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Philadelphia Real Estate Blog

Appraisals of commercial real estate

Whether you are interested in purchasing a business property in Pennsylvania or you want to sell your building, an appraisal will be conducted. A commercial appraisal is more complicated than a residential one, so it is important to understand some of the terms and considerations.

The SF Gate discusses the three main ways of appraising commercial property. They are:

  • Cost approach - the value of the property equals the land value as well as the amount to replace the building as it currently is
  • Market approach - the property value is based on similar buildings in the surrounding area
  • Income capitalization approach - typically used by investors, this method compares the ability to generate revenue with its market value

When do you need a probate to quiet title?

If you own real estate, you may already know a little bit about what it means to have "title" to the property. Title generally means you have all the ownership rights of a piece of property. "Clear title" means that nobody else has any claim or lien against the property. But what happens if you discover that your property does not have clear title because of a problem with a deceased owner? The probate process may help you with your quiet title action.

New 10-year housing plan opens the door for small living spaces

A new ten-year housing plan proposed by the Philadelphia City Council includes the possibility of implementing accessory dwelling units, allowing property owners to add more housing in their own backyard. 

A shortage of affordable housing in Philadelphia as well as other large cities like Los Angeles and Seattle has increased the popularity of this idea, despite push back from some city governments and homeowners. 

Should you invest in home staging?

If you are looking to sell your home in Pennsylvania, you may be wondering how you can get the highest price and sell it quickly. One concept that some home owners (as wells as many realtors) view as helpful in increasing the value of the home is staging. Staging the home to increase its appeal can take many different forms, from a simple decluttering and fresh coat of paint to renting furniture and artwork. Home staging typically takes an initial or ongoing investment, depending on how comprehensive you want to be, and it is a good idea to weigh the pros and cons of spending this money.

According to Realtor.com, the investment is worth it because staged homes typically sell much faster and for more money than those that are not staged. While using a professional staging service is easier and more thorough, this can result in a fairly big price tag, especially if you have a large house because you are charged per square foot. Along with a required multi-month contract you will also have to pay for additional costs such as accessories, storage rental and furniture moving services. If this extra cost is not in the budget, you can save money by doing things yourself such as painting, making minor repairs, removing clutter and only staging main rooms of the house.

Title problems you never expected

Purchasing real estate is a great investment for most people. Buying your first home, office space or commercial property are excellent options for driven individuals. It is critical, however, to perform your due diligence and make sure that the real estate’s title is sound.

Just like people, a piece of property you buy has a history. This history can come back to haunt you if you act too hastily. Several aspects of a title should be investigated before you write a check, and the process can be quite complicated.

Factors that can influence a custody decision

Ending marriage can bring various challenges into your life, but legal matters which involve your children may be the most difficult of all. Child custody, in particular, can be incredibly emotional and may leave a parent distraught. If you are worried about losing a custody battle or whether you will be able to see your child in the future, it is pivotal to do what you can to prepare yourself. There are many different factors that courts will review when making a custody decision and it is important to be aware of how they determine what is in a child's best interests.

Some of the factors that may have an impact on your child custody case include whether your child prefers one parent over the other, the wishes of each parent, your work obligations and your former spouse's work responsibilities, each parent's health (physically and mentally) and the quality of your relationship with your child. There are many other factors that can come into play when it comes to a child custody case, such as accusations of domestic violence. For example, if you have been accused of family violence (even if you are innocent), these allegations could significantly impact your ability to secure custody.

How will property be divided with a partition action?

Owning property can be a smart way to invest your money. Unfortunately, buying property does not always turn out the way you plan. Maybe you bought a home with a significant other and now you are splitting up. Or perhaps you and a business partner bought land to build on and are now parting ways.

If you own a property with one or more person and you cannot agree on what to do with it, you may want to consider filing a partition action.

Disapproval of your decision to divorce

Many different hurdles may surface for those going through a divorce, such as legal matters involving kids or finances. While these can be hard for sure, it is important to keep in mind that people splitting up with their spouse may encounter other challenges. For example, their friends or family members may disapprove of their decision to divorce. Or, if they are relatively famous, some of their fans and followers may disagree with their decision. This can place a great deal of pressure on someone who may already feel stressed out and overwhelmed about the end of their marriage.

If you are struggling with this issue, it is important to block out the opinions of others and focus on what is best for you and, if you have kids, your children. Other people may not realize the various reasons why you want to divorce, and they do not need to know why you have decided to split up with your spouse. There are all sorts of reasons to divorce, and some may be very serious (such as domestic violence). Unfortunately, some people allow others' opinions to influence their life and prompt them to stay in a toxic marriage.

Zoning ordinance violations and penalties in Pennsylvania

Perhaps you want to begin renting out your home to travelers. Perhaps you want to renovate your home and need to leave furniture temporarily in your yard. Maybe you plan on allowing multiple extended family members to live in your home with you. To avoid consequences and comply with your area’s zoning requirements, you must ensure that zoning ordinances cover your decisions.

Making alterations to a home or changing your living arrangements are common occurrences in Pennsylvania. Yet penalties can arise if you knowingly or accidentally violate zoning ordinances. Zoning ordinances are set in place to ensure the safety of residents and enforce the upkeep of homes around the state, and not complying with zoning laws directly encroaches upon other residents’ right to maintained property. If a court fines you due to an alleged zoning violation, and you wish to dispute the claim, it is essential that you hire an experienced real estate attorney to aid you in arguing the charge in court.

Emotional challenges due to spousal support

When a married couple splits up, various difficulties may become a part of daily life, such as issues involving child custody or financial matters that revolve around child support. However, it is important to bear in mind that other divorce topics which do not always receive as much attention can also be very difficult for divorced people to work through. For example, spousal support payments can create challenges for those required to pay and those who receive alimony also. Aside from financial troubles, spousal support can also bring up emotional issues for people.

Sometimes, a person who is obligated to pay spousal support may become overly stressed out about their payments and their ability to keep making them on time. For example, the loss of a job or some other financial hardship could raise many questions in this area. Modifying a spousal support order may be possible and this could be one way for people going through this to alleviate stress. There are other negative emotions that may arise as well, such as depression or, in some instances, anger. It is vital to handle these negative emotions properly and look for ways to work towards a brighter future.

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