Legal-Ease: How is the use of my property limited?

Limitations to the use of property fall into four, broad categories: neighbors, zoning, development and contracts. 

First, we owe our neighbors certain duties. Second, many parts of Ohio are zoned. Third, development restrictions are similar to neighbor-respect restrictions. Finally, prior owners or we ourselves may have agreed to restrictions on the use of our property. 

Legal-Ease: Why does my deed show a $1 price?

A deed is the document that shows when property actually changed ownership. Once a deed is signed by the seller, it will be recorded at the courthouse. 

Almost every deed includes a sentence similar to “For one dollar and other good and valuable consideration” regardless of the actual cost of the real estate. 

Legal-Ease: What are all these numbers on my real estate tax bill?

There are four major pieces of Ohio real estate taxes that can help clarify the numbers on a real estate tax bill. Real estate tax calculations are like a long algebraic equation. 

First, each parcel of land is appraised. Second, the value for agricultural parcels will have its values adjusted each year. Third, the value is multiplied by 35 percent. Finally, there are certain credits that decrease the final tax bill on some parcels. 

Legal-Ease: House in the country is no walk in the park

Many people in our area dream of buying land and building a new house in the country. But many people don’t realize how difficult it actually is to make this dream a reality. 

First, you need to find a landowner willing to sell land for a house. It needs to be confirmed that the acreage from the lot can legally be divided. 

Next the buyer needs to purchase a soil analysis. Then the contractor may increase the minimum of the acreage needed depending upon the layout and design of the home and its placement. 

Legal-Ease: ‘Good as new’ real estate documents and files

When it comes to real estate and its history of ownership, there’s no such thing as “new” documents. So the best that can be done with real estate documents and files is “good as new.” So the best we can do is file updated documents. 

Attorneys use multiple tools to try to clean up real estate documents and files. 

Legal-Ease: Change in dower law would change Ohio life

Ohio is on the brink of joining 33 other states that have abolished the doctrine of dower. Traditionally, married women were not allowed to own property separately from their husbands. So all real estate owned by the family was controlled by and titled in the name of the husband. 

The need for dower in today’s society has passed, and abolishing it will simplify the law and save Ohioans significant time and money. 

Legal-Ease: Where exactly is my property line?

While it would seem that real estate should be objective, sometimes it can be subjective or inconsistent. Boundary lines should be easy to measure, but as recently as even a century ago, property descriptions used trees and other items to explain where a property line was. 

Legal-Ease: How much tax will I owe when I sell my property?

The tax paid on the sale of investment property is called capital gains tax. Capital gains tax is calculated against the amount earned by property that increased in value by its nature and not by the virtue of the owner’s income, rental income or interest earnings. Capital gains tax rates are typically lower than income tax rates. Capital gains tax will usually become a consideration when someone sells stocks, bonds or real estate. Calculating capital gains tax liability can range from very simple to much more complex for some real estate. 

Legal-Ease: Real estate taxes more complex than commonly thought

Real estate taxes in Ohio operate under a unique structure. Real estate taxes are defined in terms of “mills,” which are created through local governments or through residents’ votes for “levies.” Mills and millage are understood to be a percentage of the property value. The calculation process is much more complex, though, because real estate tax levies can fall under two different categories. 

In the first category of real estate levies, millage is calculated as a percentage of the property value. In the second category of real estate tax levies, the levies are defined as mills, but they’re capped at the total dollar amount of money that the levy brings in during its first year.