850.610.7471 Shalimar
850.610.4585 Crestview

Proudly Serving Florida’s Emerald Coast

Since 1978

Why Hire Us? How Can We Help You? Schedule a Consultation

Latest Blog Posts By Category

  • Arbitration

    The latest posts for Arbitration are listed below.
    • Contracts 101; Avoid Arbitration

      There are two rules in negotiating any contract. The first, before you look at a form or draft, is to make a list of the deal points that are essential to you. The second is to share that list with your lawyer, up front. In a real estate contract your Realtor and your lawyer will work together, but regardless of the nature of the agreement, these two steps will save time and money, and the quality ...
    • Arbitration, Or Not

      Every printed form real estate contract calls for mediation, and if it fails, arbitration. The standard bromide to explain the push to arbitrate is that courts take a long time, cost a lot of money, and the only one who makes money in a court proceeding is the lawyer. This article asks the question whether that explanation is really true, and whose goose gets cooked by arbitration? The procedures ...

    Asset Protection

    The latest posts for Asset Protection are listed below.
    • Mostly Unwanted Advice for "short-sellers" and for Owners of Property in Foreclosure

      I can’t say “don’t get there”, because some have no choice, and some will be in foreclosure or become short-sellers not by choice but by other considerations that are just as compelling. Whichever is true, don’t rely on advice someone else pays for. Sometimes a lawyer can’t help. There’s enough at stake that I always advise hiring your own lawyer. But even if your lawyer can’t help, he or she will ...
    • How Much Damage Can One Gas Line Cause?

      Walton and Okaloosa Counties are about to be traversed, once again, by a natural gas pipeline to be built across the north end of both counties. This pipeline will be the same in character, but different in degree from two other gas lines that already run the same path. The others are smaller, with less pressure, and less content running through the pipe. Owners in both counties have been offered ...
    • The Underside Of Reverse Mortgages

      Because I question my credentials as a world observer, I have been slow to write about reverse mortgages. Even though they use traditional legal theory, they reverse traditional economic thought in the sense that they advance a loan without an expectation that the loan be repaid until the borrower dies. Accumulated equity in real estate is mortgaged, usually in response to glitzy ads telling us ...

    Associations

    The latest posts for Associations are listed below.
    • You Will Never Have Enough!

      Of What Commodity Can It Truly Be Said, “You Will Never Have Enough”? This article has been written 3 times. The first draft talks about “Stand Your Ground Law”, and the second about life in a Florida high rise condominium. Both articles are on the cutting room floor, having been squeezed out by the urgency of the message presented here. Before I begin, let me say thanks, again to my friends in ...
    • Riddle Me This: When Can A House Never Be A Home?

      A townhouse in Florida is a unit in a building with one or more floors located on a parcel of land in which fee simple title to the land is conveyed with each unit. The unit is like a slice of bread in a loaf. It differs from a condominium, although often they look exactly alike. A townhouse is most often documented under Chapter 720 of the Florida Statutes. A condominium normally has no land ...
    • Hell in a Very Small Space

      Because some zoning ordinances permit a greater number of condominium units per acre than townhouses, even though there is no structural difference, several years ago developers rushed to use small shards of property within city blocks to build tiny condominiums. My plea to planning officials everywhere is that the laws, regulations, and personalities involved in a condominium are so complex that ...

    Business Law

    The latest posts for Business Law are listed below.
    • Careful What You Say, Someone May Believe You

      These words are about something not likely to do you any good – unless you are among those who write contracts for a living, or read them- and then only if the only thing on TV is the “Kardashians”. But if you have enough wine for something not often contemplated, this is for you. I’ve improved my talent for reading non-verbal clues. I’m now up to about 15% accuracy in deciphering what you really ...
    • What is a "Non-Profit"?

      The law allows any one person to set up a non-profit corporation. I write this article because of the wide-spread misunderstanding about what “non-profit” really means. I can’t tell you the number of contributions made to non-profits because of a high-sounding name that causes people to think the company is religious, charitable, or educational. The internet seems to have made the problem even ...
    • When Should You File a Lawsuit?

      [This month’s article is colored by having just finished two of the best written novels I’ve read in many years. One is The Rent Collector , by Cameron Wright. The other is Mary Coin , by Marisa Silver. Both talk about real estate in a broad sense, but more, by far, about human existence in markets none of us ever want to know. The books are available at a wonderful little book store in Niceville ...

    Closings

    The latest posts for Closings are listed below.
    • How are Real Estate Closings Like a Game of Poker?

      A buyer takes title to commercial property with an underground gas main running through the middle. Neither the buyer nor his mortgage company had any idea that the property was simply unbuildable. Both lost hundreds of thousands of dollars. How would something like this happen? Your real estate contract calls for a title commitment to be issued relatively soon after signing the contract – usually ...
    • How Do You Like Your Eggs?

