Understanding Tax Prorations

Tax Prorations can be confusing if you are not a seasoned veteran of real estate closings. Most real estate contracts will contain a section dealing with tax prorations. In Texas most residential transaction use the Texas Real Estate Commission (“TREC”) contracts....

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Transferring Real Estate at Death Without Probate

There are two relatively easy ways to transfer title to real estate at death while avoiding probate and the tax trap often created by an outright gift of real estate. These two methods of conveyance can also be used to avoid a Medicaid lien. However, neither of the...

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What You Should Know About Small Condominium Projects

This article is written for novice condominium developers. That usually means the condo project has a small number of units; typically, two to four units. I will, therefore, address some of the issues faced by a novice developer of a small unit condo...

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Emotional Support & Service Animals

The Fair Housing Act (“FHA”) is a federal law that prohibits landlords from discriminating based on disability, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, and familial status. The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) prohibits discrimination against people with...

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Foreclosure Basics

All states have a procedure for foreclosing on real property which is pledged as collateral for a loan. Most, Texas among them, have a non-judicial foreclosure procedure. As the name implies, a “non-judicial foreclosure” is conducted without the need for filing a...

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Avoiding Personal Liability for Business Debts

It is impossible to operate a business without creating business liabilities. One of your primary business objectives should be to keep those liabilities as the sole responsibility of the company and prevent them from becoming your personal liability as an owner. The...

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Common Real Estate Contract Mistakes

Here are ten of the more common mistakes I see when reviewing real estate contracts. (1) Leaving Blanks In The Contract. Failing to fill in the required blanks in a form is really sloppy work and, in my opinion, unforgivable. Take the time to review the final contract...

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Protecting Real Estate Investments with a Series LLC

Recent legislation, combined with protections historically available in Texas, make Texas one of the best locations in the U.S. for protecting assets from creditor claims. Texas has now joined seven other states in permitting the creation of a series limited liability...

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The Basics of an LLC

A limited liability company or LLC offers the flexibility and tax advantages of a partnership while providing the limited-liability benefits of a corporation. An LLC, like a corporation, is a separate legal entity which limits the personal liability of its owners. The...

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Who Selects the Title Company?

Who has the right to select the title company? This is a perennial controversy which can raise emotions and create controversy early in the transaction especially when selling residential property . Most residential buyers and sellers have no strong ties to a...

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Buying or Selling Rental Properties

One to four family residential investment properties are commonly bought or sold in transactions in which a Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) Contract form is used. Often these properties are leased to third party tenants at the time the contract is signed and at...

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Wraparound Financing Basics

There are many potential buyers who either cannot or do not want to meet the requirements to obtain a new loan from a commercial lender. The reasons for this can range from a recent bankruptcy to investors who are very credit qualified but already own too many...

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