take care of the animals and replace the fence if it breaks. Also, if it becomes cumbersome, the buyer could give 3 months notice the release the permission to have it there and have it removed.
3) Buyer 3 - Similar survey situation in Westchester County where they found that owner of the house the buyer wanted had put in a pool house and tools that was partly on their neighbors property. Since this was a small piece of property (he was on 3 acres), they made up deeds which gave the same amount of property to the neighbor at the beginning of the property line. In other words, exchanged pieces of land!
4) Seller situation - A title search was done on a house that was being sold. It was found that there were 2 mortgages on record for the property. The sellers said they did not have 2 mortgages. In researching it, they had a second house in Florida. When they went to refinance, Bank B in Florida had put the mortgage on the first house up here, rather than Florida. A real estate attorney had to be contracted in Florida and Jamie and this attorney had to get the mortgage off of the New York house and back to the bank in Florida to satisfy the title search.
There were other stories to be told, but this gives you an idea that real estate attorneys don’t just fill out the paperwork and come to the closing. They have to think of creative ways to solve your transactions to have a successful closing.
Author:Thomas Ricapito Phone: 914-804-3048 Dated: August 2nd 2012 Views: 3,782 About Thomas: I got into real estate sales by accident in 2006. At the time, I recently earned a Bachelor's Degre...
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