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Flathead Valley, Montana Real Estate Law

Providing high quality legal services at a reasonable price.

Real estate in the Flathead Valley is one of the largest investments you will ever make. Tom Tornow has successfully bought, sold and leased residential and commercial property for over 30 years. As an experienced Whitefish real estate attorney, he can help make your real estate investment a success.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a real estate lawyer?

Real estate in the Flathead Valley, including Whitefish, Columbia Falls and Kalispell, is an important investment. Easements, zoning, covenants, liens, road and well agreements are just a few examples of things that can limit the use of your land. Closing documents, including bank and seller financing, are difficult to understand. Like a mechanic inspecting a used car, Whitefish attorney Tom Tornow is an experienced real estate lawyer who can make sure you are getting what you pay for. If you are buying or selling land in Whitefish, Columbia Falls, Kalispell or Flathead County, his Whitefish real estate law firm can make sure you have a binding contract and can assist you with bank and seller financing.

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Won't my real estate agent do that?

Real estate agents are paid only if the deal closes. As an experienced Whitefish real estate attorney, Tom has found that some real estate agents sweep issues under the rug to get the buyer and seller to close. Tom’s Whitefish real estate law firm has the expertise in Flathead Valley real estate to identify the issues, solve those that can be solved, and help you buy or sell land in Whitefish, Columbia Falls, Kalispell or anywhere throughout the Flathead Valley.

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Doesn't title insurance protect me?

Title insurance policies are complex and written to protect the title insurance company. Land in the Flathead Valley, especially in Whitefish, Columbia Falls and Kalispell, is too valuable not to be properly insured. As an experienced Whitefish real estate attorney, Tom understands title insurance and can make certain you get the protection you pay for.

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When should I hire a real estate lawyer?

Ideally, you should hire an experienced real estate attorney before you sign the buy-sell contract or borrow or lend money. If you are buying or selling land in Whitefish, Columbia Falls, Kalispell or anywhere in the Flathead Valley, Tom is an experienced Whitefish real estate lawyer who can help you through the entire process by reviewing the buy-sell contract, title commitment, settlement statement, deed, bank loans, seller financing, trust indenture, mortgage, easements, surveys and road and well agreements.

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What if I am a Canadian?

Tom is the real estate attorney for numerous Canadian citizens. Whether purchasing a second home or investing in Whitefish, Columbia Falls, Kalispell or Flathead County real estate, Tom is an experienced Whitefish real estate lawyer who appreciates the substantial contribution Canadians make to the Flathead Valley economy.

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What is construction lien or mechanic's lien?

Construction in Whitefish, Columbia Falls, and Kalispell is a significant part of the Flathead County’s economy. A construction lien, also known as a mechanic’s lien, is a document that a person or company that provides labor or material to improve real estate can record against the land if (s)he is not paid, even if the land owner has already paid someone else for the labor or material. A construction lien (or mechanic’s lien) can disrupt bank loans and seller financing. If you are a land owner in Whitefish, Columbia Falls, Kalispell or anywhere in Flathead County, Whitefish real estate lawyer Tom Tornow can help protect you from paying twice. If you are the laborer or supplier, mistakes in your construction lien or mechanic’s lien can result in you paying the fees of homeowner’s lawyer. Tom can make sure your construction lien or mechanic’s lien is correct and help you get paid for your work.

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What can I do if I have not been paid for my work?

If you meet strict timelines, you can record a construction lien, also known as a mechanic’s lien, against the land to make sure you get paid for your work. However, mistakes in your construction lien or mechanic’s lien can result in you paying fees of the homeowner’s attorney. Tom is a Whitefish real estate lawyer with more than 30 years of experience helping contractors get paid for their work throughout Flathead County, including Whitefish, Columbia Falls and Kalispell. He can make sure your construction lien or mechanic’s lien is correct and help you get paid for your work.

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What is an easement?

An easement gives one landowner the right to use another owner’s land. Easements can be written or unwritten and can arise from a variety of circumstances. Easements attach to the land and bind later owners even if they do not know or agree to the easement. Whitefish real estate attorney Tom Tornow has years of experience creating, terminating and interpreting easements and has helped many landowners in Whitefish, Columbia Falls, Kalispell and Flathead County. His Whitefish real estate law firm can determine if you have an easement, either on your land or on another person’s land.

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What are covenants?

Covenants are contracts between landowners about what can be done with their land. Like easements, covenants attach to the land and bind later owners even if they do not know or agree to the covenants. Tom is an experienced Whitefish real estate lawyer who can identify whether your land in Whitefish, Columbia Falls, Kalispell or Flathead County has covenants and what they mean.

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Are covenants the same as zoning or building codes?

Covenants are private contracts between landowners. Zoning and building codes are government limitations on the use of land. As the former President of the Whitefish/Flathead County Planning Board and an experienced Whitefish real estate attorney, Tom has over 30 years of experience with zoning and building codes, and has experience with the zoning and building code officials in Whitefish, Columbia Falls, Kalispell and Flathead County.

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How can I divide my land, move the boundary or change the zoning?

The laws on changes to land in Whitefish, Columbia Falls, Kalispell and Flathead County are increasingly complex. Dividing land or moving the boundary can disrupt existing bank loans and seller financing. As the former President of the Whitefish/Flathead County Planning Board and an experienced Whitefish real estate attorney Tom can guide you through the complex process.

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Do I need a real estate contract?

Whether you are selling or buying land, using seller financing, or sharing water, a road or a well in Whitefish, Columbia Falls, Kalispell or anywhere in Flathead County, the law requires that all agreements about land must be written. Tom is an experienced Whitefish real estate lawyer who will prepare your agreement so that it is understandable and binding.

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How can I get paid if I make a loan or sell my land?

Seller financing is common in Whitefish, Columbia Falls, Kalispell and Flathead County. Promissory Notes, Mortgages, Trust Indentures, Contracts for Deed and Escrow Agreements are ways to make sure you are paid. Whether you are loaning money, selling land or providing seller financing in Whitefish, Columbia Falls, Kalispell or Flathead County, Tom is an experienced Whitefish real estate lawyer who can prepare the right document so you get paid. If you already have a Mortgage, Trust Indenture, Contract for Deed or Escrow Agreement and are not being paid, Tom is an experienced Whitefish real estate attorney and can foreclose so you get the money you are owed.

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What is a deed?

A deed is how land is transferred. If you are buying or selling land in Whitefish, Columbia Falls, Kalispell or anywhere in the Flathead Valley, Tom is an experienced Whitefish real estate lawyer who will help you decide whether a Warranty Deed, Quit Claim Deed, Special Warranty Deed or another type of Deed is the best for you.

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How do I rent my house or evict my tenant?

Your rental is too large of an investment to take chances. Every landlord in Whitefish, Columbia Falls, Kalispell or Flathead County should have a written Lease, security deposit and proof of the building's condition. If a tenant does not pay the rent or follow the Lease, they need to be evicted as quickly as possible. As an experienced Whitefish real estate attorney and a landlord himself in Whitefish and the Flathead Valley, Tom knows the residential and commercial rental business and can help assist you in making sure your rentals are successful.

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This website is exclusively for informational purposes. It is not legal advice. Viewing this site, using information from it, or communicating through this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. Thomas T. Tornow, P.C. is not liable for the use or interpretation of information on this site and expressly disclaims all liability for any actions you may or may not take based on the content of this website.