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Real Estate Law

Horn & Johnsen SC > Real Estate Law
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Working with a Real Estate Law Attorney Could Help a Buyer Avoid Common Pitfalls

 

A home is a major financial investment that should not be entered into without legal advice. First-time buyers often don’t know what to expect and depend on their agent or broker to guide them through the process. Although a Realtor may have a lot of industry experience, they are often not prepared to deal with complicated or unusual real estate transactions. Having an attorney that focuses on Real Estate Law to look over the contract, the title and deed, and also the mortgage documents might help a buyer avoid costly surprises down the road.

 

Improvements

 

Homeowners often make improvements to their property to make it more comfortable for their family. These could include a swimming pool, fence, room addition, or a garage. Prior to purchasing the property, it’s essential for a buyer to know that these improvements comply with local building codes. A lawyer may also be able to determine whether the necessary permits were issues for any work that was done on the property and ensure none of the improvements encroach on neighboring property or easements.

 

Land Contracts

 

This type of real estate transaction involves a significant deposit and a promise to purchase the property at a later date. Buyers should be particularly vigilant in these deals because sellers often choose to offer land contracts after they are unable to sell their property in a traditional manner. There may be issues with the property the owner was unable to correct to the satisfaction of other potential buyers. This is why an attorney who focuses on Real Estate Law is imperative for any buyer who wants to avoid issues later when it comes time to apply for mortgages.

 

Mortgage Documents

 

When a buyer gets financing from a bank, they need to sign a large stack of documents. Most people do not read every one of them. At most, the majority of people browse the mortgage and HUD-1 Settlement Statement. There is a lot of pertinent information contained in the closing documents that a lawyer should review prior to the buyer signing them. The typical mortgage has a term of 30 years, which is a long time to pay a lender for a loan with unfavorable terms. It’s also important for a buyer to ensure the names of the buyers are spelled correctly and the address for the property is correct on all of the documents. These seemingly simple mistakes can be major problems if they aren’t corrected prior to the closing.