Real Estate

The Importance of Representations and Warranties in Contracts and Negotiations

A major concern for any transaction or real estate contract negotiation is the survival period for the representations and warranties. In simple words, how long will those promises be enforceable? For real estate buyers and sellers, the survival period – how long that promise is upheld – can impact each party differently.

Eminent Domain: Sound Transit’s Impact on Seattle Property Owners

Eminent domain is the right of government entities to seize private property for public use, with fair compensation. It’s a powerful tool offered to federal, state and local governments, including government agents like Sound Transit. Eminent domain is a worry for current residents and business owners in West Seattle, Northgate, the International District and Lynwood, where the path of future light rail projects are at various stages of planning and development.

Opportunity Zone Investments – What You Need to Know

The federal Opportunity Zone program offers significant tax incentives to taxpayers who invest in land-use, business or real-estate projects within specified low-income and underserved communities. Investors with the right strategy and long-term investment goals can take advantage of this program to reduce, or event eliminate, their capital gains taxes. 

As a real-estate attorney with Holmquist + Gardiner, I specialize in transactions involving mixed-use development properties and tax-deferred investment strategies, including Opportunity Zone investments. I help clients mitigate risks and successfully take advantage of incentives. 

Residential Boundary Line Disputes in King County

Spring is here. The cherry blossoms are blooming. It’s nearly time to roll out the grill for its summer stint on the patio. Hopefully any extended time spent outside enjoying your property includes a friendly wave from your neighbor. For residential property owners dealing with the turmoil of a contentious boundary line dispute, a wave is more likely an apoplectic stare, or worse. 

Are you paying too much in property taxes?

With the increase in housing prices in the Seattle area, homeowners are finding that their annual property tax bill is increasing by a much larger percentage than in the past.  For example, property taxes on a median-valued home in King County has increased 42.6% in the last four years! This is a huge increase, no matter your financial situation. You might be wondering what you can do to contest your property tax assessment? Indeed, you do have options.

Commercial Leases – Keys to Success: for Landlords

Commercial leases can be lengthy, complicated and full of unfamiliar terms. Often, landlords and or tenants are reluctant to incur the cost required for their attorney to complete a detailed review of the lease because the monthly lease payment is small or they are under a time crunch. The aggregate cost of a lease is often very substantial, however. Through years of experience doing commercial lease work on a daily basis we have discerned the following key tips...

What Happens When a Tenant Doesn't Pay Rent?

As landlords in Washington State are well aware, the Landlord-Tenant Act (RCW 59.18 et seq.) and Seattle Just-Cause Eviction Ordinance (SMC 22.206 et seq.) are heavily weighted in favor of tenants’ rights. These laws have created a daunting and oft confusing legal process for landlords to navigate when an eviction becomes necessary. The first step in evicting a tenant is to place the tenant on notice that they are in default of their lease.  The type of default and issues surrounding the tenancy will dictate the type of notice a landlord is required to serve.

Interpretation of Indemnity Clauses

A February 2012 Washington State Supreme Court decision, Snohomish County Public Transportation Benefit Area Corp. v. First Group America, Inc., clarified how Washington courts are to interpret indemnification clauses. The facts of the case are interesting and the ruling provides a tie in to our daily work since indemnification clauses often arise in lease and purchase and sale negotiations.