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Archive for September, 2018

11 Tips for Investing in Commercial Real Estate

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Investing in commercial real estate provides a stable cash flow, especially when prime property is rented out. Commercial real estate investments also offer financial benefits when the property’s value appreciates over time. The two critical factors in successful commercial real estate investment, leasing out a property and the real estate’s gradual appreciation, make investing in commercial real estate a profitable venture.


Make sure to follow these tips to profit from your commercial property investment.

Opportune examples of real estate into which an investor can generate a profit include industrial buildings, hotels, farmland, retail buildings, office spaces, malls, apartment units, and warehouses. While apartment buildings generally offer leases for up to one year, industrial and office spaces typically offer leases of five years or more.

Making the right investment decisions is extremely rewarding monetarily. On the same token, making a poor investment choice will deflate you financially and burden you with an undesirable building. But in any situation, you’ll want to have an experienced real estate attorney attend the closing and carefully review the documents before you sign anything.

Here are some additional tips on how to invest in commercial real estate:

1. Scrutinize the Location

Commercial real estate investing, just like residential real estate investing, considers location. You want to invest in a property that is situated in a prime commercial area. Look for the worst property in the best area. A dilapidated property can be fixed up and sold for a profit, a much more sizable profit if it is located in a prime spot.

2. Have Excellent Credit

Your credit report is what banks will look at when you need to borrow money to finance the purchase of a commercial property. A gleaming credit report will ensure you have the adequate funding to make your commercial real estate investment dreams a reality. Keep in mind that lenders prefer 30 percent down, as a minimum.

3. Buy Big

If you have the opportunity to purchase a ten- or fifty-unit apartment building, move forward with the larger purchase. Savvy real estate investors, like the famous Dave Lindahl, say it’s no easier to manage ten units than it is to manage fifty.

4. Be Patient

While residential homes can be renovated fairly quickly, commercial properties take much longer to buy, fix up, and sell. When investing in commercial properties, it’s important to be patient. You are unlikely to rush into a bad decision and expect a quick cash payout when persistence is on your side.

5. Expand Your Range

A lot of investors look at apartment buildings as investment income, since they are familiar with residential properties. Expand your horizons and examine the many investment options you have, including mobile home parks and land.

6. Build Relationships

Many commercial properties are sold without first being listed on the market. The more people in your network of private lenders and partners, the better your chances are for scoring deals. Forging relationships with partners also helps you financially meet your commercial real estate investment goals. Plus, associating with experienced commercial investors will help you get your real estate investment questions answered, giving you pearls of wisdom to keep you from making the mistake of purchasing lackluster property.

7. Stick to a Niche—At First

Experts warn against newcomers spreading themselves too thin when it comes to investing in commercial property. If you are new to commercial real estate investing, try your hand at one type of property, master it and then move on to another type of property. Managing an apartment building will require a different set of skills than, for instance, managing a warehouse. Make it a priority to learn the ins and outs of making a particular type of property thrive and sustaining regular income.

8. Keep Tabs on the Property

The replacement of a broken pipe or a worn roof requires your immediate attention. As the property owner, you are responsible for updating the building as necessary. Income will not roll in just by resting on your initial investment decision. The property owner must stay up to date on the condition of the property at all times and address concerns as needed.

9. Know the Metrics

Successful commercial real estate investing requires a knowledge of common key metrics that are used to evaluate a property. Cap rate, Cash on Cash, and Net Operating Income (NOI) are common metrics with which to become familiar.

10. Evaluate the Neighborhood

Attend open houses, search for vacancies, and discuss real estate with other property owners to scout a neighborhood for potential, profitable commercial real estate investment opportunities.

You may also wish to peruse classified ads, browse the internet and employ “bird dogs”. Bird dogs are hired to find profitable investment leads and make their income through referral fees.

11. Develop a Keen Eye

Constantly be on the watch for signs of wear in a property that is likely to require repairs. Develop an exit strategy with every property you come across. Learn how to assess risk. Also ensure that attractive properties meet your financial goals.

Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd.

