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October 2011 Archives

Scariest Rental Markets in Greater Boston

A list of the most expensive rental markets in Boston was reported by The Boston Globe. Not surprisingly, the average rental rate in these neighborhoods was sky high, but if you are a parent of a MIT student, you may be scared by just how high.

Here are the most expensive rental markets:

Top 4 Reasons to Have Your Property Surveyed

When you move into a home, you may just assume that the fenced-in area around your home marks your property lines. So on one side of the fence is your property, and on the other side your neighbor’s property.

However, fences have very little legal meaning. Instead, you may want to have your property surveyed to see just where your property ends and begins, and for other reasons as well.

Learn About the Obama Mortgage Relief Plan

This week, President Barack Obama unveiled his latest effort at giving mortgage relief to Americans struggling to remain in their homes. The Obama mortgage relief plan will help about one million borrowers refinance their homes at lower interest rates.

Under the plan, homeowners who are still current on their mortgages would be able to refinance, no matter how much their home value has dropped below what they still owe, reports the Associated Press.

Number of Foreclosed Homes in Massachusetts Down for September

The number of foreclosed homes in Massachusetts are down for the month of September. Only 737 homes were foreclosed upon, a 17 percent drop from September 2010 and an 18 percent drop from August 2011.

According to a study by the Warren Group, the number of foreclosure petitions fell even more drastically last month. There were 1,164 foreclosure petitions filed against homeowners, more than 50 percent lower than the number from September 2010, reports The Boston Globe.

Low Ball Offer On House -- Accept, Refuse, or Negotiate?

What should you do with that low ball offer on house? Given the bad economy, you may be told that it's a buyer's market, and feel the need to accept any offer you get. On the other hand, it's been written that it's a seller's market given the dearth of decent livable homes on the market, so you may want to hold off for a higher offer.

Perhaps one thing sellers should not do is to act emotionally and automatically reject all offers below what you expect.

Bank of America Foreclosure Fraud Claimed in Lawsuit

The nation’s largest bank is being sued by a group of borrowers, including two in Massachusetts, over alleged Bank of America foreclosure fraud.

The property owners are seeking a class action lawsuit against the bank claiming that it unlawfully threatened foreclosure and unfairly charged fees, reports The Boston Globe. These foreclosure actions and fees usually occurred after the property owners had signed agreements with the bank for lower mortgage payments.

Tom Brady, Loser in Real Estate?

It is perhaps the only time he's experienced failure since becoming the New England Patriots starting quarterback: Tom Brady is trying again to sell his posh pad.

The Boston Herald reports that the Tom Brady home is on the market again. After one unsuccessful attempt to sell his home in 2009, the Super Bowl MVP has dropped his asking price by almost half a million in hopes of finding a buyer.

What You Should Know About Massachusetts Eviction Laws

It's a lot easier to threaten eviction than to actually evict someone. If your landlord is threatening to throw you out or lock you out of your apartment, you should know that Massachusetts eviction laws require your landlord to have a court order and follow a specific procedure to actually carry out the threat.

First, landlords can only evict you for certain reasons and only after they've given you specific notice of the eviction. For example, if you fail to pay rent, your landlord must give you a 14-day notice to quit the lease and give you an opportunity to repay the rent you owe.

Condominium Rules and Regulations

Pet and smoking bans were recently brought up in The Boston Globe. Condos frequently limit the size and breed of certain dogs that you may keep, and more and more condos are banning smoking altogether. However, the libertarian in you may be wondering what powers your condo board has in preventing you from buying a 120-pound rRottweiler.

When you bought your condo, you were likely handed a booklet of condominium rules and regulations. Along with smoking and pet bans, the list of rules could