Commercial Real Estate
Buying or Selling Commercial or Investment Property – Unlike residential real estate, purchasing or selling commercial property involves more complicated contracts, significant due diligence, potential environmental issues, bulk sale filing requirements and the like. It is not they kind of transaction that could, as many home purchasers are doing, be handled by a title company and their closing people. There are no standard contracts, attorney review periods or statutory protections afforded to homeowners.
Local Land Use
In both residential and commercial real estate situations, you may need permission and approval from the local municipality for many things you might want to change on your property. For commercial situations you may need approvals for signage, parking and renovations. For your home, you might need approvals for additions, installations of whole house generators and even installation or replacement of fencing. Applications might require drawings sealed by an architect, payment of fees and escrows (to be used to pay outside engineers), and proper notice given to area homeowners, utilities and (depending on your location) county administrators. A notice must be written with all required information and published in local newspapers as directed by the municipality. While you are allowed to file and appear on your own behalf, the process is more likely to proceed smoothly with a professional with experience.
Property Tax Issues
No one likes paying their property taxes and, very often, property owners believe their taxes are too high. Just because your neighbor pays less in taxes than you do (or at least you are under that impression), does not mean your taxes are too high. And municipalities are given certain “margins” of error (15% less than or greater than the assessed value) that may result in losing your appeal or even increasing your taxes! Some rough calculations can determine whether or not you should file an appeal. Rules are similar between residential and commercial properties and often towns will agree to compromises without going to court.
When buying or selling property, or even outside transactional situations, title issues come up. Misfiled or non-discharged (but paid off) mortgages might show in the county records or surveys could reveal problems with property lines, setbacks or even encroachments. And these issues can be costly to correct without skilled representation.