When you are about to embark on an exciting journey in commercial real estate, cover your investment by hiring a qualified real estate attorney to oversee the purchase. The real estate lawyers at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. are skilled and experienced in commercial real estate transactions. During the purchasing process, our real estate attorneys will examine and register all documents related to the transaction, attend the closing meeting and ensure that the property is validly and legally owned.

Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd.-Oak-Lawn-IL

Our attorneys have years of experience negotiating during a number of real estate transactions. We will ensure that you are investing at a price that works best for you.

If you are selling a commercial property, our skilled real estate lawyers offer invaluable services to protect your best interests. All closing documents are obtained, title issues are handled, the documents for transfer of ownership are drafted and negotiations are skillfully handled with the buyer.

The intricate buying and selling process of commercial real estate involves hidden legalities that the Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. firm of real estate lawyers can help you navigate through. Make the complex transactions of commercial real estate easier to steer through by enlisting the help of Oak Lawn’s most trusted team of real estate attorneys, Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. Our established firm also reliably serves the surrounding communities of Oak Lawn, Illinois.

Schedule a Consultation

Give us a call at (708) 425-9530 to schedule your consultation today!

Steps Included in a Real Estate Transaction

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We here it all the time but aren’t too sure what exactly goes on in a real estate transaction. Especially if you’re shopping for your first home, you’ll definitely want to at least have a basic idea of what the process entails. It can be pretty lengthy, depending on how set you and the seller are in your ways.


Check out the following steps when closing a real estate transaction to avoid getting stuck with an unfair deal.

But here you can get a basic idea of what to expect during the real estate closing process, starting with your offer until after you walk away with the keys.

1. Opening the Escrow

The definition of escrow is an account held by a third party on behalf of two main parties held in a transaction. As you may already be aware, there are lot of details involved in a real estate transaction, and the best way to prevent the deal from becoming unfair on either ends is to have a third party have the money and documents stored until everything is settled.

2. Title Search and Insurance

A title search and title insurance ensure that when you buy a property, nobody else can try to claim it as theirs in the future. The thief could be a revengeful relative that was not included in a will or a tax collector that was never paid.

In this phase, a title office will conduct a title search to make sure that the title is available. If there are any third parties claiming ownership, these issues will be resolved before the ownership of the property is transferred.

3. Find a Real Estate Attorney

It’s highly recommended to work with a real estate attorney in order to get a professional, legal opinion on your closing documents. It’s not common for homeowners to understand each details within them, but an attorney will know exactly what to look for and inform you of any potential problems you may face.

4. Pre-Approval for a Mortgage

It’s not required to close a deal, but getting pre-approved for a mortgage can help you to close it faster, as it shows that you are financially fit to own the property. This can also give you additional bargaining power as well as being offered a rate lock from specific vendors, meaning securing your interest rate for the loan.

5. Negotiate the Closing Costs

While the escrow (the party holding the papers and money) doesn’t provide their service for free, some even charge ridiculous fees to take advantage of consumer’s ignorance. What some consider a junk fee is debatable, but you should look in the details for appraisal review fees, email fees, processing fees, settlement fees, administrative fees, or application review fees.

If you’re willing to put up a fight, you might be able to get some of them waived or reduced. Just keep in mind that legitimate fees can also be inflated.

6. Get the Home Inspection Approval

A home inspection is not always needed, but it’s definitely a good idea to ask for one. At any time you find a problem during the inspection, you have the opportunity to back out of the deal. It’s up to them to either fix it themselves, pay someone to have it fixed, or reimburse you for having it fixed.

7. Get a Pest Inspection

A pest inspection is not covered during the home inspection. You’ll want to make sure that a professional examines each part of the home to ensure that there isn’t a problem. Even a small infestation of termites or ants can lead to a disaster in the future.

Termites can be removed, but make sure it’s done at a reasonable cost before completing the purchase of the home. In fact, if you were already pre-approved for a mortgage, the mortgage company will require that the problem be fixed before you close the deal.

8. Renegotiate the Offer

Even if the seller has already accepted your offer, it’s a good idea to consider renegotiating if the inspector finds any problems. This way, a lower cost of the house can cover the cost of repairs you will need to make. Or, you can keep the purchase price but require that the repairs must be paid for by the seller.

