Real estate law covers a great number of topics, and includes a number of specialized terms and jargon. An experienced attorney can help explain these concepts to you.
Appraisal: An appraisal is an estimate of a property's value. Appraisal are conducted by an uninvolved third party, and usually compares the sale price of a property to the values of similar properties in the same area. Many mortgage lenders require an appraisal before offering a loan.
Assessment: A charge levied by the local government for infrastructure that benefits adjacent properties. This includes road work, sidewalks, or sewer/gas lines. Adjacent property owners pay proportional shares of the improvement's cost.
Broker: A real estate broker works for one of the parties in a real estate purchase. They are licensed persons or organizations.
Closing: The final part of a real estate transaction, where both parties review the terms of sale and the actual sales documents.
Condominium: From the Latin for "co-ownership", a condominium is a building split into individual apartments owned by the residents. The condominium association's common areas are shared by the owners. The association pays taxes and deals with property maintenance and improvement. Condominium owners generally pay association fees as well as mortgage payments.
Deed: A document that transfers ownership of real estate. As discussed above, a warranty deed includes a guarantee by the seller that his or her title to the land and improvements is uncontested. A quitclaim deed only transfers rights to the property that the seller has, and contains no guarantee that the seller has a clear titile.
Foreclosure: This is a process by which a mortgage lender takes legal ownership of a property when a buyer fails to make mortgage payments.
Joint Tenancy with rights of Survivorship: A form of ownership in which parties own equal shares in a property and upon the death of one of the parties, the other party takes sole possession of the property regardless of will or other statements. Married couples with out estate tax issues hold property like this frequently.
Mortgage Loan: Any loan where the collateral is the property being purchased with the loan money. Like foreclosure, mortgage regulations differ from state to state. Mortgage loans may have fixed or adjustable interest rates.
Survey: A mapping of boundaries, easements, and improvements on a property. Lenders may require surveys before a transaction, especially for commercial or new residential developments, in order to resolve any irregularities.
Title Opinion: A title opinion is a legal document drafted by an attorney which lays out the condition of a title. property.
Tenants in Common: A form of ownership where parties own shares equally, but each parties will controls what happens to that share. Brothers and Sisters, second marriage couples and investors often hold property this way.
If you would like to schedule a initial consultation contact an Iowa real estate attorney, representing clients in Independence, Iowa at the Dillon Law P.C. Give us a call at (563) 578-1850 or complete our inquiry form.