Tagged: contract of sale

The Importance of a New York Real Estate Attorney: Why You Need a Real Estate Lawyer When Purchasing a Home in New York?

Purchasing a home for many people may seem like a simple task from the outside looking in but once you have experienced the process of purchasing a house you quickly find out that there is more involved to it than just picking a nice house, signing one document and then arranging for your furniture to be moved into your new house.  In fact there are many smaller processes involved within the process of buying a home.

Buying a home requires the experience and skill of someone who will be able to guide you based on their legal expertise and will be able to look out for your best interest.  Many people who are purchasing a home in New York wonder why do I need a real estate lawyer when I purchase my home?

Here are some reason to consider why hiring a real estate attorney is helpful in the home purchasing process:

  • Negotiations – Although a real estate lawyer is not necessary during the negotiation stages of a real estate purchase it can be helpful to speak to an attorney if you have any questions regarding the purchase price and tax related issues is you are concerned at all.  Presenting your concerns and questions to your real estate attorney will give them the opportunity to address a situation prior to you already being bound to a house and will be able to ease your mind if you do not have that one question hanging over your head.
  • Contract of Sale – A contract of sale is not a simple document or at least it shouldn’t be.  This is one stage that a real estate attorney is especially necessary.  A New York contract of sale contains many different specifics associated with the purchase of the house and although the sellers attorney is normally the one who prepares the contract of sale the purchasers attorney is the one who will sit down with you, the purchaser, to explain everything you will need to know about what you are signing and what it means for you.  A real estate contract of sale usually includes many important factors such as: what is included in the sale, the purchase price, the amount of the downpayment which is to be paid, if the downpayment will be held in escrow by the seller’s attorney and what the provisions of the escrow are, how many days you have to obtain a mortgage commitment and what happens in the event that you are unable to obtain a mortgage committment, what will happen if substancial damages to the house are present or termites exist in the house, the requirement of a certificate of occupancy, the requirement of a clear title in order for closing to occur and what will happen if there is an issue that can not be cleared on the title, when the closing date is scheduled to be (the “on or about” date) and how long after that you have to close, what happens if the seller is not ready to close and you are and many other important issues As you can see having an attorney to explain the details, requirements and repercussions of these different topics is very helpful.
  • Obtaining a Mortgage – Most buyers finance the majority of their home purchases though a mortgage.  Not only is it important that the correct provisions be in the contract of sale regarding you obtaining a mortgage but it is also important to have an experienced attorney’s opinion on what mortgage is best for you individually and the terms and conditions that the mortgage comes with.
  • Title – In order to close on a property it is usually necessary that there be a clear title.  A title is something that is ordered from a title insurance company and will list any violations against the seller, you (the purchaser) and the property address.  Violations against the seller and buyer may include traffic tickets, warrants and many other areas and the violations that may show up on a house are fines that have been issued due to complaints and many other things.  An attorney will review the information and will make sure everything is clear on all ends before moving forward with the purchase of the home.
  • Zoning and Survey – Knowing where your property lines are is something that is very important when purchasing a home.  You want to make sure your fence and everything that is about to be yours is in your property lines.  Your attorney will be able to order a survey for you and have it certified to you.  This will help ensure where the property lines are and will show proof of when the survey was last done.  Your attorney will be able to explain the findings of the survey and will be able to answer any questions you may have.
  • Closing – The final step that your real estate attorney will handle is the closing of title.  This is when the deed is signed over to you.  Having an attorney present at closing will ensure that your deed and the supporting documents which include information for tax purposes are executed properly and have the proper language in them.  Your real estate attorney will also handle the distribution of closing costs to the proper parties and will be able to make sure that your funds are going to the right place.

If you would like to speak with an experienced real estate attorney in Staten Island, New York and would like to speak with one regarding representing you throughout your purchasing process please contact Steven T. Decker at 718.979.4300.

Alternative Options to Consider if you are not Eligible for the First Time Homebuyers Tax Credit

So if you are not eligible for the first time home buyers tax credit should you still consider buying a home?  For most people the answer will probably be yes as long as you have the necessary income to make a down payment and to pay your mortgage every month while still having enough money for additional expenses.

