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Worcester Real Estate Law Blog

Worcester v. nonprofits

There is no doubt that Worcester values its institutions of higher learning. City leaders frequently boast of the educated work force the colleges and universities have produced. But those same leaders have also shaken their heads in frustration with the schools that have tax-exempt status and the legal ability to flout zoning laws.

As those nonprofit schools have increased their tax-exempt property holdings in recent years, the burden of funding the city government and services has shifted more and more onto the rest of Worcester's property owners, a Telegram columnist recently noted.

How does a credit score impact mortgage financing?

Credit ratings can work both ways. Lenders may rely on them to assess the risk of a prospective client. Homebuyers with a good credit rating may be able to obtain more favorable mortgage financing.

But how much does a credit score really tell? Can a lender rely on credit rating agencies to measure the risk of a particular lending transaction? Does a low score accurately predict whether a borrower will default on his or her mortgage obligations?

Considering an overseas real estate investment? Heed these tips

According to a recent article, an increasing number of Americans are looking for overseas properties. Certainly, one advantage to living on the East Coast is more reasonable travel times to many European and Caribbean destinations. With the help of technology applications like video chatting, it is also easier to stay in touch.

Before jumping on this trend and buying a vacation or rental income property overseas, however, a real estate attorney might caution about the due diligence needed to make an informed real estate decision. Correctly reporting the tax implications of a real estate purchase or sale is already a complicated task. Yet when a foreign property is involved, care should be given to additional issues.

Boston developers return to projects abandoned during recession

According to a recent report, developers in increasing numbers are returning to projects abandoned during the housing recession. 

For example, an office high-rise in Boston’s Financial District is reportedly in the works. If the proposed $1 billion project is finalized, the tower would be the first new high-rise addition to the downtown area in decades. 

Unlikely Boston entity enters into commercial lease agreement

Although it may not be a typical commercial real estate player, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has reportedly entered into a commercial lease.

The church property, a parking lot, is located in Boston's South End. The leaseholder has plans to transform the lot into a rental apartment building, complete with an underground garage and retail spaces on the ground floor. Best of all, the church will reportedly be assigned 70 spaces in the underground garage.

Buying a home? Consult with an attorney to for ease of mind

A recent homebuyer’s guide recommended consulting with an attorney before closing on a real estate deal. That advice should be heeded for several reasons.

An attorney can review a purchase agreement for potential legal consequences. Often, a seller and/or the seller’s agent might use a standardized form with fine print. Yet boilerplate language may fail to address unique issues that may arise when a buyer has plans to renovate the property, or a home inspection reveals hidden defects. Most importantly, an attorney can review the agreement’s provisions to ensure that it is subject to a buyer’s ability to obtain financing. 

Are closing costs unavoidable?

Closing costs for a mortgage or refinance loan are sometimes offered as an incentive in real estate transactions, but could they make or break a deal?

Admittedly, closing costs can add up. Homebuyers might pay between two and five percent of a home'€™s purchase price in closing costs, if not more. Such costs may include fees for third-party services such as appraisals and credit reports, or simply fees charged by the lenders themselves.

Owners who were foreclosed upon pass the seven-year itch

It may seem hard to believe, but it has been seven years since the financial crisis of 2007. The repercussions from that crisis were felt in various industries, including the housing market, and long-lasting. Indeed, the economic recovery has been years in the coming.

Nevertheless, the seven-year marker is significant because many homeowners who lost their properties to foreclosure are now able to start repairing their credit. Specifically, data collected by a real estate analyst firm indicates that almost a half million Americans are now past the seven-year waiting period for new mortgage applications that is imposed after an individual goes through a foreclosure. 

Is a higher mortgage rate worth the extra liquidity?

When purchasing real estate, there are several financing approaches a buyer might take. 

For someone interested in a long-term commitment, it may make sense to make a sizable down payment in order to qualify for the lowest interest rates on a 20-year or even 30-year mortgage. 

Buy a house based on due diligence, not emotion

Although making an “as-is” purchase may be a calculated risk in certain situations, an attorney that focuses on real estate law might caution against applying this approach when buying real estate. In the parlance of real estate law, such “as-is” language might be termed inspection and mortgage contingencies.

Of course, this advice might be easier said than followed, especially in a seller’s market and/or when a buyer has fallen in love with a prospective new property. Fortunately, an attorney can help a buyer avoid making such emotion-based decisions in the heat of the moment. An inspection can reveal serious flaws, such as areas requiring plumbing or electrical work, a roof in need of repairs, or termite damage.

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