Six Essential Property Laws You Need to Know Before Buying a Home

property law

Homebuyers today are looking for more than just a home. They want a space that meets their needs and their lifestyle. And they’re willing to pay for it. According to the National Association of Realtors, the average homebuyer spends about $300,000 on their new home. That’s a lot of money, and it’s not an investment that should be taken lightly.

If you’re buying a home today, you also don’t want to be part of any legal problems. Unfortunately, this can potentially cost you more money. In a worst-case scenario, you can even lose your home. With this being said, it’s vital that you know some of these property laws and some myths surrounding them.

Liens

If the previous homeowner has any unpaid debts, there’s a chance that they could put a lien on the property. This means that the debt needs to be paid off before the home can be sold. The new owner would be responsible for paying this debt. If you’re not sure if there are any outstanding liens, you can check with your local county recorder’s office or ask your real estate agent.

This is essential to know because any outstanding credit has the possibility of being charged towards you. If you don’t know about it, then you can’t do anything to dispute the claim.

Easements

An easement is a legal agreement that gives someone the right to use your property for a specific purpose. For example, the power company may have an easement to come onto your property to maintain the power lines. Or, your neighbor may have an easement to use your driveway to access their home.

Easements can be tricky because they’re not always visible. For example, if there’s an easement for the power company, you may not be able to build a fence in that area. Therefore, it’s essential to check for easements before buying a property, so you’re not surprised later.

It’s not that common to find a home with easements, especially those close to public properties. But by the end of the day, these are mere inconveniences. In some cases, people can even get reimbursed for any damage done from these easements.

Restrictive Covenants

Restrictive covenants are rules that homeowners must follow. They’re usually put in place by the homeowner’s association or the subdivision developer. These rules can dictate everything from what color you can paint your house to how often you have to mow your lawn. Moreover, certain parts of your home, like trees, that can cross your neighbors’ lot can also be a problem.

If you’re thinking of buying a home in a subdivision, make sure you know the restrictive covenants. For example, if you have a huge tree that can cross over your neighbor’s lot, it might be better to hire a tree removal service to take it off your lot. You don’t want to be surprised by a lawsuit later on. It’s better to be safe than sorry for restrictive covenants.

property law

Zoning Laws

Each city and county have their zoning laws. These laws dictate what can and cannot be built on a property. For example, some areas may only allow single-family homes while others may allow commercial or industrial buildings. Therefore, it’s essential to know what is permitted on a property before purchasing it. Otherwise, you could end up with a home that you can’t do anything with.

If you’re not sure about the zoning laws in an area, you can check with the city or county planning office. They should be able to tell you what is and isn’t allowed on a piece of property.

Property Taxes

Property taxes are another critical factor to consider when buying a home, and some new homeowners don’t know about this. These taxes are based on the value of your home and are paid to the government. The amount of tax you’ll pay will vary depending on where you live. For example, homes in Texas have a lower property tax rate than homes in California.

Moreover, luxury taxes are also imposed on high-end homes. So, if you’re buying a million-dollar home, you can expect to pay more in property taxes than someone who’s buying a $100,000 home.

It’s important to factor in property taxes when you’re budgeting for your new home. Otherwise, you could end up being surprised by a large tax bill later on.

You can use an online calculator to get an estimate of your property taxes. Just remember that these rates can change over time, so it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest rates.

Homeowners Insurance

Homeowners’ insurance is another important factor to consider when buying a home. This insurance protects your home from damage or theft. It’s important to have this insurance because it can help you replace your belongings if they’re damaged or stolen. Homeowners insurance can also help you pay for repairs if your home is damaged by a fire or severe weather.

It isn’t required by federal law, but some states do require you to have it during the first few years of your purchase.

It is important to check for easements, restrictive covenants, and zoning laws before you buy a property. Property taxes and homeowners insurance are also important factors to consider. All of these factors can affect your decision on whether or not to buy a home.

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