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JordanPascale_BlogImage-300x215If you are reading this, NOW is the PERFECT time to get ahead and make sure you are most prepared to deal with the before and after effects of the Storm.  Locate your Auto, Boat, and Homeowners Insurance policies and make sure they are in effect and in good standing.  If you have any questions about your policies, reach out to your insurance agent immediately. 

Remember to take pictures or video with your smart phone before the StormTake pictures or even video tape the outside to show every corner of your home, the inside of your ceiling to show there were no leaks.  Take pictures and video around your windows from the inside to show there were no water stains before the storm.  Take pictures or video of all your furniture, TV’s and all electronics so you can show that you did own them prior to the storm.  It is most common for insurance companies to claim that damages were there prior and will likely not approve your claims unless you have some evidence (THE MORE EVIDENCE THE BETTER!)

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us anytime at 305-501-2836.  We are here to help and assist you in any way we can. 

Below is a comprehensive list of “things to do” we received and would like to share with everyone to help in your preparation: 

1.       Charge any device that provides light. Laptops, tablets, cameras, video cameras, and old phones. Old cell phones can still used for dialing 911. Charge external battery back ups.  Continue Reading

JordanPascaleLogoIn a previous post, we established an over-arching general understanding of Partition Actions and their applications.  Now let’s investigate some of the details of common Partition Actions.

As with every facet of the justice system, proper procedure is a must in all court filings for Partition Actions.  As detailed in Florida Statute 64.041, the initial Complaint in a Partition Action must include the following:

  • A legal description of the property in question;

JordanPascaleLogoEarlier this month, Florida Power and Light (FPL) was issued a stunning legal defeat when a $1.5 million dollar judgment was issued against the company for breaking a handshake agreement for the purchase of real estate.  A Palm Beach County jury handed down the decision after finding that the energy giant failed to pay a commission to the realtor who initially informing them of the available tract of land for development.  According to the court file, the Plaintiff and a representative of FPL met at a Parent’s Weekend function their respective children’s university where they discussed the availability of a tract of land for purchase by the company and the subsequent commission to be paid to the Plaintiff should FPL indeed purchase the land.  Subsequently, FPL purchased the land and did not honor the commission, culminating in the court’s decision which provides a textbook example of the validity of handshake/verbal agreements and the difficulty encountered when trying to enforce them in court.

Although there are certain instances where only a written contract is enforceable, for a contract to be valid in the State of Florida, there must be an offer and an acceptance of that offer in exchange for consideration — i.e., money, services or goods that have value — and this includes handshake agreements.  Obviously, the difficulty in court enforcement of a handshake agreement lies with the Plaintiff, who must establish the burden of proof required to establish an agreement was ever present in the first place.  In most situations, a verbal contract is a binary discussion between two parties and there are no additional witnesses to the agreement.  In this matter, the Plaintiff was fortunate to have made the agreement in a very public setting that afforded a number of witnesses, all of whom had to be deposed.  Additionally, the Plaintiff was able to provide phone and email records to indicate his attempts to contact the FPL representative on this very matter.  These proved to be compelling verifications of the Plaintiff’s argument in the eyes of the jury.

Given the private nature of most handshake agreements, proving them in court is an uphill battle, but the above example is definitive proof that even major corporations can run afoul of contract law in certain situations.  The importance of corroborating witnesses is plainly evident — in the case of written agreements the witness is the contract itself, but in the case of a handshake agreement one must rely on additional parties to prove its existence.  At Jordan + Pascale we stress the importance of written agreements — be it a lease, purchase/sales contract, invoice for services, etc., the safest route is to get everything in writing and agree to nothing unless it is written on the page.  However, if you believe you have been wronged in the execution of a handshake agreement, we urge you to contact our office to discuss the matter.  Here at Jordan + Pascale, we pride ourselves on our ability to protect and advocate on behalf of our clients and to relentlessly pursue their interests — it’s what makes us South Florida’s premier real estate law firm!  Call us for a consultation and see what we can do for you!

JordanPascaleLogoIn Florida, as in many other states, properties that fall into arrears on delinquent taxes may eventually be sold at public auction by the county in which they are located.  The process by which this occurs, called a Tax Deed Sale, is detailed in Chapter 197 of the Florida Statutes and can be a little daunting to read through.  We here at Jordan + Pascale, P.L. have years of experience representing clients in Tax Deed Sales; the following is a short overview to help you get acquainted with the reasons for and processes of these unique real estate transactions.

First, as the name suggests, a Tax Deed Sale is performed to recoup unpaid taxes on real estate properties.  Properties cannot be sold until a number of prior requirements are met and deadlines passed at which time the holder of the Tax Lien Certificate against the property may file to force a public auction of that property.  This is what is referred to as a Tax Deed Sale.

A Tax Deed Sale extinguishes most liens against a property and prioritizes those held by municipalities and counties, which again stands to reason when you consider that the main motivation for a Tax Deed Sale is to pay delinquent taxes.  However, there is still some issue regarding which liens and debts against a property are still applicable after the sale.  As such it is of paramount importance that proper notice be given to the legal titleholder of record and all lienholders, including mortgage companies, and failure to comply with these notice requirements can result in the sale being voided.  Because there is often some questions as to the chain of ownership for Tax Deed Sale properties, purchasers commonly file Quiet Title Actions to permanently “quiet” – or eliminate – all claims to a property’s title.

