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Law Offices of Larry E. Bray, P.A. Larry E. Bray, P.A
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Common Residential Real Estate Mistakes


When you own a home in Florida or are looking to buy for the first time, it is good to research not only the best steps to homeownership, but also the mistakes to avoid. In addition to your own research, the best chance you have of a successful transaction is to work with an experienced Florida real estate lawyer. An experienced residential real estate attorney can guide you to the best possible outcome for your situation.

Common Residential Real Estate Mistakes to Avoid

  • Not conducting a thorough title search: Whenever you want to buy a home, you need to ensure that the title to the property is thoroughly researched. You do not want to buy a home and then have someone pop up in the future claiming to have an ownership interest. This is also why you need title insurance, and remember, lender’s title insurance does not protect you, it only protects the mortgage provider.

  • Not knowing the boundaries of the property: If the last survey of the property was completed over a decade ago, you need more up-to-date information. Before you purchase new property, be sure you are clear on the property’s boundaries. If you already own the property and face a neighborly dispute, consider investing in a survey.

  • Making mistakes on real estate contracts: When you are buying a home, the real estate contract is essential. It needs to be completed in its entirety and be accurate. Unfortunately, many people make mistakes like leaving blanks on the contract, failing to check important boxes, not dating the agreement, and including an inadequate or inaccurate legal description of the property. There are also new lead developments which need to be addressed by adding language to the boiler plate agreements. Working with an experienced real estate lawyer ensures that you avoid these mistakes.

  • Improperly co-owning real estate: There is more than one way to share real estate with family members or friends, tenants in common and joint tenants with full rights of survivorship. If you simply want your property to pass to one specific loved one after your death, you need your deed to state the property is jointly owned with right of survivorship. Wrongly using tenants in common could lead to a lengthy and expensive probate process.

  • Forgetting to apply for your homestead benefit: If you wish to take advantage of your Florida homestead tax exemption, you must apply by March 1 of the year after you buy your home. Also, talk with your attorney about Florida’s constitutional homestead benefit.

  • Not understanding limitations on your rights: Whenever you own a home or condo, you must understand any issues that limit your property rights, such as homeowners’ associations and easements. If you fail to comply with one of these limitations, you could get into legal trouble.

Let Real Estate Attorney Larry E. Bray Help You

If you want to buy a home or already own a home and are facing a legal issue, it is time to speak with an attorney. A residential real estate attorney can guide you through the legal process, whether you are buying a home, adding a loved one to the deed, or arguing with your neighbor. Contact the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray in West Palm Beach to discuss the best way to handle your situation.


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To speak to an experienced West Palm Beach attorney about your legal concerns, contact us at the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray for an initial consultation.

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