Real Estate Articles

Know Your Deeds: An Overview of Deed Types in Massachusetts

What Is a Deed? While the ‘title’ to a property is the abstract concept of rightful ownership, a deed is a legal document recognizing an individual’s, individuals’, or legal entity’s ownership of a property. A deed will include a detailed description of the property, including property lines, and name the seller (grantor) and buyer (grantee). Buyers do not sign deeds; only sellers do. Massachusetts law recognizes three types of deeds, each of which provides varying levels

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What’s in a Title? What Massachusetts Homebuyers Need to Know About Deeds, Titles, and Searching for Both.

Know Before You Buy When buying a home, especially if this is your first time, you may feel overwhelmed by all the new terms entering your vocabulary, terms which seem interchangeable to you but may have very different legal meanings. This is perfectly normal. In this article, we will set out for you the difference between a title and a deed in residential real estate sales. Additionally, we will cover the process of searching for and

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Home Improvement Contracts: What Does Prompt Payment Mean?

Believing Before Seeing? How You Can Handle Home Improvement Contractor Payment Disputes Home Is Where the Legal Liability Is As the old saying goes, a man’s home is his castle—or a woman’s home is her castle, as the case may be. A home is also the largest single investment most of us will ever make and the most valuable asset we will ever own. What goes on in our homes is uniquely our choice, but also

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Tips for DIY home remodeling projects

As people spend more time at home, DIY projects are on the rise. But even if you’re trying your hand at doing it yourself, you need to meet certain local requirements. A permit for any remodeling project is issued by the local building department. If you’re doing the work on your own, you should request the permit. If you’ve hired a contractor, they should request it as they are responsible for compliance. Whether you need a

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Is title theft cause for concern?

You may have heard advertisements warning you that thieves can steal your home by forging your name on a deed. Purportedly, these bad actors can then resell the property or take out a mortgage loan to drain the equity and “stick” you with the mortgage payments. In such cases, the forger hasn’t actually acquired the rights to your property. It’s more like a case of identity theft in which the fraudster can subsequently fool someone into

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Landlord and tenant rights in bankruptcy

As of press time, the CDC had barred residential landlords from evicting most tenants through December 31, 2020. Other eviction bans may apply in your situation, and it’s possible the federal ban could be extended. However, the rules will inevitably expire, and there are several important things tenants and landlords need to know about their rights. Over the course of the pandemic, many landlords and tenants have had to address rental shortfalls. Some renters, unable to

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Emerging law protects inherited property

When a property owner dies without a will, the real estate passes to his or her heirs as tenants in common. This is known as “heirs’ property.” If one of these tenants wants to sell but the others won’t agree, a tenant can file a partition lawsuit to force a sale of the property in its entirety. Property advocates say land speculators obtain a share of an heirs’ property for the purpose of forcing a sale

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‘Renter’s Choice’ laws gaining steam

In October, the Atlanta City Council unanimously approved legislation that would allow tenants to pay their security deposit in installments, or purchase security deposit insurance, in lieu of an up-front cash payment. Atlanta is the second city to pass this type of “Renter’s Choice” law, following Cincinnati in January 2020. More could be coming. Landlords typically require security deposits, usually equal to one- or two-months’ rent, when new tenants sign a lease. The deposit is returned

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Remote work practices driving housing demand in suburbs

Remote work practices may be sparking a new residential trend away from urban areas. City dwellers, accustomed to living in small, high-priced apartments, are now looking for bigger spaces in the suburbs. Rents are rising in suburban markets outside major cities, such as Washington D.C., San Francisco and Los Angeles, according to data firm CoStar Group Inc. Analysts say these areas allow residents more space and lower rents, while keeping them near enough to work for

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What Massachusetts Tenants and Landlords Need to Know Before Installing DIY Security Cameras

The Promise and Pitfalls of a New Technology With more and more people abandoning cable companies for Internet-based TV, ditching car ownership for app-based rentals, and forgoing hotels for strangers’ spare bedrooms, it comes as little surprise that many are choosing DIY home security options. But can tenants expect legal surprises if they install a doorbell camera? In this article, we will discuss if tenants can install cameras, limits on where cameras can be placed within

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