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May 2010 Archives

Home Sales In MA Indicate Some Real Estate Recovery

It seems like more Bostonians may need to call a Boston real estate lawyer.

The Boston Globe reports that based on data released this week, home sales in MA has shown some promise in the real estate recovery process. Potential Massachusetts home buyers were encouraged by low interest rates and a federal tax credit. As a result, home sales for single family dwellings rose up 45.8 percent in April 2010 in comparison to April 2009.

Mayor Thomas Menino Promotes Innovation District

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino is making a push for start-ups and businesses to re-locate to the South Boston Waterfront.

In what the city planners are calling the "Innovation District," Mayor Thomas Menino announced a competition to award $25,000 to a business that moves to the Innovation District. The competition will be launched in July and is being sponsored by the venture capital firm Spencer Trask & Co.

Lease to Buy: From Renter to Homeowner

With summer approaching, the September rental crunch can't be too far away. As a result, Boston real estate lawyers are gearing up for the influx of residential renters over the summer.

While there are many things that Boston real estate attorneys consider when preparing clients for residential rentals, one issue drives home the psychological issues that often turn legal-- how does a Boston real estate attorney prepare for the fact that the renter may become so attached to the home that he or she may want to purchase it outright?

Housing Discrimination: Know Your Rights!

Housing discrimination may be an area of civil rights law, but it's also an area a Boston real estate lawyer could help you with. The fact is that housing discrimination claims do tie in with landlord-tenant law, and as a result, I felt it wise to discuss the issue on the Boston Real Estate News Blog.

The Lowdown on Rental Deposits

Moving out of a rental home or apartment provides its own challenges. And while it should be a painless process, many people find themselves hiring a Boston real estate attorney when things get messy.

Ironically, messiness may be the very reason that a Boston real estate attorney may need to get involved. Rental deposits can become an issue, especially when a landlord claims the need to keep the deposit as a means of cleaning up the physical mess left behind in an apartment.

Distressed Homeowners Who Walked Away

I've talked about strategic defaults before. A strategic default is Boston real estate lawyer jargon for walking away from your mortgage.

Now, comes a new paper detailing the stories of 356 distressed homeowners who threw the keys at their lenders.

Figuratively speaking, of course.

Foreclosures Hit Somerville Rentals, Tenants Worried

Since the beginning of 2007, at least 3 percent of all residential properties in Somerville have entered into a stage of foreclosure. While this number doesn't necessarily mean that the properties ever fully foreclosed, the fact exists that there are many distressed property owners in Somerville.

What's interesting, though, is that many residential properties aren't necessarily owner-occupied homes. Many of them are rentals, including apartment buildings.

Obama's Policies: What They Mean for Distressed Homeowners

Here's a question for Boston real estate attorneys: Is a policy wise if it promotes homeownership?

Now, I understand that I may have just asked a very broad question. Policy analysis involves way more than the isolation of one issue alone. But these are some of the arguments being made in favor of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. People who support the establishment of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac say that their very existence promotes homeownership. But is that the only reason to keep these two institutions?

Getting to the Root of the Problem: Invasive Trees

Have you ever heard those stories about tree roots breaking through swimming pools?

Thirsty tree roots scour the underground for water, only to locate an oasis, right in the neighbor's twenty-thousand dollar in-ground summer sanctuary.

It sounds like something out of a horror movie, but it is an issue that Boston real estate attorneys visit quite often.

Knock, Knock! When Can a Landlord Enter?

Have you ever wondered if it was okay for your landlord to enter your property?

That's a broad question but a good one for a MA real estate attorney, since each state differs with their laws regarding landlord entry.

This particular question is governed by The Massachusetts General Laws, chapter 186, section 15B(1)(a). 

Boston Rental Market Tight, Shop Early

This summer, Boston real estate lawyers will be ramping up their practices to keep up with prospective renters eager to find a place before the September 1 crunch.

But prospective renters might have a lot of digging to do when searching for a reasonably priced place. The rental market in Boston appears to be rebounding. As a result, there seem to be fewer incentives and deals available to prospective tenants looking to rent in the Boston area.

