Real Estate Title Deed

Pennsylvania Real Estate Title Deed

What is a Pennsylvania Real Estate Title Deed?

Published: August 8, 2017
Part of our Real Estate Law Series

Pennsylvania Real Estate Title DeedA Pennsylvania Real Estate Title Deed is considered documented proof of ownership of real property in the state of PA. The real estate title to real property is conveyed by a deed. It can also be an interest in real property that is provided through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or your current State.

A title will include the following:
– details the person(s) in whom title is vested
– how that person(s) interest is evidenced

Since a title conveys ownership or interest in real property, it is also subject to all taxes, assessments, covenants, conditions, restrictions, easements, limitations, reservations, rights, obligations, powers, rights of way, liens, and charges of record.

PA Real Estate Title Deed for Buyer

A potential buyer is encouraged to investigate the title report when buying a property. This is often performed by a title company in Pennsylvania. Other states utilize closing companies and attorneys. A title search will show what past liens have been satisfied and what other matters may have on the use of the land.

Interests in Land

The following are ways that various types of interest are conveyed, liened or associated with real property.

1. A mortgage on real property is a lien on the property, and is classified as intangible personal property.

2. A contract to convey real property constitutes an equitable conversion. If the decedent was the seller, the decedent’s interest is classified as intangible personal property. If the decedent was the buyer, the decedent’s interest is classified as real property.

3. A lease of real property is an interest in land, and is classified as real property.

4. A decedent’s beneficial interest under a land trust agreement is classified in accordance with the provisions of the trust agreement. If the agreement provides that the beneficial interest consists of an undivided interest in the land, the interest is classified as real property. If the agreement provides that the beneficial interest consists of an interest in the earnings or proceeds, with no right, title, or interest in any portion of the land, the interest is classified as intangible personal property.

Pennsylvania Real Estate Title Deed Encumbrance

An encumbrance is a charge, claim, or liability on real estate. An encumbrance may reduce a property’s value or place restrictions on how it can be used; however, it does not necessarily prevent title to the property from transferring to someone else.

There are two types of encumbrances:
1. Encumbrances that affect only title, such as liens and deed restrictions
2. Encumbrances that affect both the title and the physical condition of the property, such as easements and encroachments

Next Steps:

If you have questions about real property, personal property & land use, contact an attorney. Remember it’s always Buyer Beware when you considering real property, especially when reviewing your new Pennsylvania real estate title conveyed by deed.

If you’re looking to Buy or Sell real estate, you’ve got our number: call us today @ 866-502-5478.

Real Property or Persoanl Property

Real Property, Personal Property & Land Use

Real Property, Personal Property & Land Use

Published: August 2, 2017
Part of our Real Estate Law Series

It’s not only real estate agents who confuse what the legal issues surrounding land use, land rights and real property, but anyone who owns a home, parcel, lot or land. As licensed PA real estate agents, we are required to study how these definitions and regulations relate to land us, air use and mineral rights in relation to real property. We plan to address the issues relating to land, air and mineral rights, real and personal property. Here’s some general terms and definitions you too may find helpful about real property, personal property & land use (and various land rights).

Real Property or Personal Property

Real Property or Persoanl Property1) Real Property

Real property is defined as land and improvements permanently attached to the land. It is also known as real estate, or realty. There are several issues related to the ownership of real property and may be discussed in future posts. It generally falls under the section of law called property law. Here’s a list of real property.

Homes – real property.
Buildings – real property (attached to the land).
Land – real property (other rights like air rights or mineral rights can be separate agreements).

2) Personal Property

What you own is your personal property, right? The Pennsylvania Secretary of State’s office defines personal property as “any property that is not real property” which sends us back to the prior definition of real property. The reason for a distinction is simple: taxes. For property tax purposes, your personal property is defined as “all types of property except land, buildings, or other real property improvements” and by excluding real property, it creates the ability to tax each separately. You taxable personal property includes all assets used in the operation of a business, farm, or ranch, etc. Here’s a list of real property.

Tractor – personal property.
Silo – personal property, even though it’s on your property.
Manufactured homes (a mobile home) – personal property
Note: An owner can file an affidavit affixing the unit to their real estate.

Land Use and Land Rights

Land, air and mineral rights are used in the appraisal of real property. Both land and air rights are defined by counties, municipalities and sometimes individual towns. They are able to create land us restrictions within the power given by the State to them to enforce. Land Rights means a fee interest in bounded land or real property.

Land Use & Land Rights Example:

If there was an easement to permit certain access and foot traffic across a plot, it may limit the kinds of improvements that may be placed on that lot, and thus reduce the value.