      Last week I went to the Coffee Shoppe for breakfast. I hadn’t been there in years and had to wait in line. While I was waiting I read a book and I was OK with waiting (My breakfast was worth the wait, by the way). I then began to imagine what would have happened if several more customers had shown up at the same time. Our society is accustomed to being served now . We don’t wait well. What if I ...
    • What We Do Is Who We Are

      One day in a certain place a real estate closing happened. This story is about what went wrong in that closing, why it matters who closes your purchase, and about who is at risk when a closing goes wrong. The closing is scheduled for 9:00. At that hour everything is laid out on the table for closing, but a boundary survey has not been received. The property to be conveyed is acreage located at the ...

    Contracts

    The latest posts for Contracts are listed below.
    • If a Lawyer can't help his friend, who can he help?

      By now you know the setting for this question. Robert owns a parcel which he uses for both residential and commercial purposes. The buildings have serious structural deficiencies that are not obvious to one not familiar with the property, but that Robert and his friends know very well. His circle of friends includes a real estate broker and a lawyer. Robert wants to sell the property to get away ...
    • What Must A Realtor Disclose, And Why?

      Remember from my last article that the law provides that a seller of Residential Property must disclose unknown defects to a purchaser. The facts were that Robert lives on a parcel that has a small bait and tackle shop and his residence, located on the River. Robert has lived and worked on the property for many years. You are his Realtor, and has been your friend for many years. He has grown tired ...
    • Your Everyday, Garden Variety, Riddle for Lawyers

      Robert lives on a parcel that has a small bait and tackle shop and his separate residence, located on the Choctawhatchee River. Robert has lived and worked on the property for many years, and has been your friend for many years. He has grown tired of resurrecting the property annually because the river floods, damaging both buildings and the land. He does such a good job repairing the damage that ...

    Deeds

    The latest posts for Deeds are listed below.
    • A Deed Not For the Birds

      Some of you may be familiar with a document called a “Ladybird Deed,” and although the topic of deeds may not be as exciting as discussing the newest episode of Game of Thrones , I encourage you to read on because this is one powerful little document that can save time and money. Most people have heard the term “Quit Claim Deed” which (stated briefly) is a deed used to add or remove someone from ...

    Disclosure

    The latest posts for Disclosure are listed below.
    • If a Lawyer can't help his friend, who can he help?

      By now you know the setting for this question. Robert owns a parcel which he uses for both residential and commercial purposes. The buildings have serious structural deficiencies that are not obvious to one not familiar with the property, but that Robert and his friends know very well. His circle of friends includes a real estate broker and a lawyer. Robert wants to sell the property to get away ...
    • What Must A Realtor Disclose, And Why?

      Remember from my last article that the law provides that a seller of Residential Property must disclose unknown defects to a purchaser. The facts were that Robert lives on a parcel that has a small bait and tackle shop and his residence, located on the River. Robert has lived and worked on the property for many years. You are his Realtor, and has been your friend for many years. He has grown tired ...
    • Your Everyday, Garden Variety, Riddle for Lawyers

      Robert lives on a parcel that has a small bait and tackle shop and his separate residence, located on the Choctawhatchee River. Robert has lived and worked on the property for many years, and has been your friend for many years. He has grown tired of resurrecting the property annually because the river floods, damaging both buildings and the land. He does such a good job repairing the damage that ...

    Divorce

    The latest posts for Divorce are listed below.
    • Silver Award-Winning Law Firm in Emerald Coast, FL

      The Finest on the Emerald Coast Award is a prestigious ranking system for all of the best businesses in Emerald Coast, FL—and we at Chesser & Barr, P.A. are incredibly proud to have won Silver out of the law firms in this year’s contest! We take this accolade seriously, and it is thanks to our hard work, dedication, and passion that we owe this great accomplishment. Since this award is distributed ...
    • Common Divorce Myths

      Experiencing a divorce is difficult to handle alone, which is why most people tend to rely on their support system comprised of friends and family for guidance and strength. However, it is imperative to understand common myths and misconceptions related to divorce that people believe are the absolute truths. The following are common divorce myths that your friend or family member may believe: The ...
    • Discussing Your Divorce with Your Children

      Divorce is a stressful and emotionally draining experience for all parties involved, especially if children are part of the family. Each parent must undergo a complicated and contested legal process while raising and comforting the kids. Enduring a divorce with children is an arduous challenge. However, not only does talking to your children about divorce help them prepare for a new chapter in ...

    Easements

    The latest posts for Easements are listed below.
    • How Much Damage Can One Gas Line Cause?

      Walton and Okaloosa Counties are about to be traversed, once again, by a natural gas pipeline to be built across the north end of both counties. This pipeline will be the same in character, but different in degree from two other gas lines that already run the same path. The others are smaller, with less pressure, and less content running through the pipe. Owners in both counties have been offered ...