But if the contract already states that you will be buying the property “as is,” there’s not much power you will have in this situation. Just keep in mind that you still hold the power to back out without any penalty if the inspector did find a major problem with the property and the seller won’t fix it.

9. Secure the Interest Rate

At this point in the process, you’ll want to make sure that you have a locked interest rate. A trusted lender will watch rates carefully and inform you when is the best time to lock in so you can get a good deal. Otherwise, you can watch interest yourself online by using your lender’s website or a third party’s mortgage calculator.

It’s important to note that interest rates are almost always unpredictable and change all the time, sometimes several times a day. It can be easy to go insane about locking in the lowest rate, but you shouldn’t hold it against yourself if you found a lower rate the second you locked in. These rates can also vary according to your credit score, geographic location, and type of loan you get, so what you find posted online may not be the exact rate you get.

10. Get Rid of Contingencies

If you are working with a real estate agent, the purchase offer should be reliant on a few factors:

  • Financing at a reasonable interest rate
  • The home passing an inspection without major issues
  • The seller disclosing known issues with the home
  • The home passing a pet inspection with no damages or infestations
  • The seller agreeing to cover agreed repairs

The contingencies should be figured out and stated in writing by the date specified in your offer. But some purchase agreements have contingencies that have constructive approval, meaning they are protested by the specified deadlines.

11. Depositing Funds

It’s common to make an earnest money deposit when signing a purchase agreement, letting the seller that you are serious about your intentions to buy the property. Because the seller will be taking the property off of the market, they will be getting the earnest money if you back out at this point. But if they back out, then the earnest money will be returned to you.

To complete the purchase of the property, additional funds will need to be deposited into escrow. The original earnest money is applied towards the down payment and the rest as well as the closing costs will be due at the time of purchase.

12. Inspect the Proper One Last Time

Before reviewing the documents, you’ll want to walk through the property one last time and make sure it is in the exact condition as when you last saw it. If any damage has occurred between now and the inspection or if anything is missing, it should be reported right away. It may extend the deal, but at least you won’t be suffering in the end.

13. Sign the Papers

The last but certainly not least important step is to review and sign the closing documents – after they have been reviewed by your real estate attorney. Around 100 pages is common, so there is no need to rush through it. You may feel some pressure from the seller, mortgage lender, or notary to get it done, but reading each and every detail is crucial because it will be affecting your finances and life for a long time.

Pay attention to the interest rate, ensuring that it is correct and there is no prepayment penalty. Also compare the closing costs to the estimate you were previously given and report any fees that are 10% over the estimate.

What to Expect

The closing a process of a real estate transaction can seem long and is indeed a lot of work. But in the end you’ll find that your patience and persistence will pay off. It may be a while before the seller or third parties agree to your offers, so you’ll want to stay busy while they work on their part of the deal. Also remember that it’s important to feel confident that you have done your research and have given a fair offer, otherwise, the closing process can take even longer.

Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd.-Oak-Lawn-IL

Our attorneys have years of experience in negotiating during a number of real estate transaction. We will ensure that you get your dream home at the price you want to pay.

Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd.

Our professionals are knowledgeable in a number of areas and have worked with diverse cases, negotiating to provide an effective solution for each client.

If you have any questions regarding the closing process of a real estate transaction, you can give the real estate attorneys at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. a call at (708) 425-9530

How Much Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?

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After suffering a personal injury such as a slip and fall, dog bite, or car accident, it’s not uncommon to think about how much your case is worth. The answer ultimately depends on the damages incurred, such as what you have suffered physically, mentally, monetarily, and even if the defendant’s actions deserve to be punished.


Here you can get an idea of the personal injury damages for which you are eligible as well as the kind of damages for which you would identify.

Typically in personal injury cases, charges are paid to the injured party (plaintiff) by the company or person who is legally responsible for the accident (the defendant or their insurer). After a settlement has been reached, the damages awarded will be determined between both parties, their attorneys, and the insurance companies. In other cases, they may be ordered by a jury or judge to go to trial.

The following information discusses the types of damages that are common in personal injury cases as well as how the compensation will be affected by the plaintiff’s actions.

