April 14, 2017

Four Questions Potential Buyers Should Consider Before Purchasing An Investment Property

Here are four questions potential buyers should consider before purchasing an investment property. What are your financial goals? You should create rules to help stay focused. For instance, are you looking to make money by way of monthly rent checks, or is this a long-term appreciation investment where you look to cash out upon the sale of the property in a few years? These rules should be tailored to the buyer’s short and long term goals.  You should also set clear objectives as it relates to the amount of time and money you are willing to invest to improve the […]
April 14, 2017

Case Law Analysis Regarding Value Policy Law and What You Should do to Ensure Payment

The Ceballos had purchased a homeowner’s insurance policy and purchased a supplemental policy through Citizens Property Insurance (“Citizens”).  When they lost their home to a fire, Citizens paid the face value of the policy.  However, Citizens argued that the Ceballos first had to show proof of actual loss before they could recover additional damages under the supplemental policy. The Ceballos argued that because they met their burden of demonstrating a total loss under Florida’s Valued Policy Law §627.702 (“VPL”), they should receive the policy limits of the supplemental coverage without establishing any additional loss.  Florida’s Supreme Court disagreed and held […]
March 10, 2017

Drinking and Driving Never Pays

  Everyone should know by now that drinking and driving never pays.  But it could also cost family members some much needed help by way of life insurance proceeds. In American Heritage Life Insurance Company v. Carmen Morales, a family was denied death benefits because the decedent had been drinking and was legally intoxicated at the time of the jet ski accident that resulted in his death.  So his family was unable to recover any death benefits because the decedent was legally drunk at the time of his death. By way of additional background, in that case, the insured purchased […]
March 9, 2017
Traffic accident - one driver on the mobile phone, second expressing anger

Slavin Doctrine Applied to the Design Company in Absolving them of Liability from a Wrongful Death Claim

  Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal was recently asked to address an issue involving Florida’s Slavin doctrine.  In that case, the appellate court concluded that the Slavin doctrine applied to the design company in absolving them of liability from a wrongful death claim. Specifically, the Plaintiff’s father died as a result of a car accident that occurred as he was exiting a mobile home park and collided with a truck.  Plaintiff alleged that the traffic signal at the intersection allowed a driver exiting the mobile home park to rely upon a traffic signal further out into the intersection while overlooking […]
March 9, 2017
Female hand signing contract.

You Should Always Make Sure You Understand What You Are Signing When Buying Property

  Moreno v. First International Title, Inc., is a case that illustrates the very important point that you should always make sure you understand what you are signing when buying property.  In that case, Victoria Moreno (“Moreno”) purchased property encumbered with liens and code violations.  Prior to closing, she was given several documents explicitly disclosing each of the code violations and liens, and indicating the amount necessary to cure, which was approximately $64,000.00.  She also signed a Hold Harmless document, which had attached the list disclosing all the violations and lien information.  The closing occurred a few days later.  Moreno […]
March 8, 2017
Stamp denied.  Image with clipping path

Your Insurance Claim May Be Dead On Arrival and Denied if You Fail to Adhere to the Conditions Set forth in Your Insurance Policy

Your insurance claim may be dead on arrival and denied if you fail to adhere to the conditions set forth in your insurance policy.  This point is illustrated by the ongoing dispute Alfredo Hernandez (“Hernandez”) had with his insurance company, State Farm. Hernandez was initially paid $36,858.80 for losses caused by Hurricane Wilma. Hernandez claimed that he noticed additional damages sometime after the initial payment and proceeded to renovate the large majority of his home.  Hernandez did not contact Sate Farm before, during, or after the repairs to allow inspection and kept only minimal records of the costs associated with […]
February 17, 2017
Front panoramic view of a woman thinking in the new apartment of her dreams looking through a window of a toy house on the beach

Tenant Occupied Real Estate

Today we want to talk a little bit about tenant occupied real estate when you are either buying or selling. If you are selling real estate property and your property is currently occupied by a tenant, you need to find a buyer that is happy with a tenant occupied property and a buyer that is willing to buy that property subject to the tenant’s rights. You can of course get into some kind of agreement with your tenant prior to selling the property, whereby the tenant will leave once you close. But absent such an arrangement, the buyer has to […]
February 14, 2017
Buy? Sell? Rent? Keep? card with a urban background

How to Sell a Home While Trying to Buy One at the Same Time

Buying a home is often a difficult process in and of itself.  But how about if you are trying to sell a home while trying to buy one at the same time?  It can be done if you have a plan and know what you are doing. We have previously discussed the importance of hiring a real estate professional to help you navigate through the property buying/selling experience.  This is even that much more important if you are doing both at the same time.  An experienced real estate agent will know when the market conditions will make it easier to […]
February 14, 2017
Stop Foreclosure

How does a Foreclosure Impact One’s Insurable Interest in Property

In Conyers v. Balboa Insurance Company, the United States District for the Middle District of Florida was asked to decide how does a foreclosure impact one’s insurable interest in property.  In that case, the Conyers sought to recover from the Balboa Insurance Company (“Insurance”) money for damage caused to their property by a sinkhole.  Under the Conyers’ mortgage, there was a condition that required them to carry hazard insurance.  When they failed to do this, the Mortgage Servicer bought a lender-placed insurance policy (“Policy”) at the Conyers’ expense.  The Policy named the Mortgage Servicer as the named insured and the […]