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  • Common Property Valuation Conflicts

    Property valuations can pose a number of potential conflicts, and sometimes parties end up disagreeing on the value of a property. There can be several reasons why these conflicts occur including accidental errors, fraud, and confusion of laws. Accidental Errors On occasion, people will disagree about the value of a property due to an inadvertent error in calculating the value. For example, the ...
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  • My Best Round of Golf

    Last Saturday I got an opportunity to choose to either embarrass myself playing golf, again, or to do something different. I chose different. Like having a salad at Danny’s Fried Chicken (no one I know would ever do that), I said no to golf and joined a caravan of men and women going to Panama City to clean up after Hurricane Michael. For me, not every minute was fun. But every minute was ...
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  • Choosing between a Short Sale & a Voluntary Foreclosure

    Choosing between a Short Sale & a Voluntary Foreclosure Foreclosure is what happens when a homeowner fails to make their mortgage payments. In the first six months of 2018, it’s estimated that 1 out of every 370 housing units in the United States had a foreclosure filing. According to Daren Blomquist, the Senior Vice President of ATTOM Data Solutions, these numbers are the consequence of loosening ...
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  • Is My Landlord Responsible for Repairs?

    Renting a property can leave some things ambiguous as to whether your landlord is responsible for repairing broken or malfunctioning appliances or other parts of your home. If you are living in a rental property, repairs are typically the responsibility of the landlord. There are times, however, when the cost of a repair could fall on you. There should be details in your lease that determine what ...
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  • HURRICANE MICHAEL INSURANCE CLAIMS

    I’ve been consulting with the pro-bono legal relief effort for hurricane Michael. The very first and most obvious question was from legal aid lawyers who have been asked how best to present insurance claims for losses to houses and mobile homes. Specifically, owners are afraid to call a lawyer to help with claims because they know lawyers will cost too much. Many of these owners don’t have the ...
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  • Top Real Estate Disputes Among Buyers and Sellers

    In real estate transactions, it is quite common for there to be disputes between buyers and sellers. During the course of a real estate transaction, you may have significant problems, which could result in the deal falling through. However, by cooperating with a buyer or a seller with the help of other professionals, such as real estate attorneys, you will be in a better position to complete a ...
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  • Can My Landlord Evict Me?

    In Florida, there are strict laws that govern when and under what circumstances a landlord can evict a tenant. In general, there are certain procedures that a landlord must follow before they can legally evict someone. What must happen before an eviction? Before an eviction, the following steps must be completed: Written notice to vacate provided to the tenant Service of a complaint and summons ...
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  • LESSONS FROM A LIFE IN REAL ESTATE

    There was a time when I attended some pretty good schools. I know now that most of the “students” were there without any clear idea why. Mom and Dad sometimes had no idea how uninterested those kids really were. But three months after graduation I had the honor to sit in the best school I’d ever seen, in classes filled with young men who had orders to go to war. Most didn’t end up going. Some did. ...
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  • Visitation Rights for Deployed Parents

    Child custody determinations can be the most difficult and emotionally challenging aspect of a divorce case. Parents may struggle to agree to make a parenting plan, especially if one parent is in the armed forces, because they need to make accommodations for one parent’s frequent deployments. If parents cannot agree, the court will intervene to determine a parenting plan, which will focus on the ...
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  • The "Big Five" Life Planning Essentials

    Estate planning isn’t planning for death: it’s planning for life. Good planning saves money. Good planning enables access to healthcare without financial ruin. And good planning assures those we trust most – not strangers – will care for us if we cannot care for ourselves. All good estate plans include the following key components: 1. The Durable Power of Attorney A durable power of attorney ...
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  • How to Possibly avoid Probate with an Estate Plan

    When you pass away, and you do not plan properly, your estate may require a costly and time-consuming legal process called probate to distribute your assets. This process can take 6-9 months to complete because the court needs time to appraise your estate and validate your will. Your “estate” encompasses all the financial assets and real properties you own at the time of your death. Your “estate” ...
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  • Prenuptial Agreements: Breaking the Idea to Your Fiancé

    Discussing a prenuptial agreement is probably the last conversation you want to have with your fiancé. And, in fairness, your fiancé is probably not going to find the topic uplifting or romantic. However, prenuptial agreements , or “prenups,” are important contracts that protect the asset and property rights of both spouses in the event of divorce. Usually, it’s the notion of divorce that turns a ...
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  • A HIGH-WIRE ACT WITHOUT A NET

    Commercial real estate creates special answers to the question of why lawyers are necessary. To the extent the discussion involves commercial property, real estate has two distinct characteristics. The one that gets most attention is the structure itself. How a property is built, whether it meets building codes, whether it is solidly and intelligently constructed, are all important. The Building ...
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  • HE WHO HEARS NO MUSIC WILL DANCE ALONE

    First a disclaimer. I can’t dance. I know there’s supposed to be a relationship between the music and whatever is happening on the dance floor, but I make excuses by telling people I’m just hearing different music. The truth is that sometimes I hear no music at all. We all like to follow what others have done. Much of real estate is following a form someone else prepared. Deeds, notes, and ...
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  • When a Player Absent from the Table Has Cards in the Game

    When most of us hear the word “homestead”, we picture a Conestoga wagon racing across the Old West to capture a plot of land. That term really was accurate during the 1800’s in the west; the Federal Homestead Act did jump-started private ownership of parcels of land in the western states. Florida was not part of that, and though we also use the term in Florida, it means something entirely ...
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