Property Condition Reports have been used for a long time with regard to Wisconsin residential real estate. They are also used in commercial and other real estate transactions, but not because they are required by law, but because they are negotiated between the parties. Now that is all changing with respect to vacant land sales

Picture of Cancun Beach
Sunny Cancun

I recently had an opportunity to represent a client who was selling a condo in Cancun, Mexico. I got quite an education as to how real estate transactions are handled in other countries, and became very thankful that I practice in the U.S.

Such transactions become tricky because the Seller wants to be sure to get his/her money, while the buyer wants to be sure to get clear title and be fully protected as the owner, before giving up the payment price.

In Mexico, real estate transactions occur before a Notary Public, a government appointed official who does much more than certify the correctness of signatures on a page. I found it indispensible to obtain co-counsel who practiced in Mexico and was familiar with such closings. Co-counsel actually traveled to Mexico to do the closing, as well as establish an escrow with a U.S. based title company to assure the funds would be available when the clear title was transferred and the transaction was completed by and before the Notary Public.


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The Wisconsin Legislature in its last session made significant changes to the ability of municipalities to regulate commercial and other buildings.

Senate Bill 472 prohibits municipalities from imposing cost requirements on repair or remodeling of legal nonconforming structures.  Such structures are not compliant under currrent zoning regulations, but were compliant at the time the current regulations were adopted.  Such structures cannot be made to comply with current regulations, but municipalities have long provided that if costs of repairs or remodeling of a structure exceed 50% of a structure’s assessed or fair market value, the structure must become completely compliant with the zoning code.  They can no longer do so, once the Bill is signed into law by the Governor.


Continue Reading Important Changes to Zoning Law

Karen G. Courtney, Managing Attorney, ATG Short Sale Coordination Department, wrote an article with tremendous insight as to tips which could improve a client’s chances of having a successful short sale. Please consider going to Karen’s article to read more about this interesting and important topic.

Continue Reading Ten Important Short Sale Tips and More by Guest, Karen G. Courtney

It is common in exclusive real estate listing contracts for agents to include provisions regarding "Protected Buyers." Included in many standard Wisconsin listing contracts is a clause that a "Protected Buyer" includes a potential buyer who "negotiates directly with Seller by discussing the potential terms upon which the buyer might acquire an interest in the Property." Subject to

Did you ever wonder what happens when two unmarried people split up and then argue over who should get what? A recent Wisconsin Court of Appeals case, Leonard v. Lynn, 2009AP2026, for which the Wisconsin Supreme Court denied certiorari on January 11, 2011, gives us the answer, which may surprise many.

Continue Reading Splitting Up Assets When the Relationship Ends