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Residential Property Sales In Maryland: Understanding Latent Defects

Estate Planning AttorneyIn a residential real estate transaction, both buyer and seller face some degree of risk. The buyer, or course, may be concerned that the home they’re buying has defects of which they’re unaware. Maryland law does require sellers to disclose known defects, and, after a sale, homeowners who discover undisclosed defects may try to hold the seller accountable through legal means. Before buying or selling a home, it’s important for both seller and buyer to understand their rights. In this two-part blog, we’ll look at the legalities of disclosing defects. Defining Latent Defects Section 10-702 of Maryland’s Real Property Article defines latent defects as those that: A buyer would not reasonably be expected to ascertain or observe by a careful visual inspection, and Would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of the purchaser, or any occupant of the property (such as a tenant or houseguest of the purchaser). This…

Part 2 – MHIC Complaints: What Contractors Need to Know

Contractor Looking At RoofWhen a homeowner files a complaint about your work, the Maryland Home Improvement Commission could suspend your license and require you to pay thousands of dollars in fines. According to Consumer Reports, most home remodeling complaints are the result of “miscommunication and mismatched expectations.” The best way to avoid being the subject of a complaint is to focus on communication and ensure that your contract clearly states the scope of a project. Protect Your Interests You may already know that once a homeowner signs your contract, you can legally collect your deposit (which can be no more than a third of the total project cost). But Maryland law does not specify how and when you will be paid for the rest of the job. To ensure you are paid in a timely manner, put in writing your expectations about payment, including any penalties for late payment or non-payment. In the unlikely event you…

How to Handle Out-of-State Property in Estate Plans

Estate Planning AttorneyA person owning real property in more than one state who dies without an estate plan may leave behind complex financial and legal matters for their survivors. Unless that real property is included in estate plans, survivors will need to open probate cases in each state where the decedent owns property. That's a costly and time-consuming process, but avoidable. If you own real estate in a state other than where you are domiciled, there are a few ways you can pass this real estate to your heirs without complications and potentially avoid burdensome taxes in other states. Funding a Trust Transferring your real estate to a revocable living trust is one way to avoid estate complications with out-of-state real property. To transfer real property, you would need a new deed that names the trust as the property owner. When you set up your trust, you can specify how trust assets…