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Saint Paul Estate Planning Law Blog

What are deceptive trade practices in business law?

If you're in business, one thing you may be interested in knowing more about is what a deceptive trade practice is. Deceptive trade practices are activities by businesses or individuals that mislead the public or consumers. This action misleads them in a way that encourages them to buy a product that then does not do what it's intended to do.

The most common type of deceptive trade practice that most people know about is false advertising. You've probably seen businesses say that their vitamins or new products can cure disease or illnesses, help provide people with more energy or even help them complete tasks more easily than they could before. The reality is that most of these claims are false, or else more people would be thrilled about the products. These false claims hinder consumers by asking them to purchase things that do not do what they're supposed to do.

Mortgage rates increase in mid-June

If you've become interested in purchasing real estate, now may not be the time due to rising mortgage rates. For several weeks, mortgage rates dropped, making it a good time to buy, but now, as of June 14, those rates are on the rise again. That means that you'll be more likely to spend greater amounts for less house.

Data released by Freddie Mac indicated that the 30-year fixed-rate average jumped up to 4.62 percent, whereas it was 4.54 percent just last week. In 2017, its rate was 3.91 percent, showing how much more people will spend in interest today than in the past.

Should you get a home inspection?

When you're looking into buying a home, one thing you want to do is get a home inspection. While you aren't required by law to have an inspection performed, it's one of the best things you can do to protect yourself. If you buy a home without an inspection, there could be any number of things wrong with the property that you don't know about until it's too late.

For buyers, a home inspection gives them a chance to back out if the problems are too major to make the purchase wise. Likewise, it gives them a chance to renegotiate if there is something wrong with the property.

Commercial interest: Watching interest rates

There are many things you should do if you plan to make a real estate purchase, but one of the most important is to monitor the real estate trends for the type of property you wish to purchase. If you're interested in buying commercial property, then it's a good idea to know the current interest rates within the sector you're interested in. Right now, the commercial rates are good, and the reality is that they're likely to stay stable in the future. That's great news if you plan to buy or sell in the future, since buyers will have an easier time obtaining a mortgage.

Take for example a commercial real estate purchase in the United States. Right now, as of May 2018, it has been estimated that there will be three rate hikes in 2018. This is based on policy meetings involving the Federal Reserve in Dec. 2017.

Environmental risks could impact your real estate transaction

Environmental issues can play a role in real estate transactions. Take for instance the likelihood of a flood in an area; a flood that enters a home could cause water damage and make its value plummet. Even worse, it could mean fewer people want to buy the property.

Other environmental issues play a role in the value of property. For example, land contamination is a problem that has to be addressed. If a local business or industry is polluting the property, the risk has to be mitigated or, at the very least, measured and reported to any potential buyers.

What should you ask when shopping for a mortgage?

You're tired of paying high rent for an apartment in your city, and it's your goal to move into a home that you can fix up to meet your needs. You know that you'll need to get a mortgage to be able to afford it, but do you know the questions you should be asking when you shop for a loan?

There are many things you'll want to keep in mind when you decide to get a mortgage. If you don't ask these questions, you won't be fully informed about your mortgage. Here are a few questions you need to have answers to before you agree to a mortgage.

Starting a business with friends: 3 tips to remember

Everyone who enters into the business world has the potential to do so with friends, family or strangers. Maybe you've found that you and your friends get along so well that you can't imagine opening a business without them. Stop and think before you do; sometimes, mixing business and friendship isn't a good idea.

There are things you can do to make it safer to open a business with friends, though, if you're set on the idea. Here are a few things to remember.

Why hire a commercial lawyer?

Commercial law is regulated, on the whole, by the Uniform Commercial Code, also known as the UCC. The UCC is a set of laws that dictate secured transactions, leases of goods, negotiable instruments and the sale of goods. Without the UCC, there would be little standardization for commerce throughout the United States.

The UCC is not implemented in the same way everywhere, even though it provides solid guidelines for application. Every state is allowed to implement the UCC in different ways, adjusting it to meet the needs of commercial businesses within its boundaries. For this reason, it's a good idea to know the laws in each and every state where you run businesses and to work with professionals familiar with those differences in law.

Buying a home versus an investment property: What to consider

Buying a home is often a goal of young individuals. Should a home really be your first property, though? Would it be better to choose something else?

There are a few reasons to choose an investment property instead. The first reason is because you're so young. That means you have time to invest in a property and allow it to grow in value. Once you have additional income coming in from renting the property, you can save it for a larger down payment on the home you really want for yourself or to purchase another investment property.

Does a prequalification guarantee a mortgage loan?

You want to buy a home, but you don't want to look at something that is out of your budget. You think you know what you want to spend, but you want to know that you can get the money you need to finance the purchase. If you can't get it, there's no point wasting your time looking for a property out of the loan's range.

The first myth you should know about is that if you prequalify for a mortgage, you won't necessarily get the loan. The myth would have you believe that a prequalification is all you need to find and purchase a home, but the reality is that the lender will need more information, in most cases, before making a decision. A prequalification is a step you should go through with, though, so you have an idea about how much you could be approved for.