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April 2010 Archives

Buying a Home? Listen Up!

Earlier this week, we discussed the fact that Boston area single family home sales were up.

One contributing reason, many Massachusetts real estate lawyers felt, was the fact that the Obama Administration had extended the First Time Homebuyer's Tax Credit.

Don't be fooled by the name. The tax credit extends beyond just first time homebuyers. Read my post on the tax credit here.

W Boston Hotel Facing Trouble

W is going bankrupt.

No, not the "W" you think I'm talking about. That "W" is still living the high life.

The W Boston Hotel and Residences, a 28 story hotel in downtown Boston, is facing some financial difficulties. As a result of the financial troubles, the owner of the W Boston filed for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday.

Although this is largely a real estate law blog, I figured that there was some merit in discussing bankruptcy. The reason for this is largely because quite often, real estate troubles can lead to bankruptcy.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino versus Vornado Realty

Most Boston real estate lawyers understand the word "eminent domain" to mean that the government plans to take over property with an economic development purpose.

And while this is generally understood to relate to the building of some public necessity or perhaps public transit, the principle is simple: the government can condemn private property for an economic development.

But the city of Boston is now using the tactic of eminent domain in an alleged hardball tactic against one of the city's most prominent developers.

Boston Home Prices Up

Here's the good news for Boston real estate attorneys:

The median selling price for single-family homes is up in Massachusetts.

Median home prices rose for the fifth straight month, prompting some to believe that the housing crisis might be nearing the end. Condominium selling prices in Boston were up 14.0 percent from $224,500 in 2009 to $256,000 in March 2010. Single family home prices rose from $255,000 to $275,000 in the same time period. 

Of course, housing numbers aren't as simple as rising sales figures or rising prices.

Debi Greenberg of LouisBoston in Bitter Legal Battle

The owner of the famously luxurious LouisBoston clothing store is involved in a bitter legal battle over the sale of a former property.

Boston real estate lawyers for Debi Greenberg are claiming that her interest in the property is worth $8.7 million. But her former co-owners claim that her stake in the building is much less.

$3.7 million less, in fact.

Better Zoning and Planning Could Mean Less Foreclosures

Foreclosure rates and personal financial health are very closely related to car ownership.

You might ask your Boston real estate attorney: "How so?"

The truth is that many studies show a correlation between transportation costs and bad financial health. And when people are suffering bad finances, the foreclosure rates tend to rise. So says a study on "location efficiency," conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council. The study shows how transportation costs contribute to rising foreclosure rates in several metro regions. As a result, the NRDC promotes location-efficient dwellings; centered around pedestrian traffic and public transportation.

Their Home Was Saved by Nonprofit Lender

Last year, Boston real estate lawyers were saying that foreclosures were tapering off, indicating that the number of distressed homeowners was also sliding. But new data from RealtyTrac is now showing that foreclosures rates are creeping back again.

And just when we were beginning to think that the housing downturn was over.

But in the thick of these foreclosures comes a heartwarming tale of a Boston family that was helped by a nonprofit lender

What is the First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit?

Although tax season is technically over, many people are rushing to the offices of Boston real estate lawyers and Boston tax advisors asking about the First Time Homebuyers Tax Credit.

The reason that this topic persists even after the close of tax season is because many people who are entitled to this tax credit have likely filed an extension of time to file. This request is due to the fact that many of those entitled to the First Time Homebuyers Tax Credit haven't necessarily purchased their home just yet. You're a "first time homebuyer" if you purchased a U.S. home between December 31, 2008 and May 1, 2010; and neither you (nor your spouse) owned any other main home in the past 3 years.