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REAL ESTATE

REAL ESTATE

The Bousquet Holstein PLLC Real Estate Practice Group is comprised of problem-solving attorneys and professionals with over 70 years of combined expertise in real property matters. We provide our clients with a broad range of services related to their real estate issues, which include site review, contract negotiations, land use approvals, landlord/tenant matters and handling the purchase, sale, lease, financing and operation of the client’s real estate. We collaborate with other practice groups in the firm to assure our clients of maximum representation of their interests.  We routinely assist our clients with entity formation and identification of best practices concerning the acquisition or leasing of property.  We perform due-diligence on behalf of purchasers, sellers, landlords and commercial tenants so that our clients are fully informed and advised about all parties to the transaction. We represent both lenders and borrowers in sophisticated development and financing matters related to real estate.  We have structured, prepared and promoted many real estate syndications in and around Central New York over the last forty years. We are pleased to draw upon the Business Practice Group and the Economic Development Practice Group to provide insight on opportunities related to tax credit issues, including:

  • State and federal historic tax credit programs
  • Excelsior Zones
  • Brownfield Cleanup Programs,
  • Industrial Development Agencies
  • Federally insured and direct lending financing programs,
  • Federal and State grant applications
  • Tax-exempt bond financing,
  • Other Incentive programs at both the State and Federal level.

Attorneys in the Real Estate Practice group also represent Condominium developers and Homeowner’s Associations throughout New York State and have experience writing and enforcing covenants and restrictions, including association liens, architectural standards, environmental protections and other regulations.  We represent landowners in real property title disputes and utilize the firm’s Litigation Practice Group when such matters head to court. Our real estate professionals also employ the firm’s resources to advise clients on matters specific to the client’s particular use of the property, such as negotiating management contracts, franchise agreements, liquor licenses, and employment agreements. We are creative and entrepreneurial in both the development and advancement of real estate objectives.

    • Commercial real estate is at the heart of the Bousquet Holstein Real Estate Department.

      Our attorneys represent business owners, investors, developers, landlords, tenants, and financing institutions in all aspects of commercial real estate matters.

      Often, our attorneys are called upon to counsel clients long before a contract is executed or a “closing” is on the horizon.  Working with the Business Practice Group, our real estate attorneys are part of a professional team that assists clients in determining how real estate works best for a particular client’s business model.  For example, our clients often find that leasing is better than owning; or, conversely, that owning presents unique opportunities for economies of scale and efficiency.

      Before any such real estate decisions are made, the attorneys in the Real Estate Practice Group assist clients with due diligence review of matters including:  environmental, code and zoning, title review and lien clearance.

      We take pride in our ability to understand a client’s needs and to work collaboratively with clients to achieve desired goals:

      • Our attorneys have successfully negotiated complex real estate Options, Purchase Offers and Leases for medical office facilities, industrial production units, multi-use Development projects, syndications and condominium offerings.
      • Our attorneys are skilled title examiners who routinely analyze title and provide guidance on possible implications of easements and other encumbrances on title to the client’s proposal.
      • Our attorneys work with the Business Practice Group to focus on the available tax incentives,
        including PILOTS, brownfield tax credits, historical tax credits and other means to help a project flourish.
      • We appear before municipal zoning boards to present site development plans, variance applications and special use permits.
      • We engage with other real estate professionals, such as brokers, architects, engineers and construction companies to work in unison to bring a project to fruition.

      We understand that securing the right location and developing the property properly is a key component to a business’ success and vitality.

       

    • Foreclosure is typically the last option either a lender or a property owner wants to encounter.  Absent the opportunity to refinance a project, sell the real estate, or otherwise enter in to some mutually acceptable work-out arrangement, a lender will look to realize upon its collateral through foreclosure.

      The attorneys at Bousquet Holstein have successfully helped lenders, lienholders, property owners and tenants in simple and complex commercial real estate foreclosure actions throughout New York.

      The foreclosure process is a detailed statutory process that must be followed precisely for a lender to bring its mortgaged collateral to a successful sale.

      Our attorneys have prosecuted these actions, including most recently properties involving a:

      • Mixed use retail/office/residential condominium offering,
      • Giant industrial facility subject to both federal and state issues,
      • Automotive service facility,
      • Hospitality business.

      In addition to the primary mortgage holder who forecloses upon its collateral, our attorneys have also represented junior creditors, and mechanics and other lienors to monitor the primary action in the event of any surplus money proceedings and to otherwise protect those junior parties’ interests.  Tenants may also have rights to the leases in the property that can survive the foreclosure action, and our attorneys understand the needs of those tenants and advocate for them.

      Our office has also worked with property owners facing tax foreclosure proceedings as well.

      Obtaining good and marketable title following the foreclosure sale is our primary goal as we work with our clients throughout the process.

