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Subject:  Re: Buying land from parents Date:  9/2/2008  10:53 PM
Author:  SeattlePioneer Number:  5 of 20

<<Hello, my parents are trying to tell me that if I give them a dollar I could be purchasing 5 acres of land next to their house. Is this true? If a court house was to actually take my information and their information and give me a deed, they could not be lieing to me could they? Someone please help me on this subject. This is the first time for me ever buying a piece of land or a house or anything.

If they own the land free and clear, it's relatively easy to transfer a portion of the land to a new owner. Selling property for $1 is common since a contract usually has to be for something of value.

But as others have suggested, such a casual transfer is probably not a good idea. Land is one thing where ownership is documented carefully, and a mistake might cloud the title or raise expensive legal issues decades from now.

The smart move would be to have an attorney process the sale, and inform everyone of the tax implications of what they are doing. That might cost $500 or so (to throw out a number) but it would be money well spent in my opinion.

If your parents wont do that, you can do it on your own, for yourself. In my county, the county bar association will arrange a 1/2 hour consultation with a lawyer specializing in the area of the law you are interested in for $50, and you can ask a LOT of questions in a half hour if you are prepared. You might consider calling your county bar association and see what they can offer you.

Personally, I'd see that attorney before you do the deal and see what he has to say. You could do it after they cobble up a sale, but then you might be looking at patching up a defective title, which might be more expensive than doing it right the first time.

Seattle Pioneer
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