Compensatory Personal Injury Cases

Most personal injury cases are identified as “compensatory,” meaning that the intention is to compensate the injured party, or defendant, for the damages on behalf of the plaintiff. This compensation is determined to provide the needed relief for the injured party to recover properly.

This case will put a dollar value on each injury suffered, and while some are easy to determine, some are not. For example, quantifying medical bills and property damages can be easy, but it’s difficult to put a value on the amount of physical pain and suffering or ability to perform future activities due to physical disabilities.

The following includes a list of compensatory damages that are found in most personal injury cases:

  • Pain and suffering. If you have suffered serious discomfort or pain after an accident or its aftermath, you may be entitled to a specific compensation.
  • Medical treatment. Known to be relatively easy to determine the amount of awarded damages, personal injury compensation almost always includes the cost of medical treatment after an accident. This compensation may include the cost of treatment you have already received as well as additional treatments you may need in the future.
  • Property loss. In addition to pain and discomfort, any damages incurred to your property, such as your car, home, or items, may be entitled to compensation for repairs or replacement. This will be taken at the fair market value of the property.
  • Emotional distress. This type of pain and suffering are usually only compensated for more serious accidents. But it is meant to compensate the injured party for the psychological impact taken on, such as sleep loss, anxiety, or fear. There are some states that still consider this as pain and suffering.
  • Loss of enjoyment. When you are not physically capable of enjoying specific activities, such as exercise, hobbies, and other recreational activities, you may be eligible for “loss of enjoyment” compensation.
  • If the accident had caused you to miss work, it will have an impact on your salary or wages. This would include both the income you have lost but the money would have been able to make in the future if the accident never happened. This type of compensation would be counted as “loss of earning capacity.”
  • Loss of consortium. This is mostly related to the impact the injuries incurred on the relationship between the plaintiff and their spouse. Some states also consider the impact on the relationship between the plaintiff and their child if one is injured. Some cases may conclude that the consortium damage is awarded directly to the family member.

Punitive Personal Injury Cases

If the defendant’s actions were intentional or extremely negligent, the plaintiff can be awarded compensation both punitive and compensatory damages. Punitive damages are usually intended to push consequences on the defendant for their negligent or intentional actions.

This would usually result in extreme charges, such as charges significantly exceeding the cost to make the injured party “whole again.” But many states still have a cap on the damages to prevent such outrageous charges from being incurred.

How Damages Awards are Affected by the Plaintiff’s Actions

There are cases in which the injured party’s actions, or even inactions, can take away from the damages awards they are eligible to receive.

  • Contributory negligence. Not many states follow this, but the concept of this is that the injured party may not be eligible for any compensation because they were held partially responsible for the accident.
  • Comparative negligence. If the injured party is at any fault for the accident that caused the injuries, the compensation they receive can reflect this.
  • Failure to mitigate damages after the accident. Most state laws don’t require but do expect the plaintiffs to take steps to help “mitigate” or minimize the damage. This in turn can reduce the financial harm caused to both parties. But if they don’t do anything, such as not getting the proper treatment needed and their injury becomes worse, the compensation awarded will be reduced significantly.

Work with a Personal Injury AttorneyBerry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd.-Oak-Lawn-IL

The damages and types of personal injury cases stated in this article are intended to help understand the circumstances in which compensation is received and affected; it is not to be taken as legal advice. For more information on obtaining the compensation you deserve, it is highly recommended to reach out to a personal injury attorney.

Contacting a professional that is experienced can even maximize the amount of damages for which you are eligible, provided that all evidence, details, and efforts are made. Finding one that specializes in specific personal injury cases, such as medical malpractice, car accidents, slip and fall, etc. will also help your case due to their specialization and experience.

Our personal injury lawyers at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. can provide insight to your case. Our attorneys not only have over 50 years of combined experience working in diverse cases, but ensure to stay updated on changes in the law. This allows us to develop the best strategy for your case, fighting for the compensation you deserve so you can recover properly.

Schedule a Consultation

For more information or to schedule a consultation with our personal injury attorneys, contact Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. at (708) 425-9530.

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