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Do I Need a Permit?

NYC Work Permit

Renovating your apartment can be both personally and financially rewarding. But for anyone who has ever lived through a renovation, the process can run from frustrating to downright horrific and catastrophic. Before starting the job, let’s run through the legal concerns. Do I need a permit? Most construction and renovation jobs in New York City …

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Posted in General, Renovations | 1 Comment

Buying a Short Sale? Some Rules of the Road

Residential Real Estate Attorney Guide Short Sale

Sellers who owe more on their home than it is worth often choose to try a short sale, which requires approval from the bank to sell for less than what is owed. These deals can be good for both the buyer and seller, but before entering into one, there are some important considerations a buyer …

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Posted in Buyer Tips, General, Seller Tips, Short Sales | Leave a comment

The Casual Landlord: Dealing with the Security Deposit When the Tenant Leaves

Residential Real Estate Attorney Guide Security Deposit

Without a doubt, the most common dispute among landlords and tenants is over the disposition of the security deposit when the tenant leaves. Landlords complain when tenants want to use the security as “the final month’s rent,” but tenants argue that when they do pay the final month, landlords unlawfully withhold security knowing that the …

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Posted in General, Landlord Tips | 3 Comments

The Single Family Home Buyer: Underground Oil Tanks

Residential Real Estate Attorney Guide Buying Real Estate

Whether buying a second home in the country, or giving up the apartment life for a home in the suburbs, buying single family homes presents different issues that require careful attention. No longer able to rely on managing agents to handle the day to day operation of our apartments, the single family homeowner must carefully …

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Short Selling? Ask Yourself Four Questions Before You Do to See If You’re a Candidate.

Residential Real Estate Lawyer Guide Short Sale

Deciding to try a short sale is an important decision. Underwater homeowners often consider this alternative to foreclosure. It can be the answer to a tough financial situation, but it’s not for everyone. Here are four important questions to ask before making the decision. What is your credit score? A short sale will drop your …

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Posted in General, Short Sales | Leave a comment

Leaving Thousands of Dollars on the Table?

Residential Real Estate Attorney Guide Buying Selling Real Estate

Even the most saavy buyer and seller in New York City may not realize a hidden saving that can cost them thousands in unnecessary recording taxes. And better brokers are versed in this loophole and will alert clients of the potential. Here is how it works. In New York City, there is a tax when …

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Posted in Buyer Tips, General, Mortgage, Seller Tips, Taxes | 1 Comment

Not Realizing You Bought a Mansion – Congratulations!

Residential Real Estate Attorney Guide Buying Real Estate

Do you remember when buying a house for a million dollars really meant you were buying a mansion? Probably not. But there was a time when the “mansion tax” really meant what it was called. Now it’s just a cruel joke repeated at the closing table when buyers write out checks for 1% of the …

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Posted in Broker Tips, Buyer Tips, General, Taxes | 1 Comment

The IRS Limits the Interest Deduction on Non-Married Couples

Residential Real Estate Attorney Guide IRS Interest

With tax season upon us, a recent IRS ruling has important impact on a subject that will be of interest to many taxpayers who co-own property with a person who is not their spouse. First, let’s review the basic rules on home mortgage interest deduction. Taxpayers who itemize deductions on Schedule A can include interest …

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Posted in Buyer Tips, General, Mortgage, Taxes | Leave a comment

Behind on a Mortgage? Your Lender Might Want to Pay You!

Residential Real Estate Attorney Guide Mortgage

The big banks have come to the conclusion that more foreclosures will not help the sluggishly recovering housing market. It’s about time. A good alternative to foreclosure or bankruptcy for underwater homeowners – those who owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth – is a short sale. In the beginning of the …

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Posted in General, Mortgage, Short Sales | Leave a comment

Financing Contingencies: Navigating The Minefield of Real Estate Transactions

Residential Real Estate Attorney Guide Real Estate Transaction

Among the biggest changes we have seen in our market post-Lehman is the return of the financing contingency. Prior to Lehman and the seizing up of the mortgage credit markets, it was quite typical for buyers to “waive” a contingency and accept the risk of financing. With contract deposits typically 10% of purchase price, this …

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Posted in Buyer Tips, General, Seller Tips | Leave a comment