21 08, 2018

Surplus Funds from Deeds of Trust Foreclosures

By Thomas L. Dickson, Esq. In a highly-charged real estate market, people losing their homes to deeds of trust foreclosure may be surprised to learn they are entitled to cash after the trustee’s sale. Despite the unpleasant fact a foreclosure is taking place, often the equity gained by the fated property substantially exceeds the amount […]

10 07, 2017

Deciphering the “Lis Pendens”

By Thomas L. Dickson, Esq. Seattle real estate attorneys, real estate brokers, and escrow companies deal with the “lis pendens” from time to time, and many people are not sure what it means. The Latin definition is simply: notice of a pending lawsuit. The Revised Code of Washington defines “lis pendens” as an “instrument having the […]

6 06, 2017

Real Property and “Grandfather Rights” aka Nonconforming Use

By Thomas L. Dickson, Esq. We often hear the expression, “grandfather rights,” when someone’s property is not affected by a land use change while nearly everyone else’s is. In legal parlance, land use attorneys know the term is “Nonconforming Use,” defined as a use “existing lawfully before the rezone of the surrounding area and continues […]

06, 2017

How Contractor’s Registration affects Construction Liens on Real Property Development

by Thomas L. Dickson Construction liens are an important part of Seattle real estate law and other high-growth areas of Western Washington. The lien, also called a “mechanic’s lien,” represents a pre-judicial claim against title, and the owner of the land on whom the lien is recorded cannot sell the property or obtain a loan […]

15 03, 2016

The Home Affordable Modification Program can Often Stop Foreclosure

In response to the sub-prime mortgage crisis of the latter part of the last decade, the United States government instituted several programs to help homeowners and tightened regulatory controls on the mortgage industry. One the programs created was the Home Affordable Modification Program,1 often referred to as “HAMP.” The program encourages lenders to lower homeowners’ […]

4 03, 2016

Should I Hire an Attorney to Assist with my Residential Real Estate Closing?

Unlike in many other states, people who are buying or selling a home are not required to have an attorney present at a real estate closing. This is not to say, however, that it is not a good idea to have an attorney thoroughly review the transaction in which you are about to enter, especially […]

18 02, 2016

How Attorneys Can Protect Financially Distressed Homeowners from Mortgage Modification Scams

Homeowners often face financial hardships that threaten their ability to make their mortgage payments on time. Because the family home constitutes the most significant asset for many households, the prospect of foreclosure can be an alarming possibility. Fortunately, a range of options including loan modification programs provide viable options that have enabled many people to […]

5 02, 2016

Rights of Tacoma Tenants Following Foreclosure

While the real estate market has turned around to some extent in Washington, the number of foreclosures in Tacoma continues to outpace other cities throughout the state. Approximately one in every 685 homes was subject to a foreclosure notice in November 2015, according to data from Realtytrac.com. Since many foreclosed residential properties are occupied by […]

2 02, 2016

When Does a Real Estate Broker Earn a Commission in Washington

Whether you are a business owner seeking to sell a commercial property or a family buying their first home in Seattle, you might well work with a broker to consummate your real estate transaction.  Basically, a broker for a seller in a real estate transaction receives a commission typically in the form of a percentage […]

28 01, 2016

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Residential Leases

Many individuals purchase residential real estate as a long-term investment. Others rent property as a temporary housing solution or simply to avoid the costs associated with ownership. When this occurs both landlords and tenants enter into a contract1 known as a residential lease. Below are some answers to a few of the most frequently asked […]