California Real Estate Law Questions & Answers

Q: My Mom has a mortgage loan. If I/son pay it off, could she transfer the house (title?) to me? if yes what's the process?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Feb 25, 2015

Answered on Feb 25, 2015

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

Your suggestion should work. Also, if the mortgage is assumable, you may be able to assume the loan and receive the property's title. Be sure to consult your own attorney to protect your legal rights.

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Q: How long does an escrow company have to return my deposit when I have decided not to purchase the property?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Feb 21, 2015

Answered on Feb 23, 2015

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

The escrow holder is a neutral third party--it will not judge which party (buyer or seller) is right. If both parties sign papers authorizing the escrow to be cancelled and deposits be refunded to buyer (you), then the process will be fairly quick. Otherwise, it can take much longer and, in extreme cases, the parties may need to resort to legal and equitable relief. I suggest...

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Q: I am in a process of closing a house, if the buyer does not vacate the home on the day of closing, how to get possession

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Feb 18, 2015

Answered on Feb 19, 2015

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

If you are buying the house to use it as your residence, one of the conditions to closing should be that you receive possession of the property. You are free to negotiate different terms with the seller, or allow them to stay as a resident/tenant. However, if they fail to vacate as agreed, you will need to bring an unlawful detainer action against them and obtain a court order to...

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Q: How can I prevent my Ex-husband from entering my house when I put it up for sale? He is a real estate agent in the area.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Feb 13, 2015

Answered on Feb 15, 2015

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

You can ask your listing agent to hold on to the property key, rather than using a lock box. If there is credible threat your ex-husband or anyone else may want to vandalize the property, you can hire a security company to place a guard on the premises and/or patrol the area. Be sure to consult your own attorney to protect your legal rights.

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Q: can I claim adverse possession to my deceased mothers house?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Feb 11, 2015

Answered on Feb 11, 2015

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

It is fairly difficult to establish adverse possession under California law. In the case of California Maryland Funding Inc. v. Lowe, 37 Cal.App.4th 1798, 1803 (1995), the court summarized the law saying:

"The elements necessary to establish title by adverse possession are: (1) tax payments, (2) actual possession which is (3) open and notorious, (4) continuous and...

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Q: My friend dad bought his house years ago, and his brother co-sign for him so the loan in his uncle name. Now that there

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Feb 11, 2015

Answered on Feb 11, 2015

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

If the existing loan is assignable, then they can approach the lender to transfer the title and the loan to your friend. Otherwise, your friend will need to go through a transaction where your friend takes out a new loan, the existing loan is paid off and your friend receives title to the property. Be sure to consult your own attorney to protect your legal rights.

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Q: I bought house Shortsale after five years , H.O.A askingme to remove a part of ciment not match color that was not

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Feb 10, 2015

Answered on Feb 10, 2015

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

You need to read the HOA notice carefully and see what authority it is relying on. Likely, there is some provision in the Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions ("CC&Rs") of the planned development you live in that requires uniform exterior covering for all units, etc. Be sure to consult your own attorney to protect your legal rights.

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Q: Can an owner request a prepaid 12 month payment on a 24 month lease in addition to a 1 month security deposit?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Feb 9, 2015

Answered on Feb 10, 2015

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

Your description does not provide if this is a residential lease or a commercial lease. Concerning residential leases, California Civil Code § 1950.5(c) allows "advance payment of not less than six months' rent if the term of the lease is six months or longer." Concerning commercial leases, California Civil Code § 1950.8(d) allows "advance payment of rent, if the amount and...

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Q: can you help me

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Feb 9, 2015

Answered on Feb 9, 2015

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

It would be very difficult for anyone to try to help you without seeing all of your documents and without having an understanding of the context of your transaction. The $25,000 you refer to may be a number of things, such as payment of a loan/lien under your name. I suggest you immediately retain your own attorney and go over the documents before the closing and before you sign...

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Q: I just purchased a home. I found animal remains in a wooden box in the back yard while cleaning. Do I have a lawsuit?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Feb 6, 2015

Answered on Feb 9, 2015

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

If the animal belonged to you and someone killed it, you may be able to entitled to recover the value of your animal. Be sure to consult your own attorney to protect your legal rights.