Air Rights

Air Rights means a fee interest in a three-dimensional air space in relation to specified real property as outlined appropriately by Cornell School of Law.

In most cases, appraisals over a parcel of land include the valuation of all the rights associated with ownership. However, if a property has multiple owners, that information will be important in efforts to assess and collect taxes. If certain rights have been sold or assigned to others, the remaining value of the property may be reduced.

Air Rights Example:

In terms of a lease, they may allow development of mineral or air rights and may effectively prevent other uses during the lease period therefore resulting in a reduced appraisal from a lower property value.

MINERAL RIGHTS

Finally, ownership of land and mineral rights and its related mineral entry status is complex. It is impossible to make a general statement that will provide a key to the surface and subsurface status of lands. The legal nature of land and mineral entry status is further intensified by the fact that in many areas the surface and mineral rights are under separate ownership.

This is a standard procedure by which the ownership and mineral entry status of any particular land may be determined. Again, this may slightly vary by location and local laws. However, no procedure can guarantee the exact location, presence, absence or validity of unpatented mining claims on Federal land open to mineral entry. Actual determination of the presence and validity of mining claims require both a detailed search of the records and on the ground. Further, even though procedures to prevent errors in official records are adhered to by all agencies involved, occasionally errors are discovered.

Next Steps:

If you have questions about real property, personal property & land use, contact an attorney. Remember it’s always Buyer Beware when you considering real property.

If you’re looking to Buy or Sell real estate, you’ve got our number: call us today @ 866-502-5478.

DiNardo family property

Cosmo DiNardo family property and real estate

DiNardo Family property and real estate
in New Hope, Bucks County, PA

Published: July 16, 2017

Earlier this month, family and friends became concerned when four young men, nearly-twenty somethings, went missing in Bucks County, PA. The local authorities began searching for at first one, then two, three and four of these young men within hours of their missing appearances. What no one expected was the worst news a family could hear that they were victims to gruesome murders and their remains would be buried across a local farm in Solebury Township, Bucks County PA. In order for the authorities to conduct their search, they began scouring through the DiNardo family property and real estate in Bucks County.

While the local news channels, newspapers and bloggers alongside national news outlets will cover the full story, as local Bucks County real estate agents serving local communities in Solebury Township, New Hope and surrounding central Bucks region, we outlined the specific DiNardo Family properties first reported on NBC10. This article further outlines the DiNardo Family Real Estate in Delaware Valley and Bucks County, PA.

As soon as Cosmo DiNardo became the suspect in the matter, before understanding the full motive and circumstances surrounding the murders (drugs, gun sales, mental conditions, accomplices, etc), the Dinadro family farm in Solebury Township became the target of their investigation. Since Cosmo DiNardo was heir-apparent to the family real estate holdings, we have received questions about what farm, farm houses, properties and homes are in question in this case which likely will not be brought to trial until the local authorities conduct their full investigation.

DiNardo family property and real estate in Bucks County

We’ve put together a history of purchases and acquisitions which consist of the DiNardo family property and real estate today.

DiNardo family property and real estate holdings

DateNameBuy / SellAddressCityPrice
1979Cosmo DiNardo SrBuyer1016 Cottman AvenuePhiladelphia$67,500
2004Antonio DiNardoSeller1016 Cottman AvenuePhiladelphia425,000
1981Cosmo DiNardo SrBuyer3159 Summerdale AvenuePhiladelphiaUndisclosed
1986Cosmo DiNardo SrBuyer10 Shady LnRockledge$95,000
1989Cosmo Sr & AntonioBuyerLongmead LanePhiladelphia$50,000
1991Cosmo Sr & AntonioSellerLongmead LanePhiladelphia$210,000
1998Antonio DiNardoBuyer4455-65 Castor AvePhiladelphia$94,000
2001Antonio DiNardoBuyerAdams AvenueBensalem$140,000
2004Antonio DiNardoBuyer3636 & 3648 Hulmeville RoadBensalem$450,000
2005Antonio DiNardoBuyer4325 Factory StPhiladelphia$20,000
2005Antonio DiNardoBuyer4317 Factory StPhiladelphia$20,000
2005Antonio DiNardoBuyer1407 Rising Sun AveLanghorne$164,900
2005Antonio DiNardoBuyer6071 Lower York RdNew Hope$5,450,000
2006Antonio & Sandra DinardoBuyer920 Wayland CirBensalemUndisclosed
2006Sandra DiNardoBuyer2827 Aquetong RdNew Hope$450,000
2008Sandra DiNardoBuyer5995 Lower York RdNew Hope$500,000

DiNardo Family Real Estate Transactions

Between 1979 and 1989, Cosmo DiNardo Sr. purchased three commercial properties and a Jenkintown apartment house. Later his son Antonio DiNardo would begin selling some properties and acquiring others. Anotonio’s son Cosmo, is the suspect in the current investigation around the murder of four men at the family farm in Solebury Township, Bucks County.

