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Radon – An Invisible Issue

RADON MITIGATION isn’t usually top of mind when builders plan to build a house or when home sellers put out their “For Sale” sign.  It’s not visible or noticeable to the average person, but it’s real and it’s ubiquitous. Iowa is prone to high levels of radon, an odorless, colorless, radioactive gas that naturally occurs [...]

Important Terms in Construction Agreements

Construction professionals who understand basic contract terms are less at risk of agreeing to poorly written contracts. By better understanding their own contracts, Contractors can spot where negotiation is possible, make changes to clarify, or add protection. This article highlights potential negotiating points and briefly explains important contract provisions. Scope of Work/ Plans and Specs [...]

By | January 31st, 2017|Business Law, Real Estate|

Gronewald Completes West Des Moines Leadership Institute

Sullivan & Ward, P.C. Shareholder, Samantha Gronewald, has recently graduated from the West Des Moines Leadership Institute (“WDMLI”). Now in its 8th year, WDMLI has seen over 300 community leaders go through the program. The West Des Moines Chamber’s leadership program is centered on creating leaders through community training and leadership development. Class members attend [...]

By | August 31st, 2016|Employment Law, Estate Planning, Family Law, Real Estate|

Full Disclosure: What You Need to Tell Buyers About Your Home

Whether you have owned your home for decades or just a few years, you know its flaws, its best features, and its quirks. As a seller you may feel uncomfortable disclosing problems that could deter potential buyers, but if a flaw is found after closing and the buyers believe you were aware of the problem, [...]

By | July 7th, 2016|Real Estate|

Thinking about selling For Sale By Owner?

With both interest rates and home inventory starting the year at lows we haven't seen in a long time, this may be the best opportunity for you to sell your home for the most profit. Most people hire a Realtor to help them through the buying/selling process, and if you can afford it, I highly [...]

By | March 17th, 2015|Real Estate|

No Eminent Domain for Bike Trails

Most people are generally familiar with the legal concept of eminent domain, whereby the government can take private property for public use, upon the payment of just compensation to the property owner.  It is found in the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and similarly found in the Iowa Constitution at Article 1, Section 18.  The [...]

By | February 20th, 2013|Real Estate|

Transferring Property From an LLC

Although Corporations and Limited Liability Companies offer their owners similar protections from liability, differences between the two entities can be found.  For instance, when transferring property from an LLC, the Iowa Revised Uniform Limited Liability Act requires that the record (i.e deed) must disclose whether the LLC is member-managed or manager-managed; whether the conveyance is in [...]

By | May 17th, 2012|Real Estate|

Iowa Fence Law Before Legislature

I'll admit that the Iowa Fence Law (359A) has become a side project of mine.  I have blogged about it on two separate occasions in the past, first noting that as written and determined by the Iowa Supreme Court, the law applied to both urban and rural property.  The update noted that the mechanisms in [...]

By | February 9th, 2012|Real Estate|

Iowa Supreme Court sides with Purchase Money Mortgage

Today the Iowa Supreme Court released its opinion in Freedom Financial Bank v. Estate of Edward Boesen and Maureen Boesen.  Sullivan & Ward, P.C. represented Freedom Financial Bank in a mortgage foreclosure action against the Estate of Edward Boesen.  The Court affirmed the decision of the Polk County District Court and the Iowa Court of Appeals, ruling [...]

By | November 18th, 2011|Real Estate|

Some Mechanics of Iowa Mechanic’s Lien Law

Mechanic's Liens are a valuable tool used by contractors to help insure that they are fully compensated for the materials they supply and the improvements that they make to buildings or land.  However, if you are a contractor providing materials or making improvements to an "owner-occupied" dwelling, essentially a residential remodeling contractor, then the mechanic's lien that you file may not be worth much more than [...]

By | June 6th, 2008|Real Estate|