This page describes the kinds of work we do regularly and some of the many more unusual transactions we have structured and documented.

The common thread in our practice is that we are creative, open-minded, and completely non-adversarial; we find a way to make things work, including things that have never been done before.

TICs As Homes and Apartments

  • We assist groups of home buyer who are buying 2-6 unit apartment buildings to use as their homes. Since 1984, we have worked with more than 2,500 of these groups. During an initial meeting or teleconference, we discuss the key issues one by one and explain the pros and cons of various approaches.
  • We assist rental tenants interest in buying their own apartment as a TIC. Sometimes, we help these tenants form a buying group with other building tenants, or with home buyers who will buy and occupy other apartments. Other times, the rental tenant buys only the single TIC share corresponding with her apartment, and landlord keeps the rest of the building.
  • We assist apartment building sellers who want to increase sale proceeds by selling apartments as TIC shares to individual home buyers. The TIC approach can be a great solution when local law makes subdivision illegal or very costly. We have represented more than 3,000 owners who have sold in this way, with building sizes ranging from two to 60 units.
  • We assist owners of large lots with multiple homes when the parcel cannot be legally subdivided. The individual houses can be marketed as TIC interests.
  • We assist owners of vacant or partially developed lots that cannot be subdivided, who sell TIC interests to people who will building their own homes.
  • We assist real estate professionals interested in preparing properties for marketing all times of TIC interests as home ownership opportunities.
  • We have created several successful TIC structures for non-US properties that cannot be subdivided, including projects in Costa Rica and Belize
  • We obtain regulatory approval of TIC offerings (when needed).
  • We prepare amended and restated agreements when a group needs to update or supplement its original agreement.
  • We assist existing TIC groups when an owner is selling her share, or when the group is refinancing.
  • We assist TIC owner groups if they have disagreements, by providing review and reconstruction of financial records, agreement interpretation, opinions, advice, and mediation services.
  • We work with institutional lenders who are considering starting a TIC lending program, including risk analysis, underwriting protocols, and loan documentation.

Fractional Ownership

  • We assist groups of friends buying a vacation home to share. To date, we have worked with more than 80 vacation home buyer groups. These have ranged in size from 2-8 families, and the homes have been located throughout the world, including in 12 US states, Mexico, Italy, France, Argentina, and Costa Rica.
  • We assist sellers of individual vacation homes who want to increase their sale price by selling their home in fractional shares. To date, we have worked with more than 90 sellers of individual home/condo, of “one-off” fractional offerings. These ownership offerings have been located throughout the world, including in 39 US states, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Bermuda, Nevis, Barbados, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Belize, Argentina, France, Italy, Ireland, and Morocco.
  • We assist vacation home owners who want to lower costs, feel they are underusing their vacation home, or are tired of their home as a vacation rental. These owners retain partial ownership along with the right to use the home. We have worked with owners that wanted to have the permanent right to use the home every summer, every winter, or in particular months every year. We have also worked with owners who permanently retain the right to use one of two houses on the property, or a small secondary apartment.
  • We assist buyers who buy their vacation home alone with a plan to immediately sell fractional shares. These buyers know they will not use the property all the time, and want to share the costs of ownership with others.
  • We work with large and small resort developers throughout the world on their fractional ownership, private residence club, quartershare, and destination club offerings. These projects have ranged in size from a single mansion, to 380 separate villas, and included resorts offering ancillary services such as restaurants, casinos, marinas, golf, shopping, and concierge. To date, we have worked with developers on fractional offerings in 18 US states, Mexico, Dominican Republic, St. Kitts, Nevis, Barbados, Costa Rica, Belize, Scotland, France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Morocco, Turkey, Thailand, and Bali. The following list is intended to give a general sense of the range of our experience, but is not complete:
  • Private residence club in historic mansions in Arkansas, Italy, Morocco, and France;
  • Private residence club, investment opportunity, and citizenship-by-investment offering in a 200+ unit offering in St. Kitts;
  • Six-villa fractional ownership/destination club offering in Italy
  • Fractional ownership in a 300+ unit, full service resort and marina in Morocco;
  • Fractional ownership and investment opportunity in a seven-villa/hotel project in Bali;
  • Fractional ownership of working ranch with hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, and other outdoor activities in Wyoming
  • Fractional ownership of fishing lodges in Arkansas, Alaska, and Michigan, and hunting lodges in Utah, Montana and Georgia
  • Fractional ownership of lodge with horse storage and riding facilities in California
  • Fractional ownership in vacation mobile home resort in Texas
  • Private residence club involving large home and yacht in Mexico
  • Fractional ownership in home with working vineyard in California
  • We obtain governmental approval for fractional ownership offerings throughout the world, including every US state. Where needed, we work together with local attorney; however, our extensive past experience makes it likely that we will have already had a project in that location.
  • We have assisted in a verity of non-real estate fractional ownership arrangements including individual yachts, groups of yachts to be berthed throughout the world, planes, recreational vehicles, exotic cars, and motorcycles.
  • We have assisted numerous fractional ownership business startups including fractional ownership internet marketplaces and brokerages, and fractional ownership crowdfunding platforms. We frequently advise entrepreneurs who are considering entering the fractional ownership business in various capacities.
  • We often work with groups of children and siblings who inherit the family vacation home. We help these groups create a system for managing and maintaining their shared home, funding operating expenses, and resolving usage conflicts.
  • We advise buyers considering private residence club and destination club purchases. We help these clients evaluate and compare various offerings, determine resale potential, identify important issues for due diligence, and understand the legal documents.

