I commend you for asking questions. You should never sign anything that you don't understand. You can consult an attorney but they will want to charge you. If you are working with a Realtor, the agent should be able to explain the process. If they can't, get another agent! Please be aware that agents are "licensed" to use the forms as members of the association that provides them. If you are using the forms without a Realtor, you actually are violating law (and you may need an attorney for another reason).
As a Metro St. Louis broker, we work with local lenders right here in St. Louis who can do renovation and construction loans. The advantage of working with a local partner is that the cost of placing and adminstering the loan is much less that with many out of town lenders. The loan process is also expedited. You will also be developing a working relationship that can become an advantage for future loans.
I am a property owner and manager in St. Louis. You are in St. Louis. The place you are renting is in St. Louis. Please understand that your lease and Missouri Landlord Tenant Law are the only things that govern in this situation. It is irrelevant that the property is listed for sale, because in Missouri, your lease remains in effect past the sale. Unless Missouri Landlord Tenant Law prohibits a practice, then your lease will govern what you must do. If you are unsure what to do, contact a local attorney in Metro St. Louis who specializes in these types of cases. There really are only a handful lawyers who do this enough to know the answers. If you contact me directly, I would happy to connect you with one of them.
You are a member of Maris, and Maris has a great tool in Realist that will let you pull details for free. There are a number of ways to use Zillow as a tool. Contact me directly and I will happy to help.
YOU SHOULD CONSULT AN ATTORNEY...This is the only advice that you should follow. The devil is in the details and the details include the specifics of your lease and Landlord Tenant Law in Missouri. This is a case where some information or looking it up on a website can only lead you to trouble. Follow your lease OR get an attorney specializing in real estate to give you advice. Period.
TWO ANSWERS...1) On Zillow, you can set up filters to focus in on the types of properties that you seek, such as single family homes, condos or in your case, multi-family. This is the "do it yourself" approach. 2) Better yet is to reach out to a Realtor who specializes in multifamily properties. Not only will this save you a ton of time and effort, but you will also get the experience and resources of that real estate professional. A good way to find investor friendly agents is to look to join local real estate investor groups. You are from Independence MO, and I am from St Louis, so I am not in your market...here we have groups like the St. Louis Investment Property Association that provide access to resources like lenders, inspectors, contractors, lawyers, property managers, etc. Join one or more...Ask the members who they would recommend. Call them and set up a one-on-one. Most reputable Realtors will work with you for FREE under Buyer Agency...that means you get their services without having to pay for their services. Hope it helps.
There are several ways to learn whether a lien has been placed. First is to contact the County Clerk to see if anything has been filed as part of the public record. In Missouri, you can also check CaseNet...if the lien is the result of a court action, it should show up there. If you know the party who may have filed it, you may be able to ask them (but some situations prevent it). Another option is to contact a local title company, but they may charge for the services. Finally, you can contact a real estate attorney. Hope it helps.
Until you reach out to a reputable lender or two, you will be speculating. Give them your scenario. If they are worth working with, they should be able to give you a fairly good "read" on your situation without having to pull credit. If you like what you hear, move forward on getting a pre-approval. To get a full pre-approval, you will need to provide documentation of income, assets, etc. and they will need to pull a credit report. Hope this helps.
Of course I read the article (and the more detailed article printed elsewhere) and I know the backstory...Whatever your take on my analogy, the fact still remains that he enlisted a real estate professional to assist him in successfully selling his property...Fact is, brokerage is an art and a science...If a homeowner wants to go FSBO, I strongly encourage it. Statistically, most FSBO's will list their property with an agent because the process of pricing, packaging, marketing, negotiating and closing a deal is great deal more complex and time consuming and nuanced than most people realize. From my personal experience, FSBO's make great clients because after their "solo" effort, they tend to appreciate what I do for them as a professional real estate broker.
http://www.coatesville.org/administration/finance/real-estate-taxThis website should get you the answers you need. Good luck!