Lenders Not Negotiating Much on Loan Mods

With all the government efforts and initiatives in place, why is it that Bostonians are still foreclosing?

It's a legitimate question-- and one that leaves many Boston real estate lawyers scratching their heads.

Milton No 5 on Money's Best Places to Live


What's the best place to live in the Boston region?

According to CNN Money, it's Milton!

Milton is ranked number five in CNN Money's 2009 survey of best places to live in America. With a population of 25,400, the city boasts an unemployment rate of 5.8 percent.

Construction Permit Applications Up for April

Thinking of buying a newly constructed home? Call a Boston real estate lawyer first!

Here's the good news: According to CNN, new home construction is up. There has been a nationwide jump in new home construction for the month of April. These statistics are based on a government report released on Tuesday.

Obama's Mortgage Program a Bust?

Is the Obama Administration's mortgage assistance plan helping turn the real estate market around or is it causing another artificial boost?

That question was pondered by many Boston real estate lawyers after the expiration of the First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit.

If you are renting in a foreclosed home in the Boston area, know your rights. If you don't know what your rights are, contact a Boston real estate lawyer.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has been cracking down on housing scams, but given the current state of affairs within the housing market, the word "housing scam" could refer to a plethora of things.

What Boston Real Estate Lawyers Can Learn From Trump

This is a case out of New York but let's not pretend that Boston real estate lawyers don't follow the ongoings of Donald Trump.

I used to be a huge fan of Trump, back in the early days of Apprentice. And being the real-estate mogul that he is, I'm not surprised that he has been sued by one of his tenants. Luckily for The Donald, he enjoyed the benefits of the law of agency and as such, his company was entitled to the benefits of a settlement reached between the plaintiff and the office building, 40 Wall Street, which was also a named party to the lawsuit.

Mortgage Rates Low But Lending Still Tight

Great news for some. Mortgage rates fell this year.

Hmm... This would have been great news five years ago, when borrowing was easy. But does it really make a difference, in the big picture?

As reported by The Boston Globe, mortgage rates fell this week to the lowest level of the year. But Boston real estate attorneys aren't quick to jump on the celebration float. After all, lending is still tight.

So, You Want to Buy a Foreclosured Home?

Are you interested in buying a foreclosed home?

Well, the first thing you should do is contact a Boston real estate lawyer.

But if you're just mulling the topic right now, perhaps these quick tips will help you. I picked these up from CNN Money, so they're really basic and not necessarily state-specific to Massachusetts. Read these tips as a starting point and then discuss your concerns in greater detail with a Massachusetts real estate attorney.

A Landlord's Duty to Remove Mold

Here is an article that outlines a few issues of concern to Boston real estate lawyers. The article speaks of an interesting program set up with some Boston area medical centers and some major local law firms.

What I found most interesting about this article was the fact that on first glance, it would seem that many medical patients have so much concern in other areas that they often don't fully recognize the potential legal issues they may have.

Neighbor Disputes: The Tree Conundrum

They say the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.

Okay. But whose tree did it fall from?

Boston real estate lawyers would tell you that the "tree" rules aren't too different in Massachusetts. The answer to the question lies in simple biology.

Well, I guess its biology. Or maybe botany.

Dow Jones' Massachusetts Mansion for Sale

Boston real estate lawyers and real estate brokers alike are likely drooling over this latest news.

The home of the Dow Jones heirs is up for grabs.

Well, "up for grabs" would imply that it's free or readily available. It's actually selling for quite a hefty price-tag. $55 million, to be exact.

Joint Ownership and Tenancy in Common: Know the Difference

I wrote about joint tenancy for a different blog, but then I realized that joint tenancy was one of those crossover topics that spanned different areas of law. It's also a topic that would be of concern to Boston real estate attorneys.

Massachusetts, you see, is not a community property state. As such, it's not easily presumed that a property purchased by husband and wife together would be a 50/50 split.

Strategic Foreclosure: Just Walk Away?

What happens when your house is worth less than what you owe?

Is it smart to walk away from your mortgage? Is strategic default the answer?

I don't know what most Boston real estate lawyers would tell you, to be honest. I'm sure you may have some Boston real estate attorneys that tell you it's the smart thing to do. But I've only ever heard real estate lawyers issue cautionary advice on this sort of thing.