The first purchase was a strip of storefronts at 1016 Cottman Avenue for $67,500 in 1979. Later the property on Cotton Ave was by his son Antonio for $425,000 in 2004.

Next, Cosmo Sr purchased 3159 Summerdale Avenue (unknown amount) in 1981. He bought a third commercial property in 1986 for $95,000 on 10 Shady Lane, Rockledge, Montgomery County which is currently leased as a dentist’s office.

In 1989, both Cosmo Sr and his son Antonio purchased a property on Longmead Lane together and flipped it two years later for a $160,000 gross profit.

During the 90’s, Cosmo Sr and Gina bought parcels in Bensalem and began developing them selling the first home in 1996 for $225,000 as Lot #1 of the “DiNardo PLAN” where they developed and sold a total of 8 properties. Later, his son and his wife Sandra would buy their current home from this subdivision plan.

Over the next twenty years, Antonio would begin buying several properties himself buying four properties: two in Philadelphia and two in Bensalem. The property on 4455-65 Castor Avenue was purchased for $94,000 in 1998 and would become home to their family concrete business: Metro Ready Mix and Supply.

Next, Antonio purchased a property on Adams Avenue for $140,000 in 2001. According to property records, it is leased through 2032 to a health care non-profit called The Bridge.

In 2004, Antonio bought 3636-3649 Hulmeville Road Bensalem, PA for $450,000. This is currently the home to the other family business: Bella Trucking.

Additional properties purchased by Antonio include two properties on Factory St Philadelphia. Another commercial property was purchased in 2012 as a separate company of the DiNardo family known as Cosan Llc with a property on 4453 Castor Ave for and undisclosed amount.

Antonio and his wife Sandra bought their current home from the “DiNardo Plan” properties in Bensalem on Wayland Circle in 2006 where they currently reside.

DiNardo Family Property and Real Estate in New Hope, Bucks County, PA.

In 2005, the DiNardo family began acquiring farmland in Bucks County. The following properties make up the current Cosmo DiNardo family property consisting of family properties likley being formalized in a family trust as a result of allegations, charges pending and to be levied against their son Cosmo DiNardo who appears to be heir-apparent to the family business, family estate and real estate properties.

#1 Lower York Road Farm

6071 Lower York Rd, New Hope, PA 18938
$5,450,000
09/27/05
MLS# 4650440

Three tracts of 18+ acres each for a total property of 60 acres located near Rt202. Parcels: 41-008-034, 41-008-035, 41-008-036

Note: All properties part of Act-319 which allows them to benefit from reduced property taxes.

#2 Aquetong Rd Farmhouse

In 2006, Sandra DiNardo began purchasing property under her name. The first one was on 2827 Aquetong Rd, New Hope, PA for $450,000. She did try to later sell this property, but still remains in their name today. Sandra later bought an adjacent property at 5995 Lower York Rd for $500,000 in 2008. She put it under both Antonio and Sandra’s interest in 2015.

2827 Aquetong Rd, New Hope, PA 18938
Sandra (Antonio’s Wife) bought the farmhouse.
$450,000
08/25/06
MLS# 4570184

#3 5995 Lower York Rd

The last purchase on record completing the Lower York Road New Hope, PA family compound was made in 2008 under Sandra’s name on 5995 Lower York Rd for $500,000.

5995 Lower York Rd, New Hope, PA 18938
Sandra (Antonio’s Wife) bought the farmhouse.
500,000
12/11/2008
MLS# 5347289

Whether other properties have been purchased in New Hope, Solebury Township or nearby locations in Bucks County may be difficult to track down if they were purcahsed under other names or companies. Yet the total value of the farms in Bucks County is estatimated to be well over $7 million.

Latest Update on the DiNardo Family Property and Real Estate and case

These Bucks County properties surrounding this case will likely be memorialized for the four boys who lost their lives at the hand of a mentally unstable young man of the DiNardo family.

Our heart and prayers go out to the families of these boys and understand this is an ongoing investigation. This article is only to discuss the real estate amassed by the family and how it came into the family possession through purposeful estate planning.

Note: all property details were pulled from public records. If you have questions surrounding farms in Bucks County, please contact us.

