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Philadelphia Real Estate Blog

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.

What if Philadelphia wins the Amazon HQ2 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.

Eminent domain for economic redevelopment restricted

Many Philadelphia residents do not want to receive, and may even fear getting, a notice from government authorities telling them that their home or business property, or even a portion of it, is the target of a potential eminent domain action.

As this blog has discussed, the government has broad power to use eminent domain to force the sale of private property for a public use, although this does not necessarily mean the general public has to literally be able to use the property. Assuming the government follows the proper procedure for invoking eminent domain, a landowner is left only with the ability to dispute the price that the state will pay.

House stealing in Philadelphia is all too common

You purchase a dilapidated house, plan to renovate it and start gutting the inside. Maybe you are waiting for construction plans to finalize and don't go back for awhile. When you return to keep working on the project, someone else is living in the house, and claims to own it.

When you investigate their claim, you both realize a forged deed was used to transfer the house to the new buyer. The person who sold the house illegally is long gone and proving it was a forgery through the quiet title process isn't that easy.

Philadelphia real estate developer handles underserved market

For many real estate developers, maximizing return is a high priority. When the developers flip real estate, they buy a dilapidated home at a bargain price, fix it up and sell it at a much higher price.

With new projects, the investors build amenity-filled luxury apartments knowing they can charge high rents to their wealthy target market.

Looking forward to commercial real estate in 2018

Commercial real estate is an ever-changing market but it is important for commercial real estate investors to review market trends and predictions before making their next purchase. There are a multitude of commercial property options such as retail, restaurants, apartment rentals, and office space. So, if you buy a property for commercial use, how do you decide what type of commercial use is your best investment?

Residential and apartment rentals have consistently saturated markets, especially in urban areas. But an under-utilized commercial space to consider is the office sector. A recent report from the National Real Estate Investor looks at the history of the office sector from 2017 and predictions for this sector in 2018.

Breach and Remedies for Real Estate Contracts

It is common to have a contract when dealing with a large purchase such as a real estate transaction. These purchases involve substantial sums of money and often require certain conditions be met by each of the parties. As such, a contract helps to clearly outline all of these terms and protect both the buyer and the seller in these transactions. It is important to fully understand the terms of your real estate contract and what remedies may be available if either party breaches this contract.

The most common type of real estate contract is a purchase agreement. The essential terms of these types of contracts often include, the purchase price, a good-faith deposit, address and description of property, funding for purchase, items included and items excluded from the sale, which party is responsible for taxes and other expense, as well as dates for completion. The parties may include any additional terms they deem necessary, and the essential contract terms may differ from state to state.

Land use & zoning: what you need to know

Since New York City adopted the first zoning ordinances in 1916, land-use and zoning regulations have become standard in nearly all municipalities, particularly in urban areas. Each municipality may enact its own zoning and land-use ordinances specific to the needs of that particular area. These municipalities are also responsible for creating the planning and zoning boards that enact these ordinances and address any grievances of the landowners and residents within their community.

The rationale behind zoning is to promote the good of the community and promote a comprehensive plan for development. In doing so, zoning is designed to divide the municipality into three main types of districts: residential, commercial and industrial. There can be further restrictions on the use of property within these districts, commonly including, specific requirements for types of buildings, size and height of buildings, number of rooms and occupancy, as well as regulations governing placement of utility lines, boundary lines, building set-backs from the street, parking, and many other regulations. Additionally, land-use regulations can also provide for preservation of historically or culturally significant areas.

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