Real Estate Law in Indiana

In St. Joseph County, real estate law can affect just about anything involving the use, purchase, or sale of land and fixtures to land, such as buildings.

Real estate law in St. Joseph County can be fairly intricate, especially when it comes to things like mortgages and the resolution of disputes over construction defects.

Therefore, it's a good idea to learn some of the basics of St. Joseph County's real estate laws.

If you have even a little bit of basic familiarity of applicable real estate law, your life will probably be a great deal easier. If you have some understanding of the law, your knowledge will likely put you in a better bargaining position.

Common Real Estate Law Issues in St. Joseph County

Financing: Most persons, families, and small businesses in St. Joseph County cannot afford to buy a large piece of real estate with the money they have on hand. However, they generally can afford to pay for it over a long period of time, in installments, with interest. Consequently, most real estate is purchased using a mortgage - a loan for a specific purchase, using the item purchased as collateral.

Zoning: Zoning regulations control what types of structures are allowed on various parcels, based on their location in a municipality. For instance, some areas in a city might be zoned only for residential use. Another area might permit industrial use. These rules are meant to keep property values up, and promote harmony among neighbors by preventing conflicts.

Duty to Disclose: If you're buying a house in St. Joseph County, you have specific legal protections. The seller has a duty to tell the buyer about any defects that the property has. All defects which the seller knows about, and which the buyer can't be expected to discover through an ordinary inspection, must be disclosed. If the seller fails to disclose a defect, and the buyer later discovers it, the seller can be sued for any diminution in the property's value caused by the defect, the cost of repairing it, and any injuries the buyers suffers as a result.

Implied Warranty: All residential lease agreements in St. Joseph County carry with them an implicit promise by the landlord that the property is fit for human habitation. This warranty does not need to be explicitly stated in order to have effect, and neither the tenant nor landlord can waive it. Any arrangement claiming to waive this warranty is void. To be considered habitable, a building must not be so dirty as to pose a health hazard, it must have running water, it must have electricity, and it must provide adequate protection from the weather. There are many other requirements, but if a building or unit lacks any one of those, it will be considered uninhabitable.

Can a St. Joseph County Real Estate Lawyer Help?

These issues, along with many others, can sometimes be fairly confusing. Therefore, you should never hesitate to consult with a St. Joseph County real estate attorney if you have any questions.