Equity Sharing

  • We work with parents who want to help their adult children buy their first home, and children who want to approach their parents for home buying financial support. We help these clients understand and evaluate the practical and tax ramifications of the options available to them, such as interest-deferred loans, shared appreciation loans, equity sharing, gifts, and combinations of these approaches.
  • We work with educational institutions such as universities and private secondary schools to create equity sharing programs that allow their faculties and staff to purchase homes near the institution.
  • We work with churches and other religious institutions to develop equity sharing programs that allow their clergy to purchase homes in the community.
  • We have assisted several equity sharing startups that wish to equity share homes on a commercial basis through internet-based, lender-based, and Realtor-based programs.
  • In addition to preparing documents, we often help our equity sharing clients determine a fair allocation of the burdens and benefits of ownership, including ownership and appreciation splits.

Homeowners Associations (California Only)

  • We help California condominium and planned development HOAs modernize and update older CC&Rs and bylaws. Since 1992, we have rewritten governing documents for more than 500 homeowners associations, ranging in size from two to over 500 homes or condominiums. Some of the more well-known properties for which we have written CC&Rs and bylaws include Smith Ranch, Northstar Tahoe, Opera Plaza (master and residential), Grammercy Towers, Jackson Towers, Broadway Towers, 333 Bush (residential), Cathedral Hill, Balboa Terrace, Landmark, Eureka Gardens, Parkview Heights, Marina Village, Fulton Grove, San Francisco Grove, Ocean Beach, Montaire, Villa North Beach, Nob Hill Court, Goldmine Hill, Grant Lombard, Divisadero Heights, Courtyard Nob Hill, The Amelia, 1380 Greenwich, 1980 Vallejo, 2450 Vallejo, 2265 Broadway, 1990 Green, 3100 Washington, Red Rock, and 1880 Jackson.
  • We help homeowner associations amend their documents when circumstances change or they wish to clarify something not previously mentioned. These amendments can include building additions and decks, new rules, implementing fine/penalty programs, transferring parking and other spaces between units, and merging units.
  • We assist homeowners associations if they have disagreements, by providing review and reconstruction of financial records, agreement interpretation, opinions, advice, and mediation services.

Condominium Conversion and New Construction Subdivision and (California Only)

  • We prepare CC&Rs, bylaws and other governing documents for new construction projects and condominium conversions, and we take these projects through the approval process with the California Bureau of Real Estate (“BRE”). Since 1990, we have successfully taken more than 400 projects through BRE approval.
  • We take new construction and condominium conversion projects through the San Francisco governmental approval process.

Family Ownership

  • We often work with groups of children and siblings who inherit family property. We help these groups create a system for managing and maintaining their property, funding operating expenses, and resolving conflicts.
  • We work with parents who want to help their adult children buy their first home, and children who want to approach their parents for home buying financial support. We help these clients understand and evaluate the practical and tax ramifications of the options available to them, such as interest-deferred loans, shared appreciation loans, equity sharing, gifts, and combinations of these approaches.
  • We work with divorcing and separating couples who want to continue to own a home or other property together.

Unmarried Couples and Domestic Partners

  • We assist unmarried couples and domestic partners who want to buy or own property together. Very often, these couples do not have equivalent amounts of cash available for down payment, or will make unequal financial contributions to improvement costs or the ongoing expenses of ownership. We help these couples explore the options available to them, such as loans, gifts, equity sharing, and floating capital accounts, and help them protect themselves against unforeseen events such as death, illness and separation.

Miscellaneous Co-Ownership/Shared Ownership

  • We have helped create co-ownership arrangements for small, single home assisted living facilities, where elderly resident or her family owns part of the shared home and helps fund staffing and operational costs.
  • We have created shared student housing programs, where each student’s family owns part of a single home, condominium or apartment buildings where the student will live during her educational years. Typically, when a student no longer needs the housing, her ownership is sold to the family of an incoming student.
  • We have created numerous co-housing and intentional community programs. These typically involve separate homes with shared facilities such as dining/cooking areas. Often, co-housing arrangements and intentional communities are formed for people with similar lifestyles, interests or religious practices.
  • We have organized a collective farm, a yurt commune, and several group retreat facilities.
  • We created the organizational structure, legal documents, and governing laws for Vivos, a program under which people buy and co-own fully equipped and provisioned underground shelters that can be used for up to a year following a natural or man-made disaster.

Transaction Support

  • We regularly work with clients buying or selling without a real estate agent. We help by preparing purchase contracts and understanding the purchase and sale process. Our fees to assist in this way are generally $700-1200.
  • We prepare loan documentation for private loans, including notes, trust deeds, and loan modifications. These may be “normal” interest-only or amortized loans, or more complex loans such as fractional mortgages and shared appreciation mortgages.
  • We assist clients who need to change or re-title their ownership by preparing deeds and other documents needed for recording.

Mediation and Dispute Resolution

  • We work with parties who have disagreements by providing document interpretation, opinions, advice, and mediation services. (In dispute situations, we work only on resolution; with groups; we do not advise or represent individual clients in negotiations, disputes, or potential disputes, and we never advocate on behalf of a particular client.)

Investment TICs, LLCs and Partnerships

  • We have helped create several websites and related internet-based platforms for the purchase and trading of fractional interests in investment and commercial real estate. These are now popularly referred to as real estate crowdfunding projects, but we began working on them before the term “crowdfunding” was invented.
  • We prepare documentation for private offerings where a syndicator, investor, real estate professional, or other entrepreneur wishes to raise money for a real estate investment or venture. The real estate investment offerings on which we have worked have involved both a single acquisitions and funds where a series or group of properties will be acquired.
  • We have assisted in numerous joint ventures between passive investors (who provide funds only) and building contractors, architects, or managers. Several of these have been specifically created to acquire properties in foreclosure, and several others have been focused on distressed properties.