Articles

Due Diligence For Purchasing Real Estate Outside a Municipality In Washington

The typical buyer of residential real estate located in a municipality does not run into legal due diligence challenges. Residential parcels within a municipality created by a platted subdivision typically require less due diligence because: 1) easements are referenced; 2) road access is required; 3) zoning is well-defined; and 4) water, sewer, and power are provided. Outside of a municipality the story is quite different. Many circumstances of a parcel can impede its use, title, insurability,…

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Seller Disclosures For Real Estate In Washington

Washington requires relatively extensive seller disclosures for both residential and commercial properties. The specific disclosure form required depends on whether the property is commercial, “improved residential,” or “unimproved residential.” The Revised Code of Washington defines “improved residential real property” as real property with one to four residential dwelling units, certain residential condominiums, residential timeshares (unless subject to written disclosure by law), and mobile or manufactured homes. “Unimproved residential real property” is property zoned for residential…

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Due Diligence When Buying an HOA Parcel in Montana

Consider the impact of the following documents on your use and enjoyment of an HOA parcel before buying: Homeowner Association Records and Budgets. Financial or other governing entity documents include boards of directors meeting minutes minutes and financial statements. Even a simple three-member road, septic, or water system maintenance agreement should have financial records related to that maintenance. You need to ask for those records for your review and approval within the due diligence period negotiated…

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Legal Due Diligence For Real Estate in Montana

Preliminary title reports are the source of basic legal due diligence information. The list of exceptions documents included in the preliminary title report references exceptions to title insurance coverage and, as such, may represent circumstances that could impair the parcel’s value. Typical documents found listed as exceptions documents are deeds, easements, surveys, plat maps, and CC&R’s. Require a minimum of ten days for legal review and evaluation of the preliminary title report, and the exceptions…

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Due Diligence For Buying Real Estate Outside A Municipality In Montana

The typical buyer of a residential parcel located in a municipality does not run into significant due diligence challenges when purchasing real estate. Parcels located within a municipality with one- to four-unit zoning and created by a platted subdivision require significantly less due diligence because typically: 1) easements are referenced, 2) road access is required, 3) zoning is well-defined, and 4) water, sewer, and power are provided. Outside of a municipality, many circumstances can impede the…

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Seller Disclosures For Real Estate in Montana

Montana law does not provide many protections when it comes to seller disclosures. Sellers may complete a property disclosure form, but Montana does not require it. Montana law requires a seller’s agent to disclose all relevant and material information concerning conditions known to that agent. A seller’s agent is not required to verify statements made by the seller or to inspect the property. A seller’s agent must disclose any adverse material facts known about the…

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“Buyer Beware” With Real Estate In Montana

As in other states that are considered “black-letter law” states, Montana real estate contracts are subject to well-established technical legal rules that are no longer subject to reasonable dispute. Montana courts assume as a matter of law that you have performed physical and legal due diligence, are familiar with contract provisions and understand their effect on your transaction, and are generally aware of risks associated with the parcel. Further, as a general matter, Montana courts…

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What is “Notice?” In Real Estate

What is meant by the word “Notice?” In most legal jurisdictions in the United States, there are three types: Actual, Inquiry, and Constructive. Actual. Actual notice is based in sensory experience. If you saw, smelled, heard, felt, or tasted it, you are said to have had actual notice. For example, if you see a road, you have actual notice that the road exists. Inquiry. Inquiry notice is the sensory experience that causes a reasonable person…

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Buying Real Estate in Montana

Below are factors to consider when buying or selling real estate in Montana. These considerations are not legal in nature, but are general recommendations based on more than twenty years of real estate experience both as a Realtor® and as a real estate attorney in the Inland Northwest. Perform Due Diligence On Real Estate Deals In Montana Because buyers and sellers, wherever they live, generally buy or sell real estate less than four times in…

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Exclusions And Exceptions to Title Insurance For Real Estate

Why are Exclusions and Exceptions to Title Insurance so important? The standard title insurance form used in whole or part by industry participants is the 2006 Owner’s Policy of Title Insurance produced by the American Land Title Association. The standard ALTA insurance form starts with the following language: “American Land Title Association Owner’s Policy Adopted 6-17-06 COVERED RISKS  SUBJECT TO THE EXCLUSIONS FROM COVERAGE, THE EXCEPTIONS FROM COVERAGE CONTAINED IN SCHEDULE B (bold italics added) AND THE CONDITIONS,…

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