The Enochs Law Group frequently represents wholesalers and property flippers who buy distressed properties and fix them up for profit. Although these properties can deliver a high return on investment for a savvy buyer, they can also turn into traps when hidden property and title issues come to light. Unless you resolve these matters quickly, your project can turn into more trouble than it’s worth.
However, if you’re experiencing issues with a property, don’t panic. Our San Diego real estate litigation lawyers can step in to analyze the situation, advise you about your options, and come up with a solution that protects your investment and puts your plan back on track.
Common Title Issues
Title issues on a property can include:
- Distressed property owners may have encumbered the property or defaulted on other bills or loan payments, which then resulted in liens on the property.
- A neighboring property owner or government utility may have an easement that affects your ability to use the property
- There may be multiple surveys of boundary lines that raise disputes regarding your right to the property offered for sale.
- Sometimes, people sell property even though they don’t have clear title or the legal right to sell. These sellers often hide their identity or forge documents to defraud innocent buyers.
Addressing Structural and Environmental Issues
Many distressed properties require improvements before they can pass an inspection. Also, owners may have made additions to the property without getting the required permits. If the seller failed to disclose non-permitted additions, you have legal options. However, to recover damages, a wholesaler or flipper must clearly establish the costs and responsibilities regarding improvements and permitting. This process typically requires help from an experienced real estate lawyer and litigator.
Similarly, the presence of asbestos, mold, or lead paint can lead to unwanted costs and delays. Government regulations can require expensive containment or cleanup measures. If you discover these issues before the sale, you can address the costs through contract negotiations. Otherwise, litigation may be necessary.
Protecting Against Elder Abuse Accusations
California law protects seniors in real estate transactions. A person buying property from someone 65 or older could be accused of financial elder abuse if a dispute arises. If this happens, you could be liable for a variety of costs, including damages for financial losses, pain, suffering, and emotional distress as well as the other party’s attorney’s fees.
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Issues While a Property Is in Escrow
While a property is in escrow, the seller may acquire additional responsibilities based upon the results of home and title inspections. These duties may include making improvements to the home, which could range from installing smoke detectors and replacing broken tiles to repairing major cracks in the foundation. Title clouds or defects may also need to be resolved, which can require the seller to pay off liens or otherwise settle claims against the property.
We Build Relationships on Trust and Respect
About 4 years ago a friend referred me to Alan Enoch’s for legal advice on a business matter. Alan immediately proved how valuable he would be to my business through his well thought out responses and knowledge of the law. Since that first meeting, Alan has been representing me personally, as well as 4 businesses I own. He continues to work tirelessly to ensure my entities are protected. My company interviewed many lawyers in the past before the introduction to Alan. I will put it very simply what sets Alan apart from all the others; He cares. He genuinely cares about his clients and wants the best for them. He will review each potential issue in depth to gain the knowledge to provide honest advice as to whether it is worth pursuing or not.
My advice to anyone that is looking at hiring Alan…. do it before your competition does. I want Alan on my side of the courtroom, not on the side that’s against me.
"I want to thank you for all the hard work that you've done for our company over the years. We've had small matters that were handled very quickly. We've also had large matters that needed very aggressive representation and you've represented us in a stellar manner. If you're looking for a truly aggressive law firm, someone who is going to look at your case in a thorough manner and is going to be very strategic in both the short term and long term, please call Alan Enochs."
Dealing With Third-Party Interference
Sometimes, other investors, agents, or brokers will try to get involved in a real estate transaction that’s already underway. For instance, an agent or investor may offer more money to a seller who is already under contract with a buyer, tempting the seller to find a way to break the contract. Our experienced real estate litigation attorneys can help resolve these matters and protect your rights and investment.
Legal Resources and Information
Read our blog to learn more about legal issues that interest you and stay up to date on the latest developments in California real estate and business law.
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