Real Estate – Stuart

For over a quarter of a century, Dean Mead’s Real Estate Law Practice has worked in Stuart and surrounding areas with buyers and sellers, investors and developers, lenders and borrowers, and landlords and tenants in all areas of real property law. In that time, the population of Martin and St. Lucie counties has grown more than 65%, and Dean Mead attorneys have played significant roles in the rapid development of the Treasure Coast with residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural and mixed-use projects.

We know that buyers and sellers of land are concerned about the costs to complete transactions and how quickly and efficiently they can get the deals done. Clients count on our experienced local counsel and longstanding relationships with elected officials, real estate professionals, lenders and insurers to guide them through the quickest, most cost-efficient path to get a piece of property under contract to buy or sell.

We call the Treasure Coast home, but we also can call on our colleagues in Tallahassee and across Florida for specialized matters such as eminent domain, tax issues and regulatory approvals. Dean Mead’s Real Estate Law Practice in Martin and St. Lucie counties is distinguished by the breadth and diversity of the firm’s legal experience statewide.

We provide practical and proactive counsel on all types of real estate matters, including:

  • 1031 exchanges.
  • Association management.
  • Commercial foreclosures.
  • Contract drafting, disputes and negotiation.
  • Due diligence.
  • Eminent domain.
  • Land use, zoning and permitting.
  • Property tax appeals.
  • Real estate transactions.
  • Sub-surface rights.
  • Tax controversies.
  • Tax planning.
  • Title defect litigation.
  • Title insurance.
  • Valuation litigation.
  • Water policy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. How can I avoid hurdles that could slow down a real estate transaction in Stuart?

Controversy can be a major disruption to a real estate transaction. Dean Mead’s deep experience with real estate law in Stuart, Martin County and St. Lucie County gives us the perspective needed to raise red flags when a deal may face neighbors’ objections, regulatory roadblocks or increased governmental scrutiny that could extend the review and approval process.

On rural lands and agricultural properties, adjoining landowners often have casual arrangements allowing access to each other’s property or shared drainage. These can be complicated to formalize when changing the use. We draft clean contracts with clear provisions to help clients understand everything that’s required in a transaction.

Dean Mead attorneys have longstanding relationships with elected officials and staff in Martin County, St Lucie County and various municipalities. Our intangible advantage is our experience and knowledge with the process and the people who can affect the success of your real estate transaction.

Q. What provisions or language should be in a real estate purchase contract?

Often, buyers or sellers will use Florida Association of Realtors form contracts for real estate transactions. While those contracts provide a solid outline, they may need to be modified to address dual or property-specific issues.

When we represent buyers, we often develop a separate contract or a rider that includes additional provisions to protect their interests, such as making sure they can get required land development approvals before closing. There also are representations and warranties that the seller should give to the buyer – items that a seller would know about the property that the buyer might not be able to discover during a due diligence period.

When we work for sellers, we draft provisions in contracts with commercial developers that prevent tying up a property for long periods of time with no compensation for the seller if a deal falls through.

Q. Do I need to get an environmental site assessment when purchasing property in Stuart or Martin County?

We advise buyers to get a Phase 1 environmental study before closing on a property. Under state and federal statutes, clients can be held liable for environmental contamination, but there are safe harbors that can cover their exposure if a Phase 1 environmental study is performed before buying the property.

Agricultural land can have environmental contamination from pesticides, fertilizers, petroleum products from farm machinery and arsenic used historically to treat livestock. Water allocations and water permitting are key to agricultural transactions, and can require time and effort to obtain.

Dean Mead attorneys have the relationships to assemble an acquisition team of professional experts including engineers, biologists and wildlife specialists, as well as the experience to lead that team in the due diligence and entitlement process for buying property.