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Refinancing Options for Underwater Homeowners

Residential Real Estate Lawyer Mortgage Homeowners Selling Real Estate

There is new relief in sight for homeowners “underwater” on their mortgage, where the market value of the property is less than the outstanding payoff of their mortgage. Previously, only those whose mortgage was no more than 125% of the market value of their home were eligible, and then only in certain circumstances. That permitted …

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The Casual Landlord: Some Advice for First Timers

Residential Real Estate Lawyer Buying Real Estate Landlord

Being a landlord is not an easy line of work. And in this market where some homeowners opt to become landlords “temporarily” and rent their empty home until market conditions improve, it’s easy to end up in a far worse financial situation than you were in before taking on the landlord role. Here are a …

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Buying Real Estate and the Internet: A User’s Guide

Residential Real Estate Lawyer Buying Real Estate Guide

Buyers in today’s market have no lack of information when it comes to real estate. And much of that information flows in through the internet, with new real estate blogs and Q&A from “experts” popping up as quickly as the google engines can find them. The trick for customers in today’s market then is separating …

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To Inspect or Not to Inspect: That Is the Question

Residential Real Estate Law Inspection of Homes

Among the most frequently asked questions of buyers of cooperative and condominium apartments is whether they should engage a professional engineer to inspect the apartment before buying.  Like many issues in New York real estate, the answer is not always straight-forward. When evaluating whether to hire an engineer, or professional home inspector, let’s first re-examine …

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Selling Short: Debunking Some Myths about the Process

Residential Real Estate Lawyer Selling Short Process

Homeowners thinking about selling short – asking mortgage lien holders to release their lien against the property for less than what is owed, in order to facilitate a sale to a bona fide buyer – are faced with some difficult decisions.  A short sale can impact credit for years, so the decision should not be …

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Selling Short: A Beginner’s Guide to Avoiding Foreclosure and Bankruptcy

Residential Real Estate Lawyer Selling Short Guide Foreclosure Bankruptcy

Struggling homeowners who cannot keep up with mortgage payments have few choices when faced with the realities of job loss or other financial hardships which make it difficult or even impossible to pay their mortgage.  Generally, there are three options: (1) Bankruptcy, (2) Foreclosure or (3) Short Selling. All three options have negative effects on a …

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Legal Update: Flip Taxes and Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac

Residential Real Estate Lawyer Legal Update Flip Tax

Sometimes government’s attempt to resolve problems unintentionally overreaches, and has an unintended impact.  That is the case with a recent round of proposed rule-making from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (the regulators of Fannie, Freddie, and 12 other Federal Home Loan Banks).  FHFA was trying to redress abuses by unscrupulous developers (imagine that) who were building and …

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New York State Tax Department and the Second Home

Residential Real Estate Lawyer New York State Income Tax

So unless you have been on a desert island for the last week with no internet access, you have likely heard about the case involving the Connecticut couple that just lost a tax appeal to the tune of about $1 million in back taxes, interest and penalties.  The case hinged around a second home they …

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Welcome to the Building! Please Get Rid of Your Dog!

Residential Real Estate Lawyer Legal Tips Pet House

I had a client call me in tears a few years ago relating the following story. She and her husband decided to adopt a dog from a shelter. Her building had a policy that permitted dogs, but restricted them to a 30 lb. weight limit. Not entirely uncommon in our region to have such a …

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Can I Borrow Your Sculptor?

Apartment Renovation

In the land of the bizarre (New York real estate), some phenomena unique to our market raise eyebrows for even the most jaded of real estate experts. Explaining these to potential buyers can be a challenge, so we begin here a series on these unusual issues with a brief primer on each. Can I Borrow …

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