       

    • An integral part of any real property transaction revolves around title review and title examination.   Put simply, a buyer of real estate needs assurance that what is being conveyed…..for valuable consideration…..is good and marketable title.  Our attorneys work to examine title for proof that the real estate under contract for transfer does have good title, or to otherwise note the potential concerns and ascertain if title insurance might provide comfort to the buyer.

      The real estate attorneys at Bousquet Holstein have deep and extensive experience in title law.  These experiences include those of Gil Hoffman, who served as in-house counsel for a major national title insurance company.  Under his watch, billions of dollars in real property value were insured to allow real estate contracts to close.

      Title insurance can protect the holders of interests in real estate from a wide variety of risks, both knowable and unknown.  Title insurance can protect lenders, as well as purchasers of property.  Our attorneys have helped secure title insurance for lenders and purchasers alike, and our office serves as examining title agent for several national title insurance companies.  Our attorneys know real estate title and title insurance from the perspective of insured owners, lessees and mortgagees, on the one hand, and from the perspective of the title companies, on the other hand.  This enables us to skillfully negotiate the complexities of land title, from title claims and disputes, to obtaining the best coverage for the least expense.

      Our real estate attorneys have assisted our clients in boundary, easement and access disputes, title claims, and claim-avoidance; and have assisted hundreds of other attorneys in dealing with a variety of title problems, both in negotiations before purchases, and after purchases in pre-litigation and court room postures.

      Our goal is to protect our clients’ interests in a thorough review of title documentation so that issues are known before problems arise.

       

       

    • The attorneys at Bousquet Holstein are well versed in all of the different types of financing vehicles available to builders, buyers and sellers. Just as each parcel of land is unique, so, too, are the mechanisms used to finance construction and acquisition of real property.

      • We routinely assist lenders and borrowers in conventional mortgage financing (commercial banks, credit unions and equity investor groups)
      • Our attorneys have represented both lenders and buyers in SBA (Small Business Administration) guaranteed loans, including the popular SBA 504 loan program.
      • Our attorneys have structured seller backed financing packages, including seller held mortgages, land contracts and membership buy-outs of LLCs and LLPs.
      • We have successfully closed deals involving bond financing
      • Our firm works closely with sellers and their accountants to structure 1031 exchanges
      • We have provided guidance and counsel in construction financing
      • Our attorneys have assisted clients in developing ground leases as a means to efficiently improve real property
    • Recent bans of hydrofracking by New York municipalities may have chilled excitement about oil, gas and mineral development in the petroleum rich Marcellus Shale region of  Upstate and Central New York, but rules and laws tend to change over time, reflecting changing values and economic demands.

      The hydrofracking bans have, predictably, given rise to legal actions, as oil and gas companies, landowners, and investors attempt to protect and preserve the rights they believe were conveyed to them by various deeds and/or oil and gas leases.  At Bousquet Holstein, our Real Estate and Litigation practice groups are prepared to assist our clients, working with them to sort through the legal and regulatory complexities associated with such oil and gas leases.

      Also, New York State continues to permit non-HVHF oil and gas wells, and many petroleum-producing wells remain operational throughout Central and Western New York and in the Southern Tier.  Existing petroleum-producing activity also carries with it the need for legal counsel in the areas of environmental compliance, SEQRA, transportation law, and the contractual relationships among energy producers and land owners, and within their spin-off support industries.

      Our Real Estate attorneys are skilled at addressing the real property issues that arise in the context of oil and gas production and transportation and stand ready to work with clients on these matters.

    • Often, the traditional housing concept of purchasing a piece of land and building a colonial home doesn’t fit everyone’s lifestyle. Perhaps there’s an “empty-nester” looking to downsize from a traditional house and shed the duties of lawn maintenance and snow removal. Maybe there’s a young, busy professional who wants to build equity in his or her living space, but doesn’t want (or have time for) the responsibilities of upkeep and repair. Possibly there’s a builder who recognizes the need to enter this market to meet these needs.

      The lawyers at Bousquet Holstein recognize this market and can help.

      Condominiums in New York are strictly regulated as to their formation and operation. Typically, a condominium is a single space unit (for living or working) in a multi-space building, where the owner shares common areas with the other unit owners, while maintaining direct ownership of his or her individual unit. Once relatively rare in New York, condominiums (or “condos” for short) have gained popularity. However, the complex statutes and rules governing condominiums can be a trap for the unwary and could lead to serious legal consequences for those unfamiliar with them.

      Our attorneys have aided in the formation of condominiums, gained approval for regulatory authorities and guided Condominium boards in carrying out their functions and duties. We have represented buyers and sellers of condominium units (both residential and office). Let our attorneys help you.

       

    • Creating a “homeowners’ association”, or “HOA”, allows builders and developers to establish a neighborhood with rules and regulations to preserve the desired concept of the area being built.  An HOA also allows purchasers of property to know that their investment—their home—will be protected from changes that are neither anticipated nor welcomed.  HOAs allow home owners to take charge of their neighborhoods and create a mechanism to insure that all property owners abide by a uniform set of rules and regulations.

