I am frequently called in to handle real estate matters because it was a fundamental part of my childhood. I knew more about interest rates and booms and busts than the basic multiplication tables (and still do, unfortunately–don’t ask me eight times nine). Every land issue is unique, and is as much wrapped up in the emotions of the parties as the high economic stakes involved.
Whether they are commercial developers flipping properties, or families moving from one home to another, people often have much of their net worth attached to a particular acreage of dirt. Combined with a tight time table, the nature of real estate prevents those involved from seeing their deals objectively, as outsiders. Thus, the lawyer takes on a pivotal role in land matters. Not only are they securing their clients’ legal interests like they would with other subjects, the lawyers use their experience seeing other deals go through (or fail) and keep clients focused on the objective elements of a deal rather than emotion.
If there was one thing that I could say is more risky than any other subject to attempt without a lawyer, it’s real estate. The cost to benefit ratio isn’t as high as with taxation, and the subject is not as arcane as litigation, but real estate usually involves betting your life savings. If you can’t stomach the bill to have a lawyer second-guess what you’re doing, stick to renting. Few shrug at paying a thousand a year to insure a twenty thousand dollar car, but balk at paying that for a $100,000 house. You do not want to spend your life savings on your dream home on the river only to find out that a twenty foot wide power line easement runs through the middle of it.
If you are considering a lease for your business, a real estate investment, or even the purchase of a home, it’s a good idea to call a lawyer for a cursory review. For many calls, I will simply tell the potential client that the cost/benefit ratio does not justify a lawyer, but that knowledge alone makes it worth dialing. Also, like with taxation, when it comes to property, the earlier you call the lawyer, the better. If you know you plan to put your business in a building, but have not even started looking yet–you can save a lot of time and money with thirty minutes of advice about what to look for, rather than hours redrafting a lease to make a square business fit into a round tenant agreement.
As with all matters, the clock does not start ticking unless we come to agreement, so feel free to call about whether or not your matter is something we can help you plan with, and whether it’s something we can help you save money on.
For the sake of listing some subject areas I have given advice on to give you an idea of Rowland Legal’s scope of practice, they have included:
- Advice regarding brokerage agreements
- Commercial lease disputes
- Condemnation issues with GDOT
Because I have been involved with real estate for so long, even if I do not have the skill set required for your issue, it’s highly likely I can track down a lawyer who does.