JordanPascaleLogoMost people never hear of a Quiet Title action until they’re in the midst of one.  Here at Jordan + Pascale, P.L. one of our main focuses is Quiet Title actions.  Because we believe that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of effort, the following is an overview of Quiet Title actions in the State of Florida.

What is a Quiet Title Action?

A Quiet Title action is a civil lawsuit brought in the circuit court to “quiet” any and all claims on a piece of real estate.  Essentially, Quiet Title actions are intended to establish an individual’s right to ownership of real property against one or more adverse claimants.  In other words, Quiet Title establishes who the true owner of a property is and resolves all issues, or “clouds” from the title.  These cases are filed in Circuit Civil court.

img_2262By:  Alejandro E. Jordan, Esq.

The Miami Downtown Development Authority’s Annual Residential Market Study Update for the Greater Downtown Miami area, prepared by Integra Realty Resources (IRR), came out in early February, and is full of interesting/useful information. In this post we will discuss a few of the attention-grabbing tidbits from the Miami Downtown Development Authority (MDDA) report, and begin to address how some of these developments are going to affect you as buyers/sellers here in the Miami area.

According to the Senior Managing Director for IRR, Anthony M. Graziano, and Market Research Analyst, Dan Bowen, a big picture view on the state of the market should recognize that while inventory is up, there is no distress in the market. New pre-construction deliveries closed out successfully in 2016, demonstrating buyer confidence.

Resale pricing retreated modestly (6% – 7%), reflecting both a correction after five consecutive years of growth, as well as a stronger US Dollar, resulting in nominal price increases for most foreign buyers, according to the MDDA report.

With regard to condo delivery, the report notes that the greater downtown Miami area saw the largest volume of delivery (2,202 units delivered in 2016) since 2008, although it was also noted that this figure is mostly in line with the expected 11-year and 15-year cycle of absorption.

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img_2262By:  Alejandro E. Jordan, Esq.

“Our Real Estate Consulting Model will Revolutionize the entire Real Estate Industry,” says Alejandro E. Jordan, JD.

As you know, in today’s real estate market, everything that is listed on the multiple listing services is available to be seen on hundreds of duplicated websites at no cost to you.  Independent surveys state that over 95% of buyers search the Internet to find a home.  Virtually no one surveyed said their agent found them a home that they had not seen on the Internet or by driving around.  If you are one of the over 95% of the buyers out there doing their own homework, we figure why not pay you for your efforts so that you save money on your transaction closing costs.

Serving the Next Generation of First-Time Home Buyers

Today, Millennials (even Gen X and Gen Y) prefer to research information online or through their friends.  Our clients are savvy home buyers.  They’re involved in their search and know what they want.  They don’t need an agent to look on the Internet for new listings.  There are plenty of online tools they can use for that.  They don’t need an agent to drive them all over town every weekend.  And, they certainly don’t want to pay a full commission just to close the deal.  Buyers want someone who is on their side and who is hired to represent their interests.

How does the Real Estate Consulting Model Work?

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img_2262By: Alejandro E. Jordan, Esq.

Due Diligence Checklist for Commercial Real Estate Transactions in South Florida

Commercial real estate investments in south Florida can provide lucrative returns when they are selected and managed properly. Rather than just rushing into a transaction, an investor will be more likely to realize those returns if he follows a due diligence checklist on commercial real estate transactions in Miami and anywhere else in the State of Florida. The key items on that checklist are as follows:

  • ACQUISITION DOCUMENTS

Both Purchaser and Seller must confirm that they are satisfied with the purchase contract and all ancillary documents, including corporate authorizations and approvals, escrow agreements, and disbursement instructions.

  • TITLE AND ZONING

The transaction should not close until the Purchaser has reviewed the title policy and any applicable surveys, and has concluded that no exceptions will preclude him from acquiring a clean title to the commercial real estate.

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By:  Alejandro E. Jordan, JD

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – 1031 Exchanges (Tax Deferred Exchanges) for Commercial Real Estate

Question 1:    What is the difference between a sale and an exchange?  

Answer 1:        A sale is an exchange of real property for cash. An exchange is a transfer of property for other like-kind property – a “non-taxable” sale.

Question 2:    What provisions are required in a Purchase and Sale Agreement to enter into an exchange?  

Answer 2:        A Purchase and Sale Agreement should contain language establishing the exchangor’s intent and notifying the buyer of the exchange. Examples are:

When Selling:

“It is the intent of the Seller to perform an IRC Section 1031 tax deferred exchange by trading the property herein with [_________________]. Buyer agrees to execute an Assignment Agreement at the request of Seller at no additional cost or liability to Buyer.”

When Buying:

“It is the intent of the Buyer to perform an IRC Section 1031 tax deferred exchange by trading the property herein with [_________________]. Seller agrees to execute an Assignment Agreement at the request of Buyer at no additional cost or liability to Seller.”

Question 3:    Can an investor trade from several small properties into one large one?  

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