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What typically does a municipal search cost?

BOSS Construction Group Podcast
What typically does a municipal search cost?

Benjamin Sens, President of BOSS Construction Group, was at the Boca Real Estate Investment Club hosted by David Dweck in Boca Raton, Fl.


Benjamin Sens 0:18
So, so a municipal lien search in South Florida you would think, you know, like because I had a case in Key West, it was for free in Monroe County, all these cities, they want to charge between two and $300. But a municipal lien search, it includes taxes, utilities, it includes water. So I’m only concerned with the open permits and code violations, which is part of the municipal lien search. And it’s very important, you’re pulling a municipal lien search through a good company, some of them just go through what’s on the city’s website. And that’s what the title company relies off of. But unfortunately, this information the municipalities charge for, and it’s very expensive. It’s public information that they charge for, it takes like I had to deal in Lauderdale, not North Lauderdale, lauderhill. And everything was ready to close. But the municipal lien search took five to 10 business days, even with the rush, and they took to the ninth business day. So the association approved, everything was ready. But we couldn’t close. We couldn’t get title insurance without that municipal lien search. So these these lien searches are very important. Typically, it’s only title companies who are ordering lien searches, but big players in real estate. And David will tell you, I’m talking about commercial deals, residential deals, all types of deals, they’re ordering lien searches before they list the property. Why are they doing that? Sometimes they get the owner to pay for it. But owners don’t know if they have liens recorded open permits code violations, they could have purchased the property with it. So again, these guys don’t know about it. But again, you know, if you’re able to educate your client or the seller, you can explain to them the importance of it. So this way, you know, five months before closing, you know, the deficiencies on the property and you know how to correct them and market the property, maybe there’s problems on the property, and you don’t want to entertain an FHA or VA buyer, and you just want to do conventional. So there’s all sorts of reasons why you would want to know what’s going on. Yeah, you could slap a lockbox on the property and take pictures, but then before I ever invested time in marketing a property or purchasing a property, I would want a municipal lien search

Unknown Speaker 2:43
commercial property and job

Unknown Speaker 2:48
search, I think

Unknown Speaker 2:51
they said the government cannot basically, you know, on my commercial space, because I was asking if the government after

Unknown Speaker 3:10
they find out that the government

Benjamin Sens 3:14
so basically, that was a zoning, verification or it. And you know, again, it’s a very small amount, and it’s super important. So the zoning verification is a separate part of the municipal lien search. But the main things about the municipal lien search are open permits and code violations. I’m going to move forward here real quick. This was a commercial property again, this was a tenant who was subleasing and they had a by the shopping center, but they had four walls and an open burglar alarm permit from 1992 had the realtor brought the county on the property to close the burglar alarm permit, they would have found a tenant in there, they would have found this guy was renting to multi marketing, Rainbow vacuum and a tutoring center. So again, it’s very important, you know, either we let me evaluate it, I can evaluate it and decide whether we want to proceed with the county or the city or closing it out, or do we want to convey or we just want to wipe our hands with it. I was in a property in Coral Springs yesterday, it was a wide green PACE loan, the guy $60,000 in windows and doors, the guy left the permit open. And there was all these problems with that with five of the windows and he didn’t finish the work. So the point I’m trying to make is we need to know that that loan needs to be paid off before closing. We also need to know I said to the seller, look if you if you could wipe your hands of this expired permit, convey the property to the buyers credit them $10,000 don’t even attempt to call the city of Coral Springs in here. So again, there’s different ways to settle deals. I don’t like to do escrow holdbacks, especially because the seller always ends up getting killed and it’s hard to get the to cooperate, I like to deal with it before closing a lot of title companies and real estate professionals, they and attorneys, they heavily undervalue, undervalue these problems just to get to the closing table. And the buyer seller usually gets stiffed, and they lose the and they lose the relationship with the clients. So, again, a lot of these things we can handle Before closing, if we know about them. This is just this is a property on bearse Road and Davey BP Oil conglomerate called me in they have in Port Everglades, they’re leasing a site for their 30,000, isometric. Their jet fuel basically these large barrels. And so basically, this guy was subdividing the parcel. And he wanted to use a phase one, which is an environmental analysis from over a year ago. And when we asked to do our phase one, that’s when the deal broke apart, because he knew that there were contaminants on that site with lead and arsenic. So if you’re buying an office condo, if you’re buying a commercial or industrial property, it’s always important to do a phase one, which leads to phase two, the reason why people go to phase one identifies the problems and the soil because we don’t know what tenants dumped whatever on the site. A phase two is the cleanup part. But people don’t want to identify the problems with the phase one. Because if there’s problems on that property, and it’s designated a brownfield, and it’s reported to the state, and then no one will ever be able to get financing on that property again. Unless you correct, unless you clean in the last year. Yes, yes. And actually, in this particular property, had my client bought the property. This, all the businesses around it, if any of the previous contaminants were found to mushroom, even from previous owners, he could be sued for 10s of millions of dollars. And F dot who’s right here. They have a lot of attorneys, the Florida Department of Transportation. So there’s F dot, there’s a moving car. I think there’s a landscaping company here, a storage facility here, this is right off. But Davy was the only city who allows you to store these containers outdoors. The this was a very special deal. And every single and again, the realtor found them another spot after this one got cancelled. But the point is, every single city has different zoning ordinances.

I went over this part what’s in what’s included, David, I got to lend you my clicker. what’s included in a municipal lien search. So again, this is a reliable municipal lien search. This is a company that you can contact, which is what brought me to them, because in my education, I was encouraging people to really order lean searches. Most lean search companies only work with title companies because they only want big accounts. This lean search company you can order one lean search, you can you know, they’ll give you the turnaround time and good service and great information. This is an example of a Miami Gardens lien search that involves Dade County. So this is a multi jurisdictional office condo that’s being sold. So you see the city of Miami Gardens is involved Miami Dade County, there’s a special there’s a special taxing district here that’s involved with Miami Dade County. This one is in tamarac. This involves the city of Fort Lauderdale. It crosses over into Broward County before so we want to understand every single folio number that’s going on in Palm Beach. It’s called a parcel a pcn parcel control number. And Broward it’s called a folio and Miami Dade it’s called a folio as well. But again, we want to know where we’re working and what we’re working with. And all of these, all of these things when margins are small can break up a deal. Here’s the contact information for reliable, which you have on here as well. And here’s my contact information. And if you guys have any, anything at all that you need an owner’s rep for or consulting, I’m not a contractor, or who’s going to come in and blow up the deal and is looking to do work. I’m here to provide you with good advice. So you could get to the closing table and understand how to manage and everything around. So you guys can call me at any time if you need. I post a lot of video on Facebook and on Instagram and LinkedIn. So again, please like my pages and I highly, highly suggest that you guys get get involved in video for your businesses and personally it’s made a great difference from mine.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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