Real estate law, referred to as the law of real property, involves the rights of ownership and possession of land and buildings attached to land. Real estate law can include encumbrances, real estate ownership, residential real estate, buying or selling of a home, landlord/tenant relationships, evictions, tenant’s right, public utility rule, and discrimination in housing.

FAQ – We can help you with answers to your questions, including:

Buying a home

  • What is a title examination?
  • How should my name appear on the deed?
  • What is the difference between General Warranty Deed, Special (Limited)
  • Warranty Deed, and Quit Claim Deed?
  • What is a survey and why should I pay for one?
  • What is an easement?
  • If I have an easement over someone else’s property why do I need it?
  • If someone else has a properly recorded easement over my property, what are my obligations and rights with respect to that easement?
  • What is an escrow agent?
  • How do I know what the land surrounding my property will be used for?
  • Should I work with a real estate agent? A real estate lawyer? Others?
  • What is the difference between a real estate broker and an agent?
  • Should I consider buying a home in foreclosure?
  • What is a purchase offer?
  • What good is title insurance?
  • Why is a deed required?

Leasing

  • What are typical costs associated with entering into a lease?
  • What are typical costs associated with ending a lease?
  • Can someone refuse to rent to me because I have children?
  • My landlord didn’t give me a move-in inspection sheet to fill out when I moved in. What should I do?
  • Can my landlord refuse to renew my lease even though I’ve been a good tenant?
  • Can my landlord give me a notice of termination without reason?
  • How do I terminate my lease?

Foreclosure

  • I am a homeowner and I received court papers for a mortgage foreclosure. What does this mean? Do I have to move?
  • I am a renter and I received court papers for a “mortgage foreclosure”. What does this mean? Do I have to move?

Selling a Home

  • Am I required to use an attorney when selling my home?
  • Should I buy another home before I sell my existing home?
  • Do I need a contingency provision if I have to sell my existing home before I purchase a new home?
  • Should I buy my new home and sell my new home in the same day?
  • What costs are associated with the sale of a home?
  • What do I need to do to get my home ready to sell?
  • Should I use a real estate sales agent in selling my home?
  • How do I find a real estate agent?
  • What agreement do I sign with the real estate agent when selling my home?
  • When should I consider selling my home myself?

Financing the transaction: lenders and mortgages

  • What is the difference between a fixed rate mortgage and adjustable rate mortgage?
  • Should I apply for an FHA Loan?
  • Will FHA make my payments for me if I can no longer afford to make my monthly mortgage payments?
  • What is private mortgage insurance (PMI)?
  • How do I determine how much I can afford to pay monthly for a home?
  • What is a point? Do I have to pay points when I take out a mortgage?
  • How do I qualify to obtain a VA loan?
  • How does the lender decide whether to lend me money?
  • What document will the lender provide me when my loan is approved?
  • What is the difference between the down payment and earnest money?
  • What is a good faith estimate?
  • Why do I need an appraisal of the property?
  • What happens at the closing?

Resources & Forms

Estate Planning Questionnaire (PDF)
Spouse Questions (PDF)
Information for Survivors (PDF)

Getting Started

Secure all documents in existence that relate to the real estate issues. Identify all parties in interest or potentially in interest. Have in mind the result contemplated. Make an appointment with a qualified attorney.

ACW Law has talented lawyers waiting to help you with your probate and estate planning issues. Please contact:

Craig Wittstruck
Tom Lamb