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Q: How long are seller disclosures valid

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Feb 8, 2015

Answered on Feb 9, 2015

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

The answer will depend on how the contract and disclosures are phrased. Ideally, the representations and warranties should be made as of the escrow closing date. Be sure to consult your own attorney to protect your legal rights.

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Q: What does it mean when a co owner of the property transfers the entire property into their name

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Feb 5, 2015

Answered on Feb 6, 2015

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

Your question is not clear to me. If a property is owned by 2 or more co-tenants (co-owners), then in order to transfer property's title all co-tenants would need to sign the conveyance deed.

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Q: Is it legal in the County recordings of property to leave the name of the Grantor blank wnen appointing a new trustee?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Feb 3, 2015

Answered on Feb 5, 2015

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

I am not clear what you are asking. Are you referring to a "substitution of trustee" form such as the one shown on this webpage ? If so, that form has to be signed by the "beneficiary" and the full name and title of beneficiary is often typed next to the signature. Be sure to consult your own attorney to protect your legal rights.

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Q: can i remove my name of a cosigning a house with my sister when her husband is threatening to hurt me?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Jan 30, 2015

Answered on Feb 1, 2015

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

If you have already co-signed your sister's loan, you cannot remove your name from the loan documents unless the lender allows you, or your sister refinances her loan. If your brother-in-law's threats are credible, you should make a police report and take steps necessary to move to safety. You can also bring a civil petition for restraining order. Be sure to consult your own...

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Q: I live in parents home, pay for upkeep, property taxes, insurance & etc. can my mom sell house?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Jan 27, 2015

Answered on Jan 27, 2015

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

When two people hold a property's title as joint tenants, and one of them passes away, the other joint tenant receives the deceased's title by right of survivorship. If your mother holds title to the house, she is able to sell or otherwise transfer the title. Be sure to consult your own attorney to protect your legal rights.

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Q: My dad quitclaimed property to his wife for a loan and was told by the wife she would put his name back on later

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Jan 19, 2015

Answered on Jan 19, 2015

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

I see some issues with what you describe. First, based on the "statute of frauds," contracts concerning transfer of real estate need to be in writing. Therefore, a verbal promise to transfer the real estate back to your is not legally enforceable. Second, most real estate loans documents provided that the entire balance becomes due and payable upon a transfer of title. Hence,...

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Q: I placed an offer on a condo, got a counter which gave me 48 hrs to respond, can he cancel his counter during the 48 hrs

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Jan 19, 2015

Answered on Jan 19, 2015

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

Yes, an offer can be "rescinded" (i.e., taken back) at any time before it is accepted. I am guessing the seller's counter-offer stated that it will expire if not accepted within the 48 hours. Be sure to consult your own attorney to protect your legal rights.

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Q: CAN I FILE A QUITCLAIM DEED MYSELF? CAN AN ESCROW OFFICER LOOK IT OVER?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Jan 18, 2015

Answered on Jan 19, 2015

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

You need to provide additional information to help clarify your question. Generally, if you have title to a real property, you have the right to sell or transfer your title. Your right to sell or transfer title may be limited by any contractual obligations (e.g., terms of mortgage loan against the property), statutory provisions (e.g., fraudulent transfer laws), etc. There is...

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Q: What happens when two people not related bought a house 27 years ago and one dies ?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Jan 14, 2015

Answered on Jan 14, 2015

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

The answer to your question depends on how the two individuals took title to the property. If the property was held in a "joint tenancy" (e.g., deed conveyed to "________ and _________, as joint tenants") then upon one joint tenant's death, the other joint tenant will receive his/her share by "right of survivorship." On the other hand, if the property was not held in a joint...

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Q: I am planning to get my real estate license in next couple of months.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on Dec 23, 2014

Answered on Dec 26, 2014

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Mr. Robin Mashal's answer
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

It is not necessary for a buyer or seller to use a real estate broker when they are buying or selling their own real estate. That said, unless you have proper experience in real estate transactions, you should have a good real estate broker or attorney on your side. Be sure to consult your own attorney to protect your legal rights.

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