I’m Transferring Trust Property. Do I Have to Provide Disclosure?

Understanding the Seller’s Disclosure Form

Image of the word Transparency as if it was written on a whiteboard. The is a hand holding a marker made to appear like it has written the word.

If you buy a property from a trust, are you less protected by disclosure rules? If you’re transferring a deed to trust property, what do you need to know for proper disclosure?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer. Disclosure of defects in real estate is a question of state law. But don’t assume that buying from a trust means buyer-beware. The states’ trust exceptions to disclosure laws tend to be narrow.

Here, we take a look at two examples, to give parties to a trust transaction an idea of the issues to spot before the deed changes hands.

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Will a Seller Accept an Offer on a “Pending” Home?

Image of a "sale Pending" sign in front of a house.

What Home Buyers Need to Know

In a seller’s market, buyers anxious to start touring homes may find very few opportunities. Some buyers might try to make offers despite pending deals, eager to be runners-up just in case a sale doesn’t make it to closing. Here’s what to know about pending offers, and whether a pending home could still be available.

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Boundary Line Problems: You Can’t Build That Here. It’s My Land!

Two people arguing over their real estate boundary line.

In 2018, a couple in Texas stumbled upon an unusual opportunity. They got a tip that certain rural plots of land in Smithville — just 50 miles east of Austin — were available for $500. They went for it. Soon, the couple would order their manufactured home. That’s when the trouble began.

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Montana Property Tax Going Up? Not So Fast.

Image of the welcome to Montana sign. Captioned: Montana Property Taxes

Property prices are surging most everywhere. And when property values rise, taxes — charged based on a percentage of property values — rise right along with them. So, confronting property tax hikes has become a rallying cry in many states.

Montana is no exception. And now, a former Montana legislator has submitted a proposed ballot initiative to halt major tax increases for people who aren’t buying or selling, but just keeping their real estate.

Let’s take a look at how it’s going so far.

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Communities Are Going Solar. Will It Play in Peoria?

Person working on solar panels on top of a house.

Solar power is becoming a major real estate trend, as cities, states, and the federal government all strive to lower their areas’ greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. Energy Department notes that rooftop solar costs been halved since 2014, and system installations are surging across the country. Sunrun and SolarCity (now part of Tesla) are leading that growth.

Climate-connected reasons aren’t necessarily in the forefront of homeowners’ minds when they go for it. A lot of the impetus involves blackouts after storms. Households seeking independence from overburdened grids are looking to generators, wall batteries, solar panels and tiles.  

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The HOME Token on Ethereum

An Industry First

Interior of a futuristic house. Captioned: The HOME Token on Ethereum

The Blimp Homes app brings real estate sellers and seekers together with agents. And with Blimp, there’s something more. Together with the Home Network Foundation (homefoundation.io), Blimp Homes has introduced an industry first: a home search platform is designed to be decentralized, user-focused and transparent. It’s built on the HOME Protocol — on blockchain.

Real estate agents are being assigned cryptographic assets called HOME tokens when they sign up with the Home Network. Buyers and sellers will soon be earning HOME tokens on the Ethereum blockchain when working with others on the Blimp platform.

U.S. real estate is the starting point. The network has plans to expand to cover all of North America, and then go further.

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Access Matters: Getting an Easement for Landlocked Property

Image of a locked gate with a road closed sign on it.

Real estate without legal access to a public road is called landlocked property. Title insurance policies exist to protect mortgage lenders and homeowners from the costs of dealing with burdens on a property’s title. Standard title insurance usually covers lack of access. This means it can help pay for the costs associated with obtaining an easement if a house isn’t on a public roadway.

But title policies, individual situations, and state laws vary. Let’s take a look.

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Amid New York City’s Rampant Deed Theft, One Victim Wins

Residential units in New York City

Brooklyn property values are going up. And there are plenty of opportunists looking to steal deeds. In the Bedford-Stuyvesant district of Brooklyn in New York City, Dairus Griffiths just triumphed over those opportunists.

In the past decade, Brooklyn has lost many of its Black and Hispanic residents, as gentrification reshapes the district. Serial fraudsters and their limited liability companies aren’t making life any easier for longtime residents. They scour public records for the most vulnerable and indebted homeowners.

Deed cheats use the shell company structure to blur the identities of holders. The manipulators lie to their targets; they forge deeds; and they move houses from one LLC to the next. Identifying and charging these manipulators becomes very hard to do.

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