What should I consider when buying, selling, mortgaging or leasing real estate?

Owning your own home is the symbol of independence and a piece of the American Dream. For most, it is the largest asset they will own. Whether you are purchasing or selling your first home, a second home, a commercial building or investment property, there are many issues to consider. Understanding the ownership options available can help you maximize the benefit of your asset and minimize the potential for risk and loss.

Primary Residence:

The foremost concern in the acquisition or sale of a primary residence is the transfer of title.  If you are buying, you need to consider your goals. Is privacy an issue? Is liability an issue?  Are you married? Have you done any estate planning? The answers to these questions and others will determine whether you should hold title to the real estate in joint tenancy, tenancy by the entirety, tenants in common, land trust or revocable living trust. If you are selling, it is your obligation to provide marketable title and other legal documents to your buyer. It is important to have an experienced attorney guide and assist you with the sales process. On either side of the transaction, your circumstances should be carefully considered in light of their relative risks and rewards in accomplishing your goals.


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Secondary Residence:

If you are buying a vacation home, consider the importance of an estate plan in accomplishing your goals. Owning the property in a trust can help streamline the administration of your estate by avoiding a multi-state probate filing. Depending on your circumstances, a secondary residence can also be a good way to balance assets between spouses if they have individual trusts.


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Commercial/Investment Property:

Whether you are a developer, landlord or business owner, buying commercial property is an investment with the potential for both an income opportunity and a liability risk. If you are a business owner purchasing property to house your business, a landlord with multiple properties (residential or commercial), or a developer, careful planning is required to ensure that you are not exposing either your business or personal assets to the risk of liability in owning investment properties. Selecting the appropriate entity, such as a corporation, limited liability company, series limited liability company or partnership, is an essential part of the purchase process, taking into account your tax circumstances, the type of business and your investment goals.


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Contact Us

Semmelman & Wisneski, Ltd.

900 North Shore Drive

Suite 250

Lake Bluff, IL 60044

Phone: 847-234-4438

Fax: 847-234-4674





Other Considerations





In a Relationship

Your Business

Loss of Spouse or Parent

The Golden Years

Going on Vacation


Remarriage/Blended Family

Semmelman & Wisneski, Ltd. serves clients in Illinois such as Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Libertyville, Vernon Hills, Highland Park, Mundelein, Gurnee, Grayslake, Wadsworth, Ingleside, Antioch, Wauconda, Lake Zurich and the rest of Lake County.


Regional Nicknames: Lake County, Illinois


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