real estate

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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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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Who Needs to Shovel that Walkway? Landlord Responsibility for Pathway Maintenance

Saving Yourself from Slip, Trip, and Fall Lawsuits With colder weather approaching, if you are a Massachusetts residential landlord, it pays to review your responsibilities for clearing snow and other weather-related debris from rental properties. Contrary to what you may assume, Massachusetts law does not specifically assign responsibility for shoveling snow out of walkways or driveways. However, in defining “Safe Condition” for rental premises, CMR 410. 452 declares: “The owner shall maintain all means of egress

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Landlord Eviction Options During Covid-19

Landlords and Coronavirus Long before any Governor issued emergency orders for their state, coronavirus was already altering the fabric of our lives and commerce in unexpected ways. In the last month, millions of workers across the country, from hotel and restaurant workers to office assistants and managers, have been laid off, furloughed, or prohibited from working by legal measures. Even the most white-collar of professions are not immune; doctors not working directly with COVID-19 patients are

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What is Eminent Domain? Do I have to hand my property over to the government?

The government has the power to seize private property for public use under the authority of eminent domain. However, this doesn’t mean the government can take your land without compensating you for it. In fact, not only does the government have to provide you with “just compensation” you are also given an opportunity to object. The legal process of eminent domain is known as condemnation and is only used when private property is needed for the

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My name is on the deed not on the title. Do I own the house?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: My grandmother bought a house and put it in my name. However, the title is in her name. She is now deceased. Trying to figure out if the house is mine or if it passes on to her (adult) children if no will. ANSWER BY MARGARET CROSS-BELIVEAU: The term title is synonymous with the deed.  Do you have an unrecorded deed so that the last one is not on record at the Registry of

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Does my brother have a right to sell my mother’s house?

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: My mother is in a nursing home. Before that I was her caregiver. I am still her power of attorney. I still live in my childhood home and have started a family of my own. My brother just got out of prison and wants the house. He only lived in the house for one year and never paid even one bill. I used my retirement from a previous job to pay off the house

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