    Family Law

    The latest posts for Family Law are listed below.
    • The Dangers of Using Social Media During a Divorce

      Social media is everywhere these days and more adults than ever are flocking to these platforms, from Facebook to Instagram, to share some of the most intimate details of their lives. While this might be a fun way to stay connected with friends and family, it can do quite a bit of damage during a divorce. Everything you share can be forged into the perfect weapon to be used against you in court. ...
    • Retroactive Child Support

      In Florida, both parents are legally responsible for supporting their minor children. In some cases, when a divorce might have dragged on for a prolonged amount of time, it is possible that the finalized child support order might reflect payments that are designated as retroactive. It is important to note that these retroactive payments are not considered past due, though they can become past due ...
    • Discussing Your Divorce with Your Children

      Divorce is a stressful and emotionally draining experience for all parties involved, especially if children are part of the family. Each parent must undergo a complicated and contested legal process while raising and comforting the kids. Enduring a divorce with children is an arduous challenge. However, not only does talking to your children about divorce help them prepare for a new chapter in ...

    Investment

    The latest posts for Investment are listed below.
    • Florida Real Estate Questions.com

      Like Rip Van Winkle, I have woken up, and have returned to these pages to say the things I had previously forgotten to say. This time I have company. I shall bring with me those whom I met while sleeping. To begin, my long time partner and friend, Harry Barr, though mostly retired, still practices in the firm. The firm is still Chesser and Barr, P.A., but his ownership place in the firm has been ...
    • Mostly Unwanted Advice for "short-sellers" and for Owners of Property in Foreclosure

      I can’t say “don’t get there”, because some have no choice, and some will be in foreclosure or become short-sellers not by choice but by other considerations that are just as compelling. Whichever is true, don’t rely on advice someone else pays for. Sometimes a lawyer can’t help. There’s enough at stake that I always advise hiring your own lawyer. But even if your lawyer can’t help, he or she will ...
    • If You Build A House, Build It Well

      Not many lawyers started out as both a licensed plumber and electrician. I didn’t really want to, but my dad was both, and because he was, I was. Along the way, I found myself in The University and then the Army, but my mind never got far from where I started. I learned that when you weld a joint, you must weld the back side too. If you don’t, even though you can’t see the back, the job will come ...

    News

    The latest posts for News are listed below.
    • Attorney Ashley Rogers is now a Certified Circuit Mediator

      Chesser & Barr, P.A. is proud to announce Attorney Ashley Rogers is now a Certified Circuit Mediator. Attorney Rogers is a shareholder of the firm and holds many other accomplishments. To read more visit Attorney Rogers profile page by clicking here .
    • A Lawyers' Invitation

      The lawyers in Okaloosa and Walton Counties who practice real estate law are coming together to form a Real Estate Council. The first meeting of that council will occur on April 11 at 10:30 am in the Fort Walton Beach offices of the Board of Realtors, 10 Hollywood Blvd SE. At 11:00 on that morning, attorney Melissa Murphy from Orlando will talk to the group about cyber security and cybercrime, a ...
    • Attorney Ashley Rogers Receives 850 Magazine Pinnacle Award

      Chesser & Barr, P.A. is proud to announce that Attorney Ashley B. Rogers has been selected by 850 Business Magazine as a Pinnacle Award honoree. Each year, the publication awards the accolade to 10 women in Northwest Florida who have "distinguished themselves in business and as community leaders." The Pinnacle Awards are presented by 850—The Business Magazine of Northwest Florida and are sponsored ...

    Professionalism

    The latest posts for Professionalism are listed below.
    • If a Lawyer can't help his friend, who can he help?

      By now you know the setting for this question. Robert owns a parcel which he uses for both residential and commercial purposes. The buildings have serious structural deficiencies that are not obvious to one not familiar with the property, but that Robert and his friends know very well. His circle of friends includes a real estate broker and a lawyer. Robert wants to sell the property to get away ...
    • What Must A Realtor Disclose, And Why?

      Remember from my last article that the law provides that a seller of Residential Property must disclose unknown defects to a purchaser. The facts were that Robert lives on a parcel that has a small bait and tackle shop and his residence, located on the River. Robert has lived and worked on the property for many years. You are his Realtor, and has been your friend for many years. He has grown tired ...
    • Your Everyday, Garden Variety, Riddle for Lawyers

      Robert lives on a parcel that has a small bait and tackle shop and his separate residence, located on the Choctawhatchee River. Robert has lived and worked on the property for many years, and has been your friend for many years. He has grown tired of resurrecting the property annually because the river floods, damaging both buildings and the land. He does such a good job repairing the damage that ...

    Real Estate & Property Law

    The latest posts for Real Estate & Property Law are listed below.
    • Was Diogenes Searching for Insurance?

