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Fort Lauderdale Real Estate Law Blog

Zoning change granted for Florida real estate project

Zoning laws are an important aspect of any real estate transaction and can come up in residential or commercial real estate situations. A zoning change was recently approved for a real estate project in a nearby Florida community. The zoning change allows the developer of the project to tear down homes that are decades old and remove 80 trees to build a four-story apartment building with 66 units. The zoning change is being appealed by local homeowners and the homeowners' association.

The real estate project is being built across from a 2 million square foot residential and retail project costing $380 million. Locals are concerned about traffic related to the other project that recently received the zoning change. Though none of the homes that are being torn down are designated as historical, some date back to the 1920s. The developer of the real estate project also noted they would be keeping the oldest trees and would not be cutting those down.

Understand the home mortgage agreement

Making the decision to buy a home is an exciting one. Whether you are buying your first home or you have been through the process in another home sale, no two experiences will be exactly the same. Most people opt for a mortgage, also known as a home loan, to finance the purchase. Understanding who might finance that loan and what to look out for while going through this process is crucial to achieving a favorable mortgage agreement.

A mortgage is just like any other financial contract in that there will be much paperwork and fine print involved in the transaction. This is because there is much to decide when that contract is finalized between lender and homeowner. Things like monthly payments, contingencies and other legalities are wrapped up in the final agreement. There could be a variety of types of lenders one might utilize or encounter when seeking a mortgage.

Lack of disclosure and residential real estate

If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, there are many factors to consider. If it is your first time buying or first time selling a home, there are often questions on both sides. While buyers and sellers ultimately would like to come together and make a deal, there are many aspects to that deal that should not be overlooked. One topic buyers and sellers often wonder about is "disclosure."

Disclosure refers to what a seller is required to share with the buyer during the sale of residential property. Disclosure laws are based on Florida state law and have to do with any information that should be disclosed from seller to buyer during the sale of residential property. In general, you have an obligation to disclose potential problems to a prospective buyer that could affect the value of the property for sale. In addition, it is considered illegal in most states to deliberately conceal major defects in a property that is for sale.

Joint venture to produce commercial property in Fort Lauderdale

A joint-venture is moving full-steam ahead in Fort Lauderdale's marina district to serve as a place to host commercial tenants. The scope of this project is rather large and involves three companies in a joint-venture deal. The companies are based both locally and nationally, and together they hope to bring revenue to the area with their approval for a $16.6 million construction loan. This project came about after the property was re-zoned for commercial use.

Previously, the property had not been zoned for commercial use. A local Fort Lauderdale developer got it properly zoned before selling to the now part-owner in the joint venture. They will begin breaking ground this month, as their construction loan was approved. They are targeting a completion date for the third quarter of next year. The facility plans will feature 32-foot-tall ceilings, rear-dock loading and warehouse space to accommodate tenants of 40,000 square feet and up, according to the release.

What is the difference between a short sale and a foreclosure?

If your business is looking to expand for the first time, you may never have paid attention to the buying process before. There are terms associated with different types of sales and they are in place in hopes of making note of important differences in different types of commercial property sales. While they aren't as common as residential homes, some commercial properties for sale are "short sales" or "foreclosures."

These types of properties are usually categorized under a special section of sales so that buyers know instantly the type of property that they are looking at. There can be upsides and downsides to purchasing properties categorized as a short sale or a foreclosure. These sales are not "for sale by owner"; usually they are bank owned. You can get a good deal on these properties, but sometimes there is more involvement needed on behalf of the buyer in time, attention and/or monetary responsibilities.

Seek a favorable outcome when involved in a real estate dispute

Trying to mitigate a dispute in which two or more parties are in disagreement on an issue can be tough. Sometimes there is a way to come together and find some middle ground. However, some situations, like many real estate disputes, can feel like a have-or-have-not outcome is brewing. In situations where a real estate dispute is happening, remember that a favorable outcome is often the one worth fighting for.

Depending on what stage a real estate transaction or deal is, a dispute could mean a number of things. At the heart of it, real estate disputes assume that one or more parties disagree about the terms or outcome of a real estate deal. Sometimes real estate disputes occur when a party fails to meet their obligations as outlined in the contract. In other instances, an unforeseen circumstance leaves parties not seeing eye-to-eye on how to proceed.

A few universal tips on real estate sales

When selling a home, the more you know the better off you may be. This is true of almost any industry, but considering the wide range of peoples' knowledge and experience when it comes to the real estate market, it is still sound advice for everyone. This is applicable to both buying and selling homes.

When selling a home, the words you use matter. In a listing, using words such as "potential" and "TLC" could actually lower the sell price of the home by 7 percent, while using words such as "captivating" and "luxurious" may add to the home's value by 8.2 percent. It is also believed that creating a more detailed listing often helps in the sale of the home. The more a consumer knows about a home, the more confident they may be to buy.

Some tips to consider when dealing with a mortgage, part 2

Last week a post here covered some tips to keep in mind when purchasing a home and obtaining a mortgage. Purchasing a home can appear to be a daunting task, but it does not have to be. If you make your decisions one at a time, with foresight and a strong knowledge and understanding, you will be on the road to success.

When finding the right mortgage, keep in mind both your current situation as well your future. You want to make certain to only borrow what you can afford to repay. This means not stretching your finances to establish monthly payments that are unreasonable or beyond your capabilities. You will need to keep in mind all your current and existing monthly costs when figuring out what you can afford.

Some tips to consider when dealing with a mortgage, part 1

One of the most exciting times in a person's life is when an individual or family decides to purchase a new home. Since few Americans are able to pay upfront in full for a home, it is not uncommon to sign a mortgage. Although this transaction may appear to be stressful and does come with a large commitment, there are several things you can consider to make certain that your decisions are sound and wise and in your best interests.

It is commonly assumed that a down payment of at least 20 percent is required, but there are some programs that allow little to no down payment. If you have been a member in the United States armed forces, the Department of Veteran Affairs guarantees a zero-down mortgage for all veterans, active-duty service members and many members of the National Guard and Reserves as well. The Navy Federal Credit Union also offers zero-down mortgages, and Federal Housing Administration-insured mortgages allow for payments as low as 3.5 percent. While bad credit may certainly play a role in a person's ability to get a mortgage, they may still be available for potential buyers with a credit rating as low as 500.

Some tips on real estate investment

If you are considering investing in real estate for the first time, there are undoubtedly things you do not know about the process or the new property you are considering. In order to protect yourself and your finances from future unforeseen issues and expenses, here are a few tips to consider before you sign on the dotted line.

Emotions may run high when you are considering making your first real estate investment purchase. It would be wise to take a step back, however, to get a glimpse at the broader picture. Acting hastily could lead to costly oversights that could waste your time and cost you money. When involved in an auction or negotiating with sellers, know your numbers and make certain to not exceed your own set purchase price. Make certain your decisions are rational and not based on your gut feelings. Again, acting with your head, not your heart, will help in preventing a decision fueled by emotion and not your best interests.