The Vacant Lot

Have you ever owned a vacant lot?  I have owned a few vacant lots in the past, and have always been amazed how people view a vacant lot as public property.  What do I mean by “public property”?  A few years ago my wife and I owned a vacant piece of canal front property.  One day, I received a code violation from Collier County stating that parking my boat on my vacant lot was a code violation and that it needed to be moved within a few short days.  Here’s the thing – I didn’t own a boat.

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When is Wells Fargo NOT Wells Fargo?

Recently, we did a short sale closing with Wells Fargo.  To clarify, our client was in foreclosure with Wells Fargo, he was also being sued by Wells Fargo on his second mortgage.  The plaintiff in both cases were the same – Wells Fargo, N.A.  It is not unusually to be working on a short sale while the property is involved in a foreclosure.  In fact, it sometimes helps the short sale process if the property is being foreclosed.

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The term “underwater” took on a new meaning a few years ago.  Before 2006 has anyone ever heard of a homeowner being “underwater”?  Although we have helped hundreds of clients who are “underwater”, this term always had a different meaning to me.  I have actually enjoyed being underwater, and try to get underwater as often as possible. Continue reading

I Remember When …

I have been involved in real estate in one form or the other for over twenty years. It all started in 1990 when I started my first real estate related job working for a  title company in Michigan while going to law school.  I learned how to search titles the old fashioned way – manually through the libor books.  If you don’t know what a libor book is, think of a book that is a couple of inches thick, but about the size of a desk – and no, I am not exaggerating.  I would manually look through book after book until I traced the property up to the current date.  Although very interesting to look through the books, some being well over a hundred years old, it was very inefficient compared to today’s standards. Continue reading

Where’s The Closing?

The closing process is complex, and difficult to understand.  It takes a team of people, who, if all goes correctly, are working toward the same goal.  And that goal is a successful closing.  Somewhere in the process, it is inevitable that clients will ask … “Where’s the closing?”.  Although a simple question, sometimes it is not easy to answer.

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What does a “hands on” attorney do?

Its a Friday afternoon, and I have spent most of the day meeting with clients, preparing files for upcoming closings, reviewing short sale files, getting ready for court Monday morning and making sure everything is running smoothly.  In other words, a typical day.  The one place that I am not is out for a three hour lunch or an early tee time on the golf course. Continue reading