Updated: July 21, 2018 @ 10:30am

RECENT LISTINGS IN BUCKS COUNTY

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Homestead Exclusion & Farmstead Exclusion

Pennsylvania Homestead Exclusion & PA Farmstead Exclusion

Pennsylvania Homestead Exclusion & PA Farmstead Exclusion

Published: July 6, 2017
Part of our Real Estate Law Series

There is a little known exception waiting for Pennsylvania residents who own consider their home in PA a primary residence It’s the Pennsylvania Homestead Exclusion & PA Farmstead Exclusion. How it works: most owner occupied homes and farms are eligible for property tax reduction through this program. In order to benefit, you must simply apply. A little background about homestead exclusions and farmstead exclusions.

Pennsylvania Homestead Exclusion

Pennsylvania Homestead ExclusionHomestead is real estate occupied by a person as his or her home or dwelling place. They are often a house, especially a farmhouse and outbuildings. It’s also a person’s or family’s residence. This includes land + home + outbuilding. In most states, a homestead is exempt from a foreclosure or forced sale for collection of debt because homesteads are often exempt from levy or liens, at least to a certain extent. This is referred to as the “homestead exemption” and vary by state.

In Pennsylvania, a homestead exclusion or often called homestead exemption lowers property taxes by reducing the assessed value of the home. See also the PA Taxpayer Relief Act. This act provided for “property tax reduction allocations to be distributed by the Commonwealth to each school district. Property tax reduction will be through a homestead or farmstead exclusion.”

EXAMPLE:
The home is assessed at $150,000 and the homestead exclusion is $15,000, the homeowner only pays taxes on an assessed value of $135,000. The lower assessed value isn’t zero but it’s also not the full assessed value that would otherwise require a higher tax payment.

NOTE: In PA, the homestead MUST be the owners permanent and primary residence on which property taxes are paid.

Pennsylvania Homestead Exclusion & PA Farmstead Exclusion

The Pennsylvania Homestead Exclusion & PA Farmstead Exclusion allows homeowners to benefit from a lower taxable assessment on their real estate and property. It’s a benefit many overlook.

PA Farmstead Exclusion

In PA, the term “homestead exclusion” is also use in conjunction with the “farmstead exclusion” principle. The Pennsylvania farmstead exclusion provides property tax relief to those who farm their land. These farmers are given an exclusion when applied to their buildings used for agricultural purposes on a farm that is at least 10 contiguous acres (another tax principle called Act 319 – “Clean & Green” status which also lowers your taxes). The farmstead exclusion is applied when it’s also the primary residence of its owner.

Pennsylvanians in 66 counties can receive property tax relief through homestead and PA farmstead exclusions. If you’re a farmer and need to apply for this exclusion, you may fall under both SS1 and Act 72. Homestead and farmstead exclusions that were approved under Act 72 remain valid under SS Act 1. However, taxpayers may still be required to reapply for an exclusion every three years. SS Act 1 only applies to residential property owners.

Next Steps:

If you have questions about the Pennsylvania homestand exemption & PA farmstead exemption, we’d always advise you contact a real estate attorney. Remember it’s always Buyer Beware when you considering real property, especially when reviewing your ability to claim either homestand or farmstand exclusions.

If you’re looking to Buy or Sell real estate, you’ve got our number: call us today @ 866-502-5478.

Pennsylvania-Building-Codes-U&O

Pennsylvania building codes, ordinances, permits, U&O issues

Pennsylvania Building Codes, Ordinances, Permits, U&O issues

When buying or selling a home, there are many local laws, building codes and municipal ordinances and requirements when a property is sold or transferred. Before you go to list your home for sale, you should research Pennsylvania building codes, ordinances, permits, U&O issues that affect your real estate transaction.

The moment a property is listed and put up for sale, the only initial due diligence required for the seller is to complete a Seller’s Disclosure form. This form in Pennsylvania is required with any sale of real estate. It is used to disclose everything and anything known or should be known about the property. The purpose is for full disclosure when selling to a buyer who should have as much information as possible to make a decision to purchase a home for sale, a lot, piece of land, farm or commercial building.

Pennsylvania building codes, ordinances, permits, U&O issues

Local Inspector discussing U&O, Local Code issues with new home owner prior to settlement.

 

A home buyer looking to buy a property should expect to receive the Seller’s Disclosure from their real estate agent or buyer’s agent prior to making an offer on a property. The Seller’s Disclosure is part of the offer and agreement of sale as a required document completed and signed by the Seller (signed, dated and initialed) along with the Buyer who is accepting the property in the condition disclosed by means of dating, signing and initialing the document in similar manner.

