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About This Course

The law of real property is one of the basic law school courses, and is a must for paralegals in a business law firm. Here we examine the system of common law property, the recording acts, conveyancing, mortgaging, landlord-tenant, and financing. We cover the subjects every paralegal should know about land transactions and the documents which record the purchase, sale, and leasing of real estate. Besides buyer-seller issues, the student should be able to deal with title insurance companies, recorders of deeds, and to recognize land finance subjects. Finally, we deal with foreclosure of mortgages and the possibility of redeeming a mortgage that has gone into default.

Instructor: Christine Bolton

Course Objectives:

At the conclusion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Identify the historical basis for common law property.
  • Define the names and effects of different estates in land.
  • State the use of contract in conveying property.
  • List land descriptions.
  • Define the concepts of law and equity.
  • Explain the licensing of real estate brokers and sales personnel.
  • Associate contracts to lists real property.
  • Recognize multiple listing services.
  • Discuss the duties of an agent to his principal.
  • Interpret a contract for the sale of land in terms of quantity, title, and location.
  • Determine the meaning of “Time is of the Essence.”
  • Draft a timeline leading to the closing of the transaction.
  • Recognize the role of various parties in a multiple ownership conveyance.
  • Distinguish title from possession and state how each applies to this transaction.
  • Examine a deed for proper form and language.
  • Discuss the difference between a quitclaim, limited warranty deed and general warranty deed.
  • Interpret a legal description of the property conveyed.
  • Assess delivery of a deed and determine the instrument is properly delivered.
  • Identify the terminology for the recording of deeds, and how to record an instrument with the governmental office of land documents.
  • Summarize a title search in the recorder of deed’s office for a specific parcel of land.
  • Distinguish between race statutes, notice statutes, and race-notice statutes.
  • Describe the process of filing, recording and indexing a document.
  • Explain the concept of inquiry notice.
  • Summarize the provisions and exceptions to the typical title insurance policy.
  • Distinguish a mortgage from contract for deed, lease-purchase, and other financing substitutes.
  • Assess the recording of mortgages.
  • Summarize the concept of foreclosure, and foreclosure statutes within his/her states.
  • Explain moratory legislation and curative acts.
  • Determine priorities of various mortgage creditors on a piece of property.

Expectations

This is an accelerated course. You will be expected to spend an average of at least 8 hours per week reading and completing assignments. Please note that extensions will not be granted for this online course. This course is the equivalent of at least 45 clock hours of study. 70% is the minimum passing score on all tests and assignments for this course.

Prerequisites

Successful completion of Paralegal Certificate Course, Part I (Paralegal 1 & 2), or the equivalent, or law office experience.

Course Books

Required textbooks for this course:

  • Real Property Law in a Nutshell, Most recent edition, West Publishing Company, this book is available from The Center for Legal Studies.
  • Order Now Online

Highly Recommended Legal Resources:

  • Oran’s Dictionary of the Law, 4th Edition, by Daniel Oran. Clifton Park: Delmar Cengage Learning

For more information, call The Center for Legal Studies at 800-522-7737, or visit our Online Store to order.

Reading Assignments for Lesson Topics:

Lesson One: Estates in Land
Read Chapters 1, 2, & 3 in Real Property Law in a Nutshell (Nutshell)

Lesson Two: Landlord/Tenant and Land Interests
Read Chapters 4, 5, & 6 in Nutshell

Lesson Three: Conveyancing and Transfer of the Deed
Read Chapters 7, 8 & 9 in Nutshell

Lesson Four: Recording Acts
Read Chapter 10 in Nutshell

Lesson Five: Title Insurance & Land Finance
Read Chapters 11 & 12 in Nutshell

Lesson Six: Land Use Planning
Read Chapter 20 in Nutshell

Writing Assignments:

For each lesson you will submit a 50-point writing assignment covering the topics in that lesson’s reading consisting of a variety of short answer questions and essay questions.

Exams:

You will complete two exams. Each is worth 100 points. The Midterm exam is to be submitted with your Lesson Three Assignments; the Final exam is to be submitted with your Lesson Six Assignments.

Bulletin Board Assignments:

You will also post your responses to six class participation assignments. These assignments are referred to as Bulletin Board Submissions and will be submitted by either selecting Bulletin Board Submission from within the lesson material, or by selecting ‘Forums’ under Activities on the Left Hand Block.

All lesson objectives, assignments, and exams can be found in the Lesson Materials.

Grading

Your grade will be based on your completion of six writing assignments, two exams, and class participation/Bulletin Board Submissions. The writing assignments can be accessed from within the lesson material, or by selecting ‘Assignments’ under Activities on the Left Hand Block of your course home page. The exams can be accessed from within the lesson material, or by selecting “Quizzes” under Activities on the Left Hand Block. You will have the opportunity to engage in “class participation” by using the Bulletin Board tool to respond to the bulletin board assignments throughout the course. Also, participating in the bulletin board assignments will enhance your understanding of the reading material.

Your final grade will be figured as follows:

  • The six writing assignments are worth 50 points each and comprise 60% of your grade.
  • The two exams are worth 100 points and comprise 30% of your grade.
  • Your participation in class participation assignments comprises 10% of your grade.

Withdrawal Policy

Students may drop the course with a full tuition refund less a non-refundable $15 administrative fee if written notice is sent to The Center for Legal Studies by email at [email protected] by the Wednesday before class begins. Students may drop the course with a 50% tuition refund if written notice is sent to The Center for Legal Studies by email at [email protected] anytime from the Thursday before the course begins until the first Thursday of class. After the first Thursday of class, no refunds will be issued.