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California’s current real estate market gives rise to property disputes

The crazy winter weather across the nation is making for a bumpy ride for real estate sales and construction projects this year. Even sunny California suffered from slowing transactions; when the sun does not shine, people stay home. However, business is picking up as spring arrives.

As property buyers gain confidence in their purchasing power, they are slowly starting to put their desires for buying or building dream homes into action. Sellers are not quite as confident and there are not as many properties on the market as there are buyers, driving up demand. Construction companies and builders are just getting back on their feet after suffering from years with a down economy and the recent upturn in the market is a welcome sight.

Unfortunately, with a quickening pace to real estate sales and construction projects, property disputes may more easily arise. Following are some real estate disputes common to many California residential transactions:

  • Rushing deals: In order to secure a property, many California buyers are required to jump quickly; forgoing thorough research in order to get the houses they want. Sellers may also jump the gun and fail to provide detailed disclosures in an attempt to rush through required paperwork. A construction contractor, trying to secure new business, may be unwittingly caught between buyer and seller if it signs onto a new project before the deal closes.
  • Confusing clauses: With the rush of putting deals together, important contract clauses are sometimes overlooked or misunderstood. To the less-experienced eye, a standard contract may hide some vital details, important to various parties. Builders may be committing to deadlines that are unattainable or may be drastically reducing their profit margins by unknowingly agreeing to only high-end materials.
  • Boundary disputes: Encroachments, easements and boundary line disputes are common in crowded neighborhoods and rural areas alike. City, county and state regulations vary from location to location and it is easy to run afoul of local rules. A purchase, sale or construction project can be easily stalled or killed because of a boundary dispute.

These are just a few examples of situations where a builder, construction company or another party to a transaction can become embroiled in a real estate dispute.

A lawyer can help

Do not rush to put a construction contract or a real estate transaction together without first understanding everything to which you are agreeing. Carefully review agreements with an experienced lawyer before signing on the dotted line. Consult an attorney knowledgeable about boundary issues to help avoid disputes and costly errors.