foreclosure_defense Deciding to purchase a home, for many, is the single most costly decision of their lives. Immediately followed by financing our children’s college education, perhaps?  Therefore, such a decision is not one to take lightly.  While we all know when it is time to buy (either you have outgrown your current home, looking to relocate, better neighborhood, growing family, change in employment) it is not a decision to be made without careful consideration of all factors.  Rather, some things to be taken into consideration include:

  1. Is the property priced right.  Hiring a real estate professional in this arena can be the single most important decision you make to determine value.  A realtor and real estate attorney as myself can run comps and look at closed sales, or determine a High, Low and Median price per square foot.  We are currently in a Seller’s market in South Florida and experiencing higher than normal asking/sales prices due to low inventory.  Therefore, the Seller may take this into consideration and price the house higher than market sustains. While today it may not matter as prices continue to rise, tomororw, if the bubble bursts again, this may not allow you to recuperate your paying price.
  2. Do your research on the neighborhood. If you have young children, are there other young children nearby?  Are the nearby residents owners that will maintain their properties or tenants that may not?   What schools pertain to the property?  Is there a Homeowner’s Association? If so, what are the rules and regulations you will be required to adhere to?  Take trips to the property during different hours so you can get a feel for the neighborhood and neighbors.  Going only while it is staged will not give an acucrate depiction of what life will be like after you close.  There is nothing worse than buying a property without researching these items and then finding out that your dream home may not be a dream after all.
  3. Ask for a Property Disclosure and perform proper inspections.  What looks great on the outside, may turn out to be not so great on the inside.  Perhaps your dream home needs a new roof that will put you back thousands of dollars. Or there are wood destroying organishms, or Chinese drywall or mold, that will cause health issues.  What other underlying issues are present in the home that the seller knows of?  Your realtor or the seller’s realtor must have them prepare and sign a Seller Disclousre that will reveal any known defects or issues with the home that you should take into consideration before putting an offer in.
  4. Are the owners in foreclosure or other liens that can effect the property.  While hiring the right attorney will clear any title issues, you may be in a time crunch to move and any home purchased with either a foreclosure or in a short sale, may be time consuming.  Clearing any tax liens or making sure foreclosures appeal periods have lapsed, can affect your closing deadline and they are important issues to know before putting an offer on a home.

These and countless other issues arise during the course of a real estate deal.

By having the right real estate lawyer and realtor by your side, you have already conquered half the battle.  While it may seem daunting to a homebuyer, these are issues we deal with on a daily basis and can handle like clockwork.

Don’t go it alone.  Hire an experienced real estate attorney to protect your rights.