Alaska Real Estate Lawyers
In Alaska, real estate law is a very broad area of law covering anything that has to do with the ownership of land and buildings.
Real estate law can apply to many numerous facets of a personal and professional life. It can apply to anything from the purchase of a vacant lot, to renting prime downtown office space.
Alaska real estate law can be very intricate, because it's really a collection of a lot of different areas of law. These areas of law include property rights, contracts, land use, and many others.
Having a good basic knowledge of Alaska real estate law can make a lot of transactions, such as buying a house or renting an apartment, much easier.
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Common Real Estate Issues in Alaska
Financing: Most people in Alaska probably can't afford to buy a house or a piece of land up front. Consequently, most individuals and business use some form of financing to purchase real estate, typically a mortgage. A mortgage is a loan used to buy a piece of real estate, with the purchased real estate simultaneously securing the loan.
Disclosure: When selling a house, the seller is under a strict legal duty to tell the buyer about any physical defects which the buyer might not be able to discover on his or her own. Sometimes, it isn't entirely clear if a given defect has to be disclosed. In such cases, it's best to disclose it anyway. It simply isn't worth the risk to fail to disclose it, and hope that a court agrees that it was the type of defect that you didn't have to disclose.
Warranty of Habitability: This applies in residential leases. Landlords are under a legal duty, whether it's specifically stated in the lease agreement or not, to ensure that the rented property is fit for human habitation. The requirements for habitability often include electricity, heating, running water, a working phone line, and protection from the elements. Of course, that list is not exhaustive.
Zoning Laws: Zoning laws state what can and cannot be built on a particular piece of property, usually based on the land's location within the town or city. Areas are typically zoned with the goal of ensuring that residential areas are not too close to industrial areas, among other things. If you have some kind of construction project planned on your property, you should make absolutely sure that it is in compliance with Alaska zoning laws BEFORE you begin.
Do I Need a Alaska Real Estate Lawyer?
These issues can be fairly intricate, and the above discussion can't replace the advice of an expert on the subject. Therefore, if you have any real estate issues, it's never a bad idea to make an appointment with a real estate attorney in Alaska.
Alaska is the last of the 50 states, having joined the Union in 1959. Alaska's state nickname is "the Last Frontier". The region was obtained by the U.S. from Russia in the year 1867, in what is known as the "Alaska Purchase".
Today, Alaska retains much of its original character of "the great outdoors". Many of the state's laws and court cases deal with legal issues that aren't found anywhere else in the United States. For example, in Frank v. Alaska (1979), the Alaska Supreme Court protected the interests of groups that were hunting for religious reasons. Another case, Alaska v. Arctic Maid (1961), dealt with the commercial transport of salmon. Thus, a large portion of Alaskan laws involve the protection of the abundant natural resources in the area.
Unlike most other states, the Alaska Supreme Court does not meet in only one location. Most state Supreme Court cases are heard every month in Anchorage. However, on occasion the Supreme Court meets in other places like Juneau, Fairbanks, and other Alaskan communities. This unique feature of the Alaska Supreme Court allows legal issues to be tried in various places. This can be very helpful, since Alaska has the largest geographic area of all the 50 states.
Lawyers in Alaska provide assistance in all kinds of legal fields. Most Alaska lawyers file claims in the state's trial courts, advancing through the appeal system as needed. Attorneys are available in Alaska to help the community with their legal needs.