Real Estate Articles

The Massachusetts Homestead Exemption: How It Works and How It Can Work for You

Protecting Your Home As the saying goes, your home is your castle. It is also the largest asset that many will ever own. In recognition of this, the Massachusetts Homestead Protection Law, passed in 2011, updated existing parts of the Massachusetts General Code to expand and clarify the protections that homeowners in the Commonwealth have to preserve their home’s equity form certain creditors. What Is the Homestead Exemption? The Homestead Exemption, as detailed in the 2011

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COVID Update for Landlords: Eviction Moratoria

The State of Affairs Since October As a landlord, you know that expecting and requiring payment on time is not done out of spite or greed. It is a matter of business and, indeed, of making sure that your own family can keep a roof over their heads. After all, you may have your own mortgage to pay, and banks are not as forgiving to their creditors as you are with your tenants. The Massachusetts Moratorium

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Allergic tenant has priority over emotional support dog

It’s a complicated balancing act between the comfort of an apartment tenant who has dog allergies and another tenant who needs an emotional support dog. In a recent case, the Iowa Supreme Court decided that a building in Iowa City, Iowa, that typically doesn’t allow pets should not have allowed a new tenant to have an emotional support dog when an existing tenant with severe allergies protested. The allergic tenant sued the landlord for breaching the

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The threat of eviction: What renters need to know

With bans on evictions expected to lift in many places and a backlog in housing courts nationwide, there is a chance for a surge in the number of tenants who are at risk of eviction if additional government support isn’t forthcoming. The rules on eviction depend on where you live. A federal government ban on evictions for tenants in federally financed housing covered one quarter of renters. Some states have extended moratoriums on evictions, including Michigan

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It’s getting harder to get a jumbo loan

Prospective home buyers who want to buy luxury homes may now have to meet tougher requirements in order to qualify for a jumbo loan, also known as a jumbo mortgage. A jumbo loan involves financing beyond the limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. This type of mortgage cannot be guaranteed, purchased or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Since the pandemic began, lenders have become stricter about approving them. That means buyers trying

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Foreclosures hit a low, at least for the time being

The number of foreclosure filings nationwide dipped to a record low as of the mid-point of 2020, according to ATTOM Data Solutions’ Midyear 2020 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. Filings were down 44 percent over the course of the first six months of the year as compared to the same period of 2019, with a total of 165,530 properties in the U.S. receiving a foreclosure filing during that time. The filings cover default notices, scheduled auctions and

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Know your rights with vacation rentals

More people are seeking out vacation rentals recently for longer stays and single-family living while traveling. A vacation property offers more space, privacy and easier social and physical distancing. In many places, you also get more for your money. If you’re planning to rent a property for your next vacation or an extended stay, it’s important to keep in mind that your rights as a renter vary depending on what state you’re visiting. Generally, there are

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What sort of licensing do you need in Massachusetts before renting out a residential property? What basic regulations do rental properties need to follow?

Who? Me? A Landlord? Real estate can be the key to financial independence and success. While TV might have popularized the “flipper” model of real estate transaction, in which infusions of cash and elbow grease transform run-down properties into glossy sources of resale profit, the old-fashioned practice of landlording is still an attainable, affordable, and profitable. To be a landlord (or landlady, though the law uses the generic term landlord to refer to property owners), you

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Why You Need a Lawyer for FSBO Residential Transactions

When It Comes to Home Sweet Home, Don’t Go On Your Own Owning a home is not just the dream of millions of Americans, but it is also the key to growing wealth. Purchasing a home is one of the largest expenditures most people will ever make, but it is also the largest investment they will ever have, since the value of real estate, historically, goes up. Money put into a home can be taken out

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New electronic tools coming into use

The exploration of digital tools is expanding in ways that that are likely to continue well beyond the current world of social-distancing. The situation is creating change for types of transactions that have traditionally been focused on many in-person meetings and rounds of paperwork and walk-throughs. Sellers, real estate agents and landlords are using a Zillow feature that allows them to create virtual 3D home tours using a panorama of the home taken on a smartphone.

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