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Franklin Real Estate Law Blog

What are the pros and cons of buying a short sale property?

People in Massachusetts looking to buy a home have many options available. A short sale is an option that offers you potential benefits but could also involve some common pitfalls. 

According to government mortgage guarantor Freddie Mac, a short sale occurs when an owner must dispose of the property, but its value is less than what the owner still owes on the mortgage due to depreciation. The lender often takes a loss on the amount still owed; therefore, it is the lender, not the owner of the property, who chooses which buyer's offer to accept. 

Providing for your kids and your new spouse

If you are one of the many people in Massachusetts who has been divorced or widowed and are now contemplating getting married again, you will want to take steps to ensure that you plan ahead for the rest of your life. This involves making choices about how your assets will be distributed after you die. Fidelity Investments explains that estate planning is a highly important matter for remarried couples, especially if children are involved on one or both sides. 

It is logical for you to want to leave some assets for your children and your grandchildren, if you have them. At the same time, it is normal for you to feel a desire to ensure your new spouse is financially cared for after you die. When your new spouse is not the parent of your children, you need to carefully outline who should receive what assets when. In lieu of a good estate plan, all assets may automatically go to your surviving spouse but they are not obligated to share anything with or save anything for your children.

Common reasons to create your will

It may be easy to assume that you can avoid a time-consuming hassle by simply telling your loved ones your wishes on what to do after you die. However, as we at the Law Offices of Roche and Roche, PC, are aware, dying without a will can complicate the probate process for those left behind. What if you simply write and sign a document at home and leave it in your safe? There may be reasons to doubt the validity of a handwritten will and to contest it, as you and other Massachusetts residents should be aware.

FindLaw explains that it is never too early to plan your will. The best, and most common, reasons for making or changing your will can include the following:

  • You had a major life change, such as a marriage, divorce or birth of a child.
  • You have accrued significant assets that you intend to be divided amongst your loved ones after your death.
  • You have minor children or pets who will need to be taken care of in the event of your untimely death or incapacitation.
  • You are concerned about becoming mentally or physically disabled and want to make your wishes known.
  • You want to leave an estranged family member out of your will.
  • You have specific requests for your burial and funeral.

Can a construction defect affect my home purchase?

There is almost nothing more frustrating about buying your dream home than later discovering there are problems with the house you did not know about during the purchase. If you buy a fixer-upper, you may already know that there are issues with the house that need addressing. However, not everyone would want the challenge or expense of buying a home with existing construction issues. You and other Massachusetts residents may be interested in learning about construction defect complications.

According to FindLaw, construction defects are not only inconvenient while you are living in the home. They can affect a home’s resale value and cost you thousands of dollars in unexpected repairs. Many defects are easy for a home inspector to spot, such as water and drainage issues, plumbing problems, mold and foundation cracks. Other problems, such as substandard building materials, dry rot and structural issues, are not so easy to find and can even take years before you discover them.

What to know before buying a bank-owned house

You have spent months, maybe years, looking for your dream home. You finally find the perfect house in your ideal neighborhood in Franklin. Yet, there is a catch: the bank owns the home. How does this change the process to purchase the home?

Buying bank-owned property is not appealing to everyone. While the process differs from purchasing a regular home, heading into the process with some expectations and knowledge about what is to come can help prepare you for a unique buying process.

Signing a will: the crucial final step

When you create a will in Massachusetts, it is important to comply with the applicable laws to ensure its validity. After all, you will not be able to provide clarification as to your intentions during the reading of the will. We at the Law Offices of Roche and Roche remind you that there is one final step to creating your will, and that involves signing it. While it may seem like a simple matter, it is important to take just as much care at this point as you did during the drafting process, or it could call the entire document into question.

According to FindLaw, your signature is necessary to validate your will. Additionally, in Massachusetts and most other states, you must sign and date your will in the presence of two witnesses, who must attest to the validity of your signature by signing it as well. Your witnesses must not appear in your will as beneficiaries, and they must be at least 18 years of age. You cannot have your attorney witness your signature if he or she helped you to prepare your will. 

Roles of attorneys and agents in Mass. real estate transactions

Buying residential real estate in Massachusetts is different than it is in most other areas of the country. Most states allow real estate agents to draw up legal documents, such as home purchase agreements, involved in routine transactions. In these areas of the country, most homebuyers dispense with real estate attorneys except in special situations in which legal issues arise that complicate the transaction. 

However, the state law of Massachusetts requires attorney involvement in even the most routine real estate transactions. This is because, according to the 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, only an attorney in good standing with the state bar can practice law, and the understanding is that the practice of law includes drawing up legal documents as part of a real estate sale.

Current real estate opportunities available in Massachusetts

As there is current optimism in the real estate development community, many commercial realtors are looking for ways to finance several projects. However, delays concerning commercial real estate projects are costly. The failure to act can lead to the loss of a profitable opportunity.

Even investors with significant real estate experience may not grasp the challenges. Commercial developments require extensive negotiations, approval of site plans, the acquisition of various permits, and compliance with laws and regulations. No developer wishes to make a mistake during any of these processes.

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