Author: ft Editorial Staff

Tree encroachment

This article discusses the encroachment of solely-owned trees and encroachment resolutions. The root of the problem A property owner’s Shamel ash tree has grown so large its branches and roots now extend into the ground and air space of his neighbor’s property. The neighbor’s concrete driveway and patio are being broken up by the force of the growing roots. The roots are also interfering with the natural growth of the neighbor’s lawn. Fruit trees near the property line have diminished in their annual production. Leaves and small branches from the tree continually litter the neighbor’s house and yard. The rain gutter for the roof runoff must be cleared of leaves regularly. The large branches of the tree hang so far over the neighbor’s house they break shingles loose during windstorms. The neighbor wants to hire a tree trimming service to cut the branches and roots back to the property line, a vertical swatch. However, the property owner claims the neighbor has no right to cut any part of his tree since the tree trunk is not located on the neighbor’s property. Can the neighbor cut overhanging tree branches and invading roots without permission from the property owner who owns the tree? Yes! A neighbor may resort to self-help to cut the branches off an encroaching tree. [Bonde v. Bishop (1952) 112 CA2d 1] The neighbor may not, however, cut...

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The dumb agent rule

This article discusses the general duty the seller’s broker owes buyers when marketing one-to-four unit residential property, and how the primary duty of the buyer’s broker to his client goes beyond mere property disclosures. Let the buyer’s broker beware A broker lists a condominium unit for sale. The broker is aware other condominium units in the development have suffered water intrusion damage. The broker conducts a visual inspection of the property, but finds no water damage to the unit. A buyer is located who is not represented by a broker. The broker informs the buyer of the existence of water intrusion damage in other units. The broker’s statement on the property’s physical condition is handed to the buyer. The statement discloses the broker’s inspection revealed no water intrusion damage in the seller’s unit. Before the buyer makes an offer, the broker discloses the homeowners’ association (HOA) has filed a lawsuit against the developer to recover the cost of repairs for water intrusion damage in several units. The buyer makes an offer to purchase the property. The offer acknowledges the existence of the HOA’s lawsuit and receipt of the condition of property statement, also called a transfer disclosure statement (TDS). The broker acts as the exclusive agent for the seller, never undertaking an agency duty to advise the buyer and thereby becoming a dual agent. Later, the broker receives newsletters...

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Direct deeding in delayed §1031 transactions

This article addresses the proper method for conveying properties in a two-step §1031 transaction. The normal method of conveyancing An owner of real estate held for investment or for productive use in a trade or business retains a real estate broker to sell the property. The proceeds from the sale will be used to purchase replacement property. The owner intends to avoid profit reporting on the sale by completing a two-step §1031 transaction. The broker locates a buyer who wants immediate possession and ownership of the property. However, the owner has not yet begun the search for suitable replacement property and wants closing to be contingent on his purchase of other property. The buyer agrees to cooperate with the owner to complete the §1031 transaction. The owner and the broker consider a delayed §1031 reinvestment plan consisting of two separate transactions: the sale of one property; and the later purchase of a replacement property. Prior to closing the sale, the efforts of the owner and the broker to locate and contract for suitable replacement real estate have not paid off. The owner agrees to complete the sale of his property to the buyer by waiving the contingency for his purchase of other property. The owner and the buyer now enter into a §1031 agreement, naming a buyer’s trustee to receive and hold the sales proceeds until escrow can be...

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The story of Mother’s Day

When her mother died in May of 1905, Anna Jarvis asked the minister at her church in West Virginia to give a special sermon on Sunday in her mother’s memory. The minister obliged with a Mother’s Day service to honor not only the late Mrs. Jarvis but all mothers. Anna began writing to other churches and to politicians, business leaders, and women’s clubs to promote the idea of setting aside a day to recognize all mothers. She enlisted the support of the World’s Sunday School Association in lobbying state legislators and Congressmen to create a national holiday for mothers. Anna’s mother had worked tirelessly for the welfare of others. She set up Mothers’ Work Camps before the Civil War to improve the health and sanitary conditions in her town. During the Civil War, she gave aid to the soldiers, whether they were on the Confederate or Union side. After the war, she promoted peace and reconciliation between the North and the South. She was strength and comfort for her family as well. As a young girl, Anna helped her mother tend the garden, which was full of carnations, her mother’s favorite flowers. In 1908, Anna handed out 500 white carnations to the people at her church. The white carnation became a symbol to honor a deceased mother; the pink carnation is worn in reverence to a living mother. Also...

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U.S. Monetary Policy: An Introduction, Part 4

How does the Fed decide the appropriate setting for the policy instrument? Editor’s note — The following is the fourth part in a four-part series. Special thanks to the editorial staff at the FRBSF Economic Letter for reprint permission. Reprinted from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Economic Letter 2004-04. The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the management of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, or of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. This is the last of four issues devoted to our updated and expanded Q&A on monetary policy: (1) “How is the Federal Reserve structured?” and “What are the tools of U.S. monetary policy?” (2) “What are the goals of U.S. monetary policy?” (3) “How does monetary policy affect the U.S. economy?” and (4) “How does the Fed decide the appropriate setting for the policy instrument?” The revised text will appear in a pamphlet soon. The Fed’s job of stabilizing output in the short run and promoting price stability in the long run involves several steps. First, the Fed tries to estimate how the economy is doing now and how it’s likely to do in the near term — say, over the next couple of years or so. Then it compares these estimates to its goals for the economy and inflation. If there’s a gap...

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Zestimates are great conversation starters with sellers and buyers. Zillow has done more for our bottom line than NAR ever has or will. Don’t fight the current of the river, learn to run with it. Disruption is inevitable in any industry that is fragmented or inefficient. Granted, it does feel like armchair experts and platforms are plentiful in real estate these days, but when the tide rolls out we will see the value proposition of the truest professionals in this industry shine once again.

Justin Bonney, on Zillow’s impact on the real estate industry

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