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May 2016 Archives

Appeal promised in lawsuit over “councilmanic prerogative”

Members of the Philadelphia City Council possess a unique privilege when the city wants to sell land in their districts. The privilege is called “councilmanic prerogative,” and it gives every member of the council the right to veto any sale by the city of land in the council member’s district. The prerogative recently gave rise to a real estate dispute concerning allegations that one of the council members abused the prerogative by refusing to let the city sell certain land to a developer.

Different ways to appraise real property

Determining the value of real property is essential to many business activities. Among the most frequent such activities are buying and selling property, lending money secured by a mortgage on real property, settling a probate estate or determining the value of property that is subject to eminent domain proceedings. The appraisal industry in Philadelphia and elsewhere has established uniform standards for conducting appraisals of real property, and while this brief blog post cannot cover the entire field, a summary of essential techniques can be quite useful.

Residential real estate warranties in Pennsylvania

Buying or building a new home can be the fulfillment of a dream if the house is soundly built and free from defects. A newly built house can also be the beginning of a nightmare if the builder made mistakes or took shortcuts that affect the quality of the construction. Pennsylvania does not have a statute that requires contractors to extend specific warranties concerning the condition of new residential real estate construction. Instead, buyers must rely upon on common law warranties - that is, warranties created by courts in lawsuits based on construction defects - or upon any express warranties extended by the builder or by a home warranty company.

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