Washington Real Estate Lawyers
In Washington, 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.
Washington 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 Washington 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 Washington
Financing: Most people in Washington 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 a house or other structure is for sale, the seller has to tell prospective buyers about all physical defects of which the seller is aware, and which the buyer couldn't be reasonably expected to discover. However, if you are selling a house, you should probably just disclose every defect you're aware of. This will save you a great deal of potential liability. Even if your disclosure of a particular defect wasn't required (because the buyer could have easily discovered it), the buyer might still sue, and the cost of defending this lawsuit, even if you win, will be very high.
Warranty of Habitability: All residential property which is being rented must be fit for human habitation. This is typically not a difficult standard for a reasonably well-maintained unit to meet (or one would think), but violations of this rule still occur. When renting an apartment, the landlord is implicitly promising that the unit will be habitable, whether or not such a promise is actually written in the lease, or even if the lease disclaims it. There are many requirements for a dwelling to be habitable, and most of them are fairly obvious- they include heating, running water, electricity, and basic protection from the elements. There are many other requirements, however.
Zoning: Zoning regulations typically divide cities into sections, or "zones," and state what types of buildings can be built in the different sections. Zones will be categorized by the type of use permitted, such as residential, industrial, commercial, etc. If you own a piece of property and want to make improvements to it, you should check the local zoning ordinance to ensure that any improvements you plan on making comply with all of Washington's zoning regulations.
Do I Need a Washington Real Estate Lawyer?
Because of the potential complexity of the above-discussed issues, along with the many others that might come up in the real estate context, it would be smart to speak with a Washington real estate lawyer before engaging in any influential real estate deal.
Washington is a state located on the Western Pacific Coast of the mainland U.S. Washington became a state in 1889. Before this, it was part of a region known as the Washington Territory. Washington state was named after President George Washington and is the only state to be named after a U.S. President.
Washington life is supported by an economy of agriculture, shipping, transportation, and heavy industry. Many of Washington's laws regulate these types of activities. Complex legal claims are heard at the Washington Supreme Court, which is the highest court in the state. The Washington Supreme Court produces many decisions that are influential across the country. A 2007 study showed that decisions coming from the Washington Supreme Court are the second most widely followed by all the appellate courts in the U.S.
Other important court bodies in Washington include the Court of Appeals, the Superior Court system, the Municipal Courts, and District Courts. Another interesting fact is that Washington's Supreme Court was the first court in the world to provide complete television coverage of all cases. These are televised year-round through the state's public television network.
Lawyers in Washington provide their clients with the legal services in accordance with state and national standards. Washington lawyers are skilled at interpreting the state's complex body of case laws and statutory codes. Legal questions and inquires can be directed to a local attorney in Washington.