Understanding Your Rights

Real Estate Law Is About More Than Contracts

The very idea of real property is one of the foundations of legal systems throughout the world. For this reason, real estate law covers a lot of territory in people's lives. Even if you've never owned a house in your life, you've been subject to the rules of real estate law. Let's take a look at some of the challenges a real estate law services firm, like Johnson Motinger Greenwood Law Firm, may be able to help you sort out.

Learning History and Establishing Boundaries

Attorneys who handle matters of real estate law often end up being tasked with pulling survey information from county registers. That's because the first thing that matters about any property is where its boundaries are and what it can be used for. You'll also benefit from seeing how the property lines have changed over time, as a critical piece of your utility infrastructure for a home or a place of business may have been shifted onto someone else's land at some point.

It's also helpful to see what has been on the property before. A commercial developer, for example, probably doesn't want to build a family restaurant where there used to be a toxic waste dump. That sort of history can come out in the title search.

Making Modifications

Just because you own a property doesn't mean it's entirely yours to do with as you please. You may end up paying stiff fines if you decide to repaint the outside of a historical building without getting a variance first. Likewise, a great location for a business might not be so great if you can't get it zoned for commercial use.

In most cases like these, you'll be petitioning the local government for the right to make modifications. That can be a complex process, and you might even have to go to court. You'll want a provider of real estate law services by your side to explain how the process works and whether certain actions are worth pursuing.

Questions of Fraud

When buying or selling a property, the representations made about it matter. If a seller fails to disclose, for example, that a building has unremediated fire code issues, that can come back to bite the buyer down the road. Sellers want to discover and disclose as many problems as possible with a property, and an attorney can be valuable during that process. They can review everything down to wordings of ad postings for the location.