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San Antonio Real Estate Law Blog

How to look for termites before buying a home

Every time you purchase a new home, you should have a professional inspection performed to ensure that the property is free of damage. You may also want to do a detailed walk-through and inspection yourself, as it's always possible that even a professional inspector could miss a glaring problem. One thing you want to pay especially close attention to is the threat of termites.

Here's what you should do while carrying out a do-it-yourself termite inspection:

  • Get a flashlight, pocketknife and screwdriver ready and wear some old clothes as you might need to crawl into some tight or dirty spaces.
  • During the inspection, remember to keep an eye out for shed wings or swarmers, as these are the telltale signs of termites.
  • Subterranean termites tend to be found close to the ground floor level, but in areas that are warm and damp, termites may live higher on the second floor and above.
  • Probe wood areas with our screwdriver by poking the wood and checking for soft spots. Pay especially close attention to places where wood construction comes close to the soil, and check both interior and exterior areas near the foundation of the building.
  • If the home has a basement, start there. Use your flashlight in dark areas and look for mud tubes, which the termites use to crawl from one zone to the next. Also check for swarmers.
  • Check the following: wooden construction in the basement; crawl spaces; sills; joists; support posts; subfloors; support piers; wood beneath porches; window frames; and areas where concrete bases join wooden parts of the home.
  • Look in cracks in the foundation and check any expansion joints.
  • Also, check any wood and tree stumps you find surrounding the home.

Can I back out of my real estate deal?

Imagine you've agreed to purchase a new home and although you haven't closed on the property, you've signed an agreement to buy the residence. The problem is, your situation has changed or you've discovered a "deal-breaker" pertaining to the property. Now you no longer want to buy it.

Since you're under contract to buy, you're concerned about whether you can back out of the deal. Backing out of a real estate deal after you've signed a purchase contract isn't always easy. However, sometimes you have an option to end such a contract.

When should you lease a business space instead of purchasing?

There are advantages and disadvantages to consider when deciding whether to lease or buy a piece of commercial property for your business. In this article, we'll examine the various conditions that -- when they exist -- you may want to consider going the route of leasing.

Factors that support the decision to lease when searching for a business location:

How to do a preliminary roof evaluation

When you're driving around San Antonio looking to purchase a new home, you'll want to determine whether there are roof problems at first glance, as quickly as possible. There are numerous homes on the market with severely damaged roofs. While might be a good strategy to buy one of these homes at a massive discount and carry out the roof repairs yourself, you will definitely want to know what you're getting into before you get too far into the real estate deal.

Here's what home buyers should look for when performing a first-gland roof evaluation:

  • Are there any noticeable signs that the roof could need to be repaired or replaced?
  • Check the attic for signs of leaks. Sometimes, a roof will be leaking inside the attic but there are no signs in the rest of the home because the leaks are still new.
  • If the outside of the home exhibits blistering or peeling paint, it may be a sign that water has gotten through the roof and into the walls.
  • Can you find any spots where there are stains, mold or mildew in the ceilings or walls. This is likely the result of a water entering the home through a problematic roof.
  • Are roof shingles or roof sidings showing signs of being rotten?
  • Are the roof shingles, cracked, missing or curling up on their corners?

Issues that might come up while closing on a home

Buying your own home is a milestone for many Americans. Owning a home can provide a place to raise your family or your first foray into independent living. Whether you are buying a home on your own or with a partner, the process can be stressful. You have maybe heard horror stories of home sales falling apart at the last minute.

Closing on a home can reveal problems with the property, or issues may occur with paperwork. Below are some common problems that could come up during closing and how to handle these issues.

Zoning changes and commercial real estate

Before you purchase a piece of commercial real estate, you need to determine what you're going to do with the property and make sure that the property is zoned appropriately to serve its intended function. In fact, it's not unheard of for a commercial property investor to buy a building, but later find out that he or she can't use it due to improper zoning.

In cases where zoning prevents landowner use of properties in the intended way, the landowner might be able to successfully apply for a zoning change. The process of applying for a zoning change usually has several steps.

The difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Many people facing the threat of foreclosure choose to file for bankruptcy to try to prevent the foreclosure from moving forward. One of the benefits of bankruptcy is the "automatic stay," which prevents your creditors from moving forward with their efforts to collect on your debts. In most cases, the automatic stay will also apply to your mortgage lender and prevent the lender from foreclosing on your home.

When choosing bankruptcy options, you'll have the choice of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Depending on your personal financial situation and needs, one of these options could be more appropriate than the other. Here's the main difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy:

Is it a home seller’s market in San Antonio?

There's good news for home sellers in San Antonio. During the first quarter of this year, home prices skyrocketed faster in San Antonio than in other Texas cities. Statistics released by the Texas Association of Realtors show just how good the situation is: Median home prices in the San Antonio area are 7.3 percent higher than they were at the same time last year.

The median price of homes in San Antonio is currently $214,000. Although this is not as high as the statewide median home price of $245,500, the average increase in real estate value was only 5.7 percent. Perhaps San Antonio home values are trying to catch up with prices found throughout the state.

3 kinds of termite treatments

Whether you're trying to buy a new home or sell your current home, a surprise discovery of termites on the property could spell disaster for your real estate deal. If you've found termites on a property and you're the buyer or the seller, you may be able to negotiate with the other party regarding treating the property for termites.

Here are three common treatments options for termites in the home:

What you need to know about transferring property ownership

Losing a loved one is undoubtedly a difficult experience for anyone to encounter. When the person is no longer present, memories and emotions are often tied to the property and personal items left behind. Family real estate is often a treasure that holds value beyond its appraisal.

However, what many people don’t realize is that there is a process to follow when transferring property ownership. Automatic rights are not effective upon the death of the previous property owner. Specific actions need to be taken first to legalize the rights of the beneficiary to the home.