Frequently Asked

Q: Will my initial consultation be free?
A: Yes, the attorneys at SJLG believe in understanding the nature of your legal issue before attempting to provide legal advice.

Q: Are real estate closings more expensive when handled by an attorney?
A: No. We are usually able to meet or beat the rates of title companies. We do not charge legal fees for standard closings. The advantage of having an attorney handle the closing is that if there is a title issue, we are able to quickly and efficiently resolve the issue in house. Whereas title companies often need to hire an outside attorney.

Q: How long does a typical closing take?
A: A closing for the purchase and sale of a property takes approximately one hour. A refinance or construction loan closing might take as little as half an hour. If you would like to review all of your documents prior to closing, please contact us prior to your closing and we will ensure you receive copies of such.

Q: What is a title search?
A: A title search is a search of the public records as they relate to the subject property to see if there are any liens or other outstanding judgments and encumbrances against the subject property. Your closing attorney will evaluate the status of the title and will pursue appropriate legal remedies to clear any title defects which might have been discovered.

Q: What is title insurance?
A: Title insurance is protection against loss resulting from defects in the title to the property, which might not have been discovered during the title search at the time of closing. There are two different types of title insurance policies a mortgagee policy and an owner’s policy. The mortgagee policy extends coverage to the lender and insures the mortgage lien that a lender is acquiring; whereas, an owner’s policy extends coverage to the home owner and insures against loss or damages due to title problems.

Q: What does title insurance cost?
A: Please click here to see a rate schedule for title insurance rates.

Q: What is a deed?
A: A deed is a legal instrument that conveys an interest in real property from an owner to a purchaser. While a deed is more commonly used to convey title to real property, it may also be used to convey title to personal property.

Q: What is a mortgage?
A: A mortgage is a pledge of real property by the borrower to the lender as security for the repayment of a debt. A mortgage creates a lien or encumbrance against the real property.

Q: What property tax exemptions are available?
A: (1) Homestead Exemption; (2) Widow’s or Widower’s Exemption; (3) Disability Exemption; (4) Exemption for Blind Persons; (5) Service-Connected Disability Exemption; (6) Total Exemption for Service-Connected, Totally and Permanently Disabled; (7) Combat Related Veteran’s Exemption; (8) Total Exemption for Non-Profit Organizations; (9) Senior Citizen Age 65 and Over Exemption; (10) Granny Flats Classification; and (11) Tangible Personal Property Exemption. Please contact your local property appraiser for more information on each of these exemptions.