parties have no legal duty (and no lawful right or ability) to review
contracts and documents to safeguard your needs. Everything you
sign protects only the party who creates the document -- lender, title
company, broker, house inspector, and others included. Disclaimers
abound! The bank appraisal is done for the bank, not for you. It
is done to protect the mortgage holder's interest, not yours.
(What the big print giveth, the fine print taketh away.)
The Title company
looks for "easements, reservations, restrictions, etc. of record."
As long as it lists these items as exclusions to the title insurer's
liability policy, it protects itself. Its duty to you ends there.
Title policies do not insure against encroachments, tenants' rights, and
other matters. Acreage and lot size are not insured.
Look before you leap! Review title matters before title transfer,
not after, or you may be stuck (sometimes big-time). This is
"E-Z Max and
Socrates" type legal forms. I find these forms sadly hilarious.
They expose buyer and seller to common and costly abuses. I should
think that there are hundreds of pending real estate related lawsuits
pending in Ohio alone because of these forms. You get what you pay
for in this regard. Again, you don't know what you don't know.
The learning process, done my way, is simple. Another way may be
costly. Don't learn from your mistakes, avoid them. Any mortgage
broker or bank loan officer who provides you with "purchase agreement
forms" does you a great disserve in many ways. The same holds true for
any "title company." There is not any universal joint that ever
serves all parties correctly.
commercial property sales and sales with tenants in possession are not
"simple real estate transactions." I have never seen a broker's
form which is even near a basic competence level for these commercial
transactions, be it for a bar and restaurant or strip center.
I used to work in the surgery rooms of a local hospital during college
(OSU) and law school (CSU) holiday breaks. As I wheeled patients
down the halls and into the rooms, they would often say, "They tell me I
have the best doctor." "Yes" I would think, "Everyone has
the best doctor." Like most people in professions and trades,
there is a wide fluctuation in competency. You find builders at
both extremes. There is nothing worse than the heartache of
delayed or botched new construction, or loss of the "earnest money" or
the loss of the land and home itself due to a builder's bankruptcy.
The way most people do it results in down payment money being unsecured
if the buyer does not own the lot (and subject to mechanics liens if the
lot is owned by the homeowner). Mechanics liens are nightmares of
irresponsibility! Every Tom, Dick and Harry can file one, but they
are costly and time consuming to remove.
construction contracts and drafting an addendum that at least tries to
level the playing field can be time consuming (two-to-four hours or
more). Beware of builder's contracts that do not have absolute
completion dates and arbitration clauses. Know your loan
expiration date and provide for what happens when it expires through no
fault of your own and your house is not complete.
Do you think
"Arbitration Clauses" help the little guy? I think the exact
opposite is true. Do you know what "binding arbitration" costs?
Do you know where the pool of arbitrators comes from? Do you know
that there is no right of appeal for the losing party?
a Board of Zoning Appeals or a Planning Commission for a variance or
plan approval can be simple if all goes well, but it is often a legal
and procedural trick bag if you are denied. Logic, reason and
common sense may not be enough to obtain variances or permit approvals.
You must protect the record at the time you present your case to the
board or you may forever lose your chance of obtaining what you need.
Be sure that every fact is presented; exhibits in proper form, and that
oral testimony is in a complete and legally persuadable form. If a lot
is at stake, consult an experienced real estate attorney.