The home buyers tax credit requirements are not able to be filled by everyone looking to purchase a home especially if you have owned a home within the last three years so where does that leave the buyer who is not eligible for the tax credit but still is looking for a break.  Here are some some reasons to buy a home now if you are not eligible for the first time homebuyer tax credit:

  • Low interest rates – For some who are considering purchasing a house they may find that their monthly mortgage payments for their house will actually end up being less expensive than renting an apartment. Mortgage rates have been at record lows over the past year and right now are still low (in the 5% apr range).
  • Special provisions for military members – There is a special provision in the first time home buyers tax credit for military and some federal members that was recently added by Congress that allows military member to not have to abide by all of the requirements for the first time homebuyers tax credit.  A military member does not have to live in their new home as their primary residence for the first three years if they receive PCS orders to depart from their unit and get restationed within that period of time.  The will be able to sell the house or rent it out to someone else and will still be eligible for the $8,000 credit.
  • Lower house prices – While home sales are up house prices are still down lower than what they were worth a few years ago.  Sellers are still not able to raise the prices of their homes if they want to sell their house quickly or, in some circumstances, at all.

If you are interested in purchasing a house in New York you will want to cover all of your grounds before signing a contract.  One of the first steps you will want to take once you have found a home you are interested in is to contact a New York real estate lawyer, such as Steven T. Decker a Staten Island real estate lawyer, and discuss your home purchase with him/her.  Your real estate attorney will go over your contract of sale with you so that you understand its terms and conditions.  To speak with a real estate attorney call 718.979.4300.

First Time Homebuyers Considering Purchasing a Home in New York and New Jersey Need to Act Now to Receive Tax Credit

If you are considering purchasing a house for the first time you are probably aware of the first time homebuyers tax credit of $8,000.  One of the conditions of the tax credit is that you must close by November 30, 2009.  While many people are fighting to try to get the deadline for the tax credit extended there has been no update as to whether or not it will be extended past the current deadline.

If you are planning on taking advantage of this first time buyers tax credit now is time to start on the purchase process, if you have not started to do so already.

Many first time homebuyers may not be aware of the time period that it takes to purchase a home in New York or New Jersey.  Most homes take about 45 – 60 days from the time the contract of sale is signed to the time of the closing date.  This date can vary depending on if you are applying for a mortgage and if the seller is ready to move out right away and also can depend on various other factors such as if there are any title issues or not.

The first step you need to take is to find the right New York or New Jersey home for you and your family.  The next step that will happen once you have found a house you are interested in is you will be given a binder to sign.  The binder will be signed by you and the seller and will include information such as the sales price that was agreed on and what will be included in the sale of the home (washer, dryer, refrigarator, etc).   The binder will be sent over to the New York or New Jersey real estate attorney of your choice and the seller’s attorney will prepare the contract of sale and send it over to your real estate attorney.  Once your attorney has received the contract of sale they will contact you to come into the office to review the contract with you, make any proposed changes and sign the contract.  The contract will also include the amount of time you, the buyer, have to obtain a mortgage commitment.  Once you obtain you have received approval from the mortgage company and any and all issues with the title company are cleared to close to go to closing (In New York the closing date is an “on or about date” meaning that it is an estimated date of closing.  Usually closings must take place within 30 days of this date).

As you can see this process requires some time and effort on your part if you plan on obtaining a mortgage to purchase your new home which is why many real estate experts are advising that you get started on the purchasing process now if you want to close by November 30 of this year and reap the benefits of the $8,000 tax credit that will be given to first time homebuyers.

We at Decker, Decker, Dito & Internicola LLP, a Staten Island firm, have over 35 years of experience in the real estate field.  If you are looking for an experienced real estate attorney for your New York or New Jersey property purchase you can contact Steven Decker or Arthur Decker at 718.979.4300 to discuss the purchase of your home.

Also, we recommend that our clients read “5 Myths That Can Ruin the Purchase of Your Home” written by Steven T. Decker.  This book debunks many myths that you may have heard before about purchasing a home and will help you throughout your purchasing process.  To obtain your NO OBLIGATION NO COST copy of “5 Myths That Can Ruin the Purchase of Your Home” you can either place your order online or contact us at 718.979.4300.