      By now you have noticed a didactic pattern in these articles: I try to leave you with a little something that will add to your day if your day has anything to do with real estate. This article is no different. The way I get property insurance is by calling my insurance agent and saying something like… “this is the property, give me your best price…(after a pause) please.” I might then hint that ...
    • You Want to do What?

      I once had a woman call me who introduced herself by saying, “I am the smartest person you have spoken to all day!” Fortunately, someone who introduces herself like that isn’t looking for a response. I didn’t know what to say. I thought maybe she had been asked to lead the discussion group at a Mensa meeting. Instead, she had closed the book on another day of buying and then reselling foreclosed ...
    • Of What Commodity Can It Truly Be Said, "You Will Never Have Enough"?

      This article has been written 3 times. The first draft talks about “Stand Your Ground Law”, and the second about life in a Florida high rise condominium. Both articles are on the cutting room floor, having been squeezed out by the urgency of the message presented here. Before I begin, let me say thanks, again to my friends in the rental business for their kind encouragement of these articles. ...

    Real Estate Law

    The latest posts for Real Estate Law are listed below.
    • Was Diogenes Searching for Insurance?

      By now you have noticed a didactic pattern in these articles: I try to leave you with a little something that will add to your day if your day has anything to do with real estate. This article is no different. The way I get property insurance is by calling my insurance agent and saying something like… “this is the property, give me your best price…(after a pause) please.” I might then hint that ...
    • Silver Award-Winning Law Firm in Emerald Coast, FL

      The Finest on the Emerald Coast Award is a prestigious ranking system for all of the best businesses in Emerald Coast, FL—and we at Chesser & Barr, P.A. are incredibly proud to have won Silver out of the law firms in this year’s contest! We take this accolade seriously, and it is thanks to our hard work, dedication, and passion that we owe this great accomplishment. Since this award is distributed ...
    • Why Inspection Protection is Better than a Spouse in the House

      Ladies, I feel your pain. Before you married your spouse, you checked him out. You knew what a great deal you were getting. Then, over years, you discovered that your “great deal” takes entirely too much time in the bathroom, seldom cleans up his space, and drinks like your gas tank. Part of the pain is that there isn’t much you can do about your misjudgment. He might even have had all those ...

    Real Estate Traps

    The latest posts for Real Estate Traps are listed below.
    • Riddle Me This: When Can A House Never Be A Home?

      A townhouse in Florida is a unit in a building with one or more floors located on a parcel of land in which fee simple title to the land is conveyed with each unit. The unit is like a slice of bread in a loaf. It differs from a condominium, although often they look exactly alike. A townhouse is most often documented under Chapter 720 of the Florida Statutes. A condominium normally has no land ...
    • What Is A Ponzi Scheme?

      I can’t provide all of the details of a Ponzi scheme. I am satisfied that check kiting is much simpler. A Ponzi scheme requires a great deal more energy and imagination, but some of it I understand. A Ponzi scheme begins with an asset. It is important that the asset have a value which is not easily discernible. For instance, if I could persuade you to invest in an oil well not yet drilled, and ...

    Rentals

    The latest posts for Rentals are listed below.
    • Why The Rental Manager Will Be King

      If you own residential real estate that you‘re thinking of renting yourself, you can do it. But you will do it only if you have the discipline of a martinet, or the IQ of a post. Here’s why: 1 Personal Relationships: These are always good - if your relationship is with your brother-in-law who is well employed, and lives in a distant city. Also with some dogs, if they are small, or very old. But ...

    Surveys

    The latest posts for Surveys are listed below.
    • Why Should You Get A Survey?

      There are only about 1,000 reasons. The most obvious is that a survey marks the corners of your land. From the corners you can determine where fence lines should be, where a pool can be built, and all of the other dozens of decisions a homeowner might want to make. If you are buying in a developed neighborhood, and a home is already constructed on the lot you buy, the survey will show you setback ...

    Taxes/ Tax Increment Financing

    The latest posts for Taxes/ Tax Increment Financing are listed below.
    • One Percent Sales Tax

      Age has given me a perspective I never had. I know now, for instance, what happens when we eat, every day, a little more than we exercise. Over time our clothes begin to creak and give way to the pressure of too much stuff in a too small a container. Yet we lie to ourselves again, because to do is easy, and there’s no one really looking. Okaloosa County has done just that. If our County had grown ...

    Title Insurance

    The latest posts for Title Insurance are listed below.
    • A Sharper Image

      The words “primary” and “secondary” are probably commonplace if you build booster rockets for the Saturn 5. They may also be common if you assign beneficiaries in a life insurance policy. The words are also important in title insurance. At Old South Land Title, and in my law office, we decide about once a week whether a title policy is to be primary or secondary. That is a several-thousand-dollar ...
Page 0 of ∞