Buying and Selling a Home
The dream of buying a home is often weighed-down by all the steps its takes to get there. Of course the easy part of matching Pottery Barn candles and Ikea sofas and chairs is a romance even for general audiences. But sometimes the process needs a little hand-holding, and that is why finding the right professionals is fundamental to this endeavor.
Our office is designed to provide you with the depth of experience and the level of attention you will need from the moment you sign your contract until the time comes when keys are exchanged. Our staff has a combined experience of over 35 years in real estate transactions with each professional offering you their personal sense of caring and service in order to make your purchase a cherished experience.
Your purchase is insured by one of the largest title insurance underwriters in the country. We begin our work by searching the title to insure that there are no liens or encumbrances that would affect the marketability of your property. We also connect with your Realtor and lender so that everyone is working in sync. If a survey is required, we will order it for you. We will coordinate with the sellers making sure their mortgage is paid off, and if necessary, prepare the documents required of the seller in order to guaranty their accuracy. This is the very least you can expect, whether you’re buying a house, a condo, or even that bed-and-breakfast you’ve longed for.
If you’re buying a condominium or co-op, other issues materialize. Reviewing the Declaration of Condominium or of the Cooperative (which are the governing rules of your building), obtaining approval by its board of directors (a requirement in all condo or co-op purchases), or even looking into issues such as the solvency of the association or its maintenance, our office is here to guide you every step of the way.
If you’re selling your property, the steps are fewer but the care is no less great. We will work with your buyers or their representative, and we are there to work through any problems that may come up regarding repairs or the title, especially if your find yourself out of town.
In the end, everyone’s hard work comes together at the closing. The paperwork is signed, monies change hands, and well-wishing fills the room. A job well done means that people can now move on with their lives.
REFINANCING A MORTGAGE
Much of the work that goes into a real estate closing when buying a home must still be done even if you are simply refinancing a loan. This is because a lender wants to make sure that the title to your property will be free and clear of any liens or judgments before they agree to lend money. We will do the title search and it will be guaranteed by the title insurance we issue. We coordinate the entire transaction with your lender, and the only thing you have to do is come pick up your check.
If you want to keep your home, then banks sometimes offer a temporary fix and your payment may be reduced for a short period so that you can get back on your feet. This is no mercy measure conjured by your lender, instead these programs are designed by the federal and state governments. While the rules keep changing, there’s a good chance that you can expect to have your mortgage modified if you lost your job or took a lower paying job. Keep in mind, in most cases, the modification may be temporary, and in almost all cases, the difference in what you originally owe and the amount of the lowered payment will most likely be tacked onto your principal. Whether or not this approach works for you is something our office will discuss among your other options.
FORECLOSURE & BANKRUPTCY
If you are still underwater and none of the choices above seem to fit your needs, then foreclosure and bankruptcy may be the best solution to remove the stress of bill payments that seem overwhelming. Foreclosure is when your lender takes you to court to sell your house out from under you in order to satisfy the mortgage you stopped paying on months ago. Unfortunately, chances are that when the house is sold, the lender didn’t make enough money on the sale so a deficiency judgment is entered against you. This judgment could be many thousands of dollars, too many to want to contemplate paying in one lifetime. But federal law does provide a method of forgiveness, and through bankruptcy, that deficiency judgment is wiped off your record along with all your other unsecured debts like credit cards and the like. (Please see our section of Bankruptcy for a fuller discussion.) In either case, come and talk to us. We’ll give you a free consultation and we’ll tell you how it works. Together we can find the best answer and choose a relief that will allow you to take control of your life and give you a fresh start.