USA Today Cites Positive Growth in Boston RE Market

Although conflicting opinions may be confusing to many Bostonians, Boston real estate lawyers know that there are always multiple sides to any real estate story.

In the past few days, we've been discussing the state of affairs in the Greater Boston real estate market, post Federal tax credit.

Renter's Rights: When Landlord Refuses to Make Repairs

In light of the recent flooding in Massachusetts, I felt it was high time to discuss the issue of repairs.

Boston real estate lawyers know the rules regarding repairs of rental property. But this blog doesn't always speak to the Massachusetts real estate attorney.

It most often speaks to the average Joe or Jane.

Foreclosures and Unemployment Rates go Hand in Hand

Last week, I brought up an issue that many Boston real estate attorneys are seeing-- the issue of rising foreclosures in the Greater Boston region.

The Warren Group, a Boston area real estate research group, has stated that foreclosures are on the rise and have shown tremendous numbers in March.

What is the Role of an MA Real Estate Attorney for the Seller?

What is the role of a Boston real estate attorney representing the seller?

Here is a list of what a MA real estate attorney must to on behalf of the seller, when a residential real estate deal is closing.

Gov. Deval Patrick to Fund Construction Projects in State

As I was driving today, I had to maneuver around many construction signs. And while that may be somewhat annoying, it felt good, too.

It felt good because the construction is so much better than the stagnation we've felt in the past two years.

Boston Foreclosures Up in March

I bet Boston real estate attorneys didn't expect this.

According to Boston-based real estate tracking firm The Warren Group, the number of foreclosures actually went up  in the days of the federal tax credit.

Buying Foreclosure Notes? Call a Boston Real Estate Lawyer First

I was recently asked a question regarding the purchase of foreclosure notes.

If you're contemplating a similar question in the Boston area, the first thing I suggest is to speak with a Boston real estate lawyer.

Here's a brief overview of the issue:

When Your Mortgage Company Folds

What do you do when your mortgage company folds but forgets to do their homework?

It's a great question for a Boston real estate lawyer.

Let's get a bit more specific. We're talking about the situation where the homeowners have paid off their mortgage, but the lender forgot to remove the lien on the property.

Truth in Lending: Bad Mortgages to Blame for Crisis?

What caused the housing bubble and the subsequent economic downturn?

We looked into this question yesterday, where we focused on some of the statements made by Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren at a conference on Wednesday.

The Mezuzah Case: Condo Rules Limited by Religious Freedom

Boston real estate lawyers are familiar with the massive binder of documents known as the CC&Rs, or the "conditions, covenants and restrictions." These are documents issued by a condominium association which essentially spell out terms of abidance for the condo owners.

They are somewhat similar to Homeowners' Association rules.

Boston Fed Reserve President Eric Rosengren Asks Questions

The Boston Federal Reserve held a conference on Wednesday to help real estate professionals, banking professionals and Boston real estate attorneys understand the issues that contributed to the economic downturn these past few years.

And as the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's President Eric Rosengren stated in his opening remarks, lower real estate values are intrinsically tied to the economy.

Mayor Thomas Menino Puts Pressure on Mortgage Lenders

Bostonians have a friend in their mayor.

At least when it comes to real estate mortgage practices. Boston real estate lawyers are fully aware of the issues affecting the real estate lending industry these days. As a result of the faulty lending practices of several mortgage lenders, the economy folded like a house of cards.

MA Real Estate Lawyers Have a Unique Role

Is buying and selling a home in Massachusetts really that different from other states?

According to, a Massachusetts real estate lawyer has a unique role when it comes to buying and selling real property in the state.

Sam Schneiderman, owner of Greater Boston Home Team, explained the differences to writer, Rona Fischman.

New State Bill Could Help Distressed Homeowners

The Massachusetts legislature introduced a new bill last week to assist distressed homeowners. As a result, Boston real estate lawyers have some new reading material, in order to stay current with the laws.

"This bill is a key movement forward for tenant protections in Massachusetts,'' said Amaad Rivera, coordinator for the Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending. The Alliance, a nonprofit group, has been pushing for the legislation for over two years.