The issue for home buyers is they often find a property, schedule a showing with their agent and fall in love with the home for sale or property. It’s only at that point that the flags go up in the transaction: how good is this home, land, farm or building? These questions about the integrity of the property are answered in the Seller’s Disclosure.

Still after much is disclosed in this form, there will always likely be a home inspection (see FHA Home Inspection) and an appraisal unless the buyer opt-out of such inspections. However, the Seller is still on the hook and is required to provide Use & Occupancy certificate from the local municipality – called an U&O. These U&O certificates are issued locally at the township or borough and can often be ordered online. In Philadelphia, a U&O is issued by Philadelphia’s License & Inspections (L&I) office. A Philadelphia U&O can be ordered online too.

Whenever a U&O is ordered, the seller should verify standard items are in place and have been addressed including but not limited to the following:

Pennsylvania Municipality U&O requirements

1. No current violations.
2. Fines are paid in full (prior or at settlement).
3. Permits pulled for major projects like decks, basements and roofs.
4. Smoke Detectors – working, less than 10 years old, properly located.
5. Handrails in proper locations (Ex. Stairs to the basement).
6. GFCI’s – ground fault circuits in near water sources ((strict municipalities).
7. Permitted & Approved Electrical Panel (strict municipalities).
8. No broken window panes (strict municipalities).
9. No visible cracking/peeling of paint (strict municipalities).
10. No cracked sidewalks (strict municipalities).

*These items vary by municipality, township, borough and city.

Smoke-Detectors-required-U&OMany building codes, ordinances, permits, U&O issues may also be discovered by a qualified home inspector but only the actual U&O certificate issued by the municipality will specify what MUST be addressed prior to transferring and taking possession of a property.

Ask to See the Permits

When a listing agent begins the process of working with a seller, the agent should address these potential issues when processing the listing and preparing it for marketing. However, even a real estate agent is not fully aware of each and every variation from one municipality to the next. Buyers are always told Caveat Emptor before buying a home, the same should be said of the seller. Every seller should be aware of local Pennsylvania building codes, ordinances, permits, U&O issues that could impact the sale of their home or property.

Before a homeowner can start a project on their home, they are always advised by their municipality or city building department to check with them PRIOR to starting a new renovation or addition. For example, if a homeowner plans a major renovation with mechanicals, plumbing, and electrical work, they will likely be required to submit architectural drawings & plans prior to starting the project.

In the event permits are not pulled, the local building code enforcer has the right to stop all work, charge fines where applicable and even require demolition if not approved. Even when the job is done, the permit must be closed before the finished work is considered complete and acceptable to most local municipalities. Without their sign-off, it could still be considered open and a U&O will not be issued without addressing items discovered by the officer.

Historic Homes have additional U&O considerations

If the home or property being sold is historic (age of qualified homes vary by municipality) it may require additional inspections or certification. Many municipalities have historic commissions and committees who must approve modifications, additions and changes made to a property. These can include home color, roof materials, fences, lighting, driveways and additions – style, materials, size, etc.

And while older homes face extra scrutiny, newer homes also face additional approval by being required to be built with the latest building codes and environmental friendly building techniques. Even when purchasing new construction, be sure to inquire from the building about building materials used, construction methods and what International Building Code standard are used in their homes.

Pennsylvania Building Codes, Ordinances, Permits, U&O issues create delays

In the event their are building codes, ordinances, permits, U&O issues discovered during the local municipal inspection, it is often required for the seller to fix, remedy and/or correct all issues prior to settlement. However, many times the seller’s agent is slow to ordering these documents or they aren’t able to be scheduled in a timely manner for settlement. Under these circumstances, additional escrows made be used to put the approximate amount aside to endure it covers any potential correction after settlement. Many times this needs to be approved several days in advance by a mortgage company or bank – so the sooner the U&O is ordered, the better the outcome – for both parties.

Recently in Pennsylvania, the legislature passed a bill that protects home owners, buyers & sellers from overly demanding municipalities called Act 133 of 2016. Since many Pennsylvania building codes, ordinances, permits, U&O issues delay settlements, the PA legislature helped address this through recent changes to the Pennsylvania Act. It addressed “situations in which municipalities were not following the Act, leading to some real estate transactions being postponed or cancelled due to minor property maintenance violations” and provides a clear path to settlement.

In conclusion, a buyer should always request a Seller’s Disclosure for any property prior to formalizing an offer or purchase strategy. If there are questions about prior repairs or improvements, a list of permits from the municipality can help thwart any future issues.

If you’re looking for a local PA real estate agent, contact us today. We’re here to help you List & Sell, Buy a Home, or rent/lease a property.