Real Estate

Ice and Snow Should Concern Property Owners

Posted by on Feb 20, 2015 in Business General Counsel, Litigation, Real Estate | 0 comments

Ice and snow on publicly accessed property should be of concern to property owners. A decision in 2014 by the Michigan Court of Appeals brought clarification to what has been known as the open and obvious doctrine which applies to parties that are injured when on the property of another.  With certain exceptions, the open and obvious doctrine held that a party cannot collect for damages when they are injured as a result of a property defect that was “open and obvious” to that individual.  For example it would be difficult to collect for injuries sustained when one steps into a...

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Jointly Held Property: Good or Bad Idea?

Posted by on Jun 15, 2013 in Litigation, Probate, Real Estate, Tax | 0 comments

A frequent question that comes to us as lawyers is whether or not it is a good idea to maintain jointly held property.  The context of these issues often relate to situations where parents want to put their children’s name on their bank accounts or where siblings hold real estate jointly that once belonged to parents.  These questions about jointly held property come up with regard to all different types of property such as investment accounts, bank account, real property and even interests in debt where a party or parties are owed money pursuant to a promissory note.  Frequently the...

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Land Contracts Explained for Buyers and Sellers

Posted by on Jul 9, 2012 in Real Estate | 0 comments

Land contracts have seen a resurgence in Michigan.  In recent years the ability for buyers to obtain financing has become a serious problem for those wanting to sell their real estate holdings and those wanting to buy as well.  The inability for buyers to obtain mortgage financing to purchase property has, to some extent, resulted in the slowdown in the real estate market that has been impacting the economy for the past five years. Unique Properties Similarly, parties that own unique or non-conforming property can also have problems finding buyers that can get a mortgage to purchase the...

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Down Market is the Time to Challenge Michigan Real Estate Tax Assessments

Posted by on Feb 6, 2012 in Real Estate, Tax, Tax Appeals | 0 comments

You may hear the term “Proposal A” thrown around when people discuss Michigan property taxes.  Proposal A was a referendum passed by the people of Michigan in 1994 which amended the State Constitution in a variety of ways related to the funding of public schools.  As relates to the administration of real property taxes, Proposal A created what we now commonly refer to as “capped value”.  Capped value is the concept which makes the recent downturn in the real estate market an ideal time to appeal the assessed value of your real estate with the Michigan Tax Tribunal. Due to the changes in the...

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Short Sale Basics

Posted by on Oct 25, 2011 in Real Estate | 0 comments

The term “short sale” has become a household term in the post real estate bubble market.  But what exactly is a short sale, and why would a property owner or a bank want to do a short sale? A short sale is simply a sale of real estate with a sales price of less than the outstanding balance on the mortgage loan.  The problem, of course, is that the bank holding the mortgage will generally not allow a sale to take place if the bank is not going to receive full payment for its loan.  This makes a short sale seem quite impossible, yet they are happening on a regular basis in today’s economy. ...

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Michigan Property Tax Abatements for Industrial Property

Posted by on May 19, 2011 in Real Estate | 0 comments

Michigan manufacturers should be aware of several tax incentives available to businesses investing in plant and equipment.  One of these incentives is the Industrial Facilities Tax (or “IFT”) abatement. The IFT effectively cuts the property taxes on qualifying industrial equipment or real estate by 50% for up to twelve years; it is really a 100% abatement of the property taxes, which is replaced with the Industrial Facilities Tax at 50% of the tax rate used to calculate the normal property tax liability.  Mechanically, it works essentially as a simple 50% reduction in the property tax bill....

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