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Philadelphia Real Estate Blog

Does unpaid child support interfere with travel?

For non-custodial parents who have fallen behind on child support payments, a number of questions may be on their mind. For example, people going through this may worry about being taken into custody or wonder how their inability to pay child support will affect their lives in other ways. For example, they may be unable to apply for a U.S. passport, which could spell disaster for those who have important travel plans. Pennsylvania parents who are struggling with child support payments should go over their options and do their best to address the situation.

According to the U.S. Department of State, a parent who has $2,500 or more worth of back child support will be unable to receive a U.S. passport. For parents who owe too much unpaid child support to successfully apply for a passport, making arrangements to pay arrears in a timely manner is essential. Moreover, it can take weeks for your passport application to be processed once you have made proper payment arrangements.

Tips for avoiding legal conflicts with contractors

The world of real estate can be lucrative, but is also fraught with legal complications that can drain your wallet. Even a minor dispute can be long, tedious and expensive. Sometimes, these disputes arise from issues with a project’s contractor.

When most people are hiring contractors, they do not focus on the possibility of a lawsuit. But in our litigious world, legal tussles are increasingly common. It is helpful to have a few general tips on hand for how to avoid legal conflicts with a contractor.

What is a latent defect, and how can it hurt home buyers?

You are frequently warned to be wary of deceptive practices and dishonest sellers when buying a home. Yet it seems as though Pennsylvania real estate law regarding disclosure would provide adequate protections from sellers trying to sell you a home riddled with material defects, which can cause significant danger to occupants. But what about disclosure of latent defects? What are latent defects, and how can they hurt you as a buyer?

A latent defect is, per Pennsylvania residential real estate transfer law, hidden defects that cannot be identified during a reasonably thorough home inspection without consulting an expert in particular matters. An example of one such defect might be corrosion inside buried pipes without an apparent leak or seepage to point to the damage, or pooling water hidden underneath floorboards. It is possible for a seller to sell you a property with no knowledge of this latent damage.

Understanding eminent domain

The concept of eminent domain can seem daunting to property owners. In Pennsylvania, eminent domain encompasses the laws and statutes that allow the state government to seize private property for specific purposes, including what conditions make this acceptable and what conditions do not - as well as whether or not the government is required to compensate property owners for the seizure.

Per Pennsylvania state code, the government may condemn and seize property for the sake of public improvement or to eliminate blight. Public improvement can include tearing down unsafe and derelict properties, or it can include implementation of public works such as highways, schools, parks and other civic works activities. While in some cases non-government entities can enact eminent domain, specific prohibitions prevent taking of properties for private business use in most cases.

Investment tips for new real estate entrepreneurs

Many would-be entrepreneurs underestimate just how complex real estate investment can be. They believe that they can simply purchase a low-priced house, gussy it up and sell it at a profit. The process of becoming a successful real estate entrepreneur is actually very complicated—and very risky.

Without the proper knowledge, your investment deal could easily flop. There are a few important things that every novice entrepreneur should know about before investing. Here are a few helpful tips for you as a new real estate investor.

What is a "quiet title" action?

Anyone involved in a real estate title dispute in Pennsylvania may have heard the recommendation that they file a "quiet title" action. A quiet title action is an extremely effective way of resolving all kinds of disputes involving title to real estate. But what is a "quiet title" action and why is it called a "quiet title" action?

As described in Philadelphia court documents, a quiet title action is a legal action designed to settle land title disputes and to "quiet" any challenges to someone's rightful ownership. This action is often taken to resolve disputes involving a fraudulent conveyance of the title to a piece of property and to resolve ambiguities as to who actually owns a contested piece of land. If the person seeking to quiet title can prove that the current title is defective in some way, then he or she may be able to claim ownership of the property from the person or persons who currently hold the title.

This can be especially useful if you lost the title to a property through coercion, or if someone has committed theft of your property by forging the deed. This can also apply to cases in which allocation of property during disposition of a will is challenged due to claims of undue influence over decedents and their decisions regarding their estate. You can also quiet the title to remove certain mortgages and other liens that should have been, but were not, satisfied and you are unable to locate the mortgage or lien holder.

When a vacant property becomes a party den

While most property owners hope their building transaction will take place swiftly, it’s common for real estate to sit on the market for a period. Sometimes, to maximize value, the owner allows the empty building temporary use. At other times, unscrupulous individuals might squat or misuse a property for their own means. Empty buildings are an unfortunate target for vandalism and more.

Seller disclosure, what is a homeowner obligated to disclose?

Buying or selling a home is one of the largest transactions the average citizen will undertake during his or her lifetime. Given the amount of money at stake, both the buyer and the seller should understand the condition of the property that is being purchased and sold. The Pennsylvania Real Estate Seller Disclosure Law was designed to give buyers a comprehensive understanding of the condition of the property while discouraging sellers from hiding any known flaws or problems.

Adopted or not, access to records should be for everyone

Imagine that upon opening a white envelope and reading its contents your life would change forever. No, it is not the results of a medical test or acceptance to college, this document tells you who you are. For over 2,000 adoptees born in Pennsylvania, this was indeed what happened when they received a copy of their original birth certificate. Under a new law that took effect in late 2017 adoptees who are over age 18 can apply for their birth records for the first time in 33 years.

Revising an old law

What if Philadelphia won the Amazon HQ bid?

In the first stage of cities making a pitch to be the site for Amazon’s second headquarters campus, there were 238 applicants.

Every one of these cities knew what kind of impact being chosen would have on local economies. At stake are 50,000 high-paying jobs workers and $5 billion in construction work.

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