      Bousquet Holstein has a long history of representing HOAs in New York.

      Establishing an HOA requires that our attorneys work with a Developer to understand the vision for the development, and then to translate that vision in to documentation that will be submitted to the appropriate State and local agencies for review and approval.  Compliance with such laws as the Martin Act is critically important.

      Preserving the nature of a neighborhood also helps to create a stable market.  This benefits both the Developer, the builder and ultimately the homeowner.  Our attorneys understand this, and have worked with HOAs after creation to: (1) Collect unpaid liens and assessments, (2) Enforce compliance with restrictive covenants, (3) Protect common property rights, (4) Expand amenities, (5) Review contracts, insurances and indemnifications for projects and (6) Train Boards of Directors and others in the responsibilities and requirements of New York law.

    • The single most important, and valuable, asset most people acquire is their home.  From both a monetary and emotional viewpoint, getting the legal work done correctly to purchase (or sell) a home is critically important.

      At Bousquet Holstein, our real estate professionals counsel individuals, couples and families in all phases of the residential real estate process.

      • Working with you (and your realtor if you are using one), we review the Purchase Offer to make sure it contains all the protections you need and that you get that  for which you have bargained.
      • We monitor the deadlines for the home inspection, radon testing, and your mortgage Commitment.
      • We review the title and survey for the property to make sure you are aware of all Covenants, easements and other matters that may affect your use and enjoyment of the property.  Our attorneys are authorized to write title insurance policies for your closing.
      • We arrange a mutually agreeable Closing Date for all parties, and attend the Closing with you to make sure the loan documents and title papers are correct.
      • We make sure that any “checklist” or post-Closing items are addressed and satisfied.

      At Bousquet Holstein, our focus in on making the home-buying process as smooth and effortless for the client as is possible.  With over fifty years of experience, you can rely on us to meet your residential needs.

    • Let’s face it:  everyone wants to lower their real estate taxes.  However, to successfully reduce property tax, one needs skilled legal representation from a law firm with experience in real property tax grievances and procedures, as well as one familiar with real property tax exemptions. Our team approach involves checking every aspect of a property’s assessment, valuation and exemption to ensure that our clients obtain the largest possible tax savings.

      When you work with our law firm, an experienced real property tax attorney guides you through each legal step that may be necessary to review and correct your assessment, including:

      • Filing a grievance with the local Board of Assessment Review (BAR): The Tax Certiorari process begins with filing a complaint (also known as a grievance) with the Board of Assessment Review (BAR) on or before the respective municipality’s Grievance Day.    
      • Commencing an Article 7 Tax Certiorari or Small Claims Assessment Review (SCAR) proceeding and filing a state lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court: If  denied a reduction by the BAR, one must appeal that denial by commencing a certiorari proceeding in New York State Supreme Court (or through the small claims procedure for certain residential real estate).

      >    Examining all possible exemptions:  New York State offers multiple exemptions or partial exemptions to real property, which can significantly reduce the tax levied on real property.  Our attorneys can assist in identifying the exemptions that might apply to a given property.

      Our team has experience in the negotiation, trial and appeal of property tax matters. The firm has represented both high profile commercial clients and individual residents in real estate tax certiorari and exemption matters, as well as municipalities.

    • The largest valued asset for most individuals is their home.  Not only is the home monetarily important, but its continued ownership and security is often emotionally charged.  Protecting one’s home for children and grandchildren is an area in which the attorneys at Bousquet Holstein can provide strategic advice and counsel.  Our attorneys regularly offer guidance on whether a Revocable Trust, an Irrevocable Trust or a Limited Liability Company is the best means to accomplish your goal of securing the family home for future generations.  Often, the home can be passed down through a will as well.  At Bousquet Holstein, we understand the value our clients place on their home, as we place the same value on our own homes.  We are here to help you achieve your goals in the manner that makes most sense for you and your family.

Pursuant to 11 NYCRR Section 35.6 (b), our firm discloses that we do not routinely charge discretionary or ancillary title insurance fees.  Discretionary or ancillary fees may be charged by the title insurance corporation.  Attached is a schedule of discretionary or ancillary fees that may be charged by Chicago Title Insurance Company or Chicago Title Insurance Services LLC.

Please also note that you may visit the following website to view the insurer’s premium calculator:  www.ratecalculator.fnf.com

ATTACHMENT/LINK:
CLICK HERE FOR A SCHEDULE OF COMPANY ANCILLARY CHARGES for:
Chicago Title Insurance Company
Chicago Title Insurance Services LLC
Fidelity National Title Insurance Company
Fidelity National Financial Service LLC

 

 

Practicing Attorneys



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