Real Estate in Virginia

In Virginia, real estate is defined by law as the land and anything attached, built, or grown on it with the exception of anything that can be removed without damaging the land.  This can include items like buildings, crops, wells, and paved areas plus any liens or easements put on a property.

Categories of Real Estate

Real estate laws divide properties into several different categories.  These categories are more than simply ways of making distinctions between property types.  In some cases, they define what you can and cannot use the property for.  One example is that you are not allowed to use a single family home as a commercial business (with the exception of a home based business or home office).

In Virginia, the following categories of real estate exist: single family homes, town houses, office buildings, condos, shopping/commercial property, storage, industrial property, agriculture, and raw land that has not been developed for any specific purpose.

Real Estate Transaction Law

Before buying a property in Virginia, you should know how real estate transaction law works.  These laws exist to both protect the buyer and seller from being cheated in any way during the buying and selling process.  They set out uniform, fair guidelines that allow everyone involved to engage professional services when transferring property and ensure that those services (for example, real estate agents, lawyers, title companies, etc.) are educated, trained, and ethical.

Transaction laws cover many different topics and areas, and many may not even apply to your real estate transfer.  Some examples include the Fair Housing Act, which states that a seller cannot discriminate against anyone when selling their property; mortgage fraud laws, which protects companies from being scammed by individuals who lie on their mortgage applications; and RESPA, a comprehensive law that safeguards homeowners against a variety of things.  The Real Estate Transaction Law of Virginia also covers things like landlord-tenant laws and laws surrounded credit and lending.

Learning about every aspect of real estate transaction law can be difficult, especially for people who simply don’t have the time to research every detail about real estate in Virginia.  In that case, it’s best to consult a real estate agent or a real estate lawyer.  They are professionals who have made it their career to understand all the ins and outs of real estate in Virginia, and they can best advise you on how to transact your buy or sell.

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