What is the most unusual or unique situation that you’ve encountered in real estate that relates to a legal issue, if you can think of one?
I think it’s interesting when people want to buy property and not include their spouse. There’s been situations where I’ve had a married couple, maybe they’re not doing so well at that point in time, but junior is going to college and they want to buy a house for them, but they can’t agree. And for whatever reason, you know, one spouse says, I’ll do it myself. I don’t want you in it.
So, um, that can be a touchy situation, just emotionally what’s going on there. Of course I try to kind of step back and let them, you know, work it out. But in those cases, if you’re married, the spouse that’s not involved does have to sign off on their rights to the house, so they do a quick claim deed or what have you.
I had a client in the past, in the midst of a divorce tell me that he was going to pay cash for property for his son, and he didn’t want his wife to know. Is there any way we can do this? And I’ve spoken with the title company, they said we could put a cloud on the title and that would force them [the wife] to sign, you know, when you go to sell it someday in the future. So that was an interesting situation.
And also, I have a lot of investors looking for good deals. So sometimes they’ll find property online that’s cheap and I’ll look, and I’ll say, Hey, wait a minute, this is actually a HOA foreclosure. So, there may be, you know, a mortgage in place that never got paid off cause the HOA foreclosed on it and it’s not that clean.It’s not like you just get to buy it and it’s yours for sure.
The bank might fight for it. So, in cases like that I would consult somebody like yourself [Sarah] to say, Hey, what do you think? Is this worth it? Every other house on the block is selling for $250,000. They’ve got this one for $80,000, so what’s the catch?
Anything else you want to add about real estate in the law or real estate in your experience?
I think that, you know, your services and like forming LLCs for people. I think that’s really helpful. There’s a lot of investors that want to purchase things in their own name, but I think it’s smart to separate it. You know, the home that you live in, maybe you own it with your spouse, but if you’ve got other investment properties, I encourage my clients to look into and speak with someone like Sarah who specializes in this kind of thing where they can form, you know, a corporation and keep everything separate, have a separate bank accounts, separate everything. And it’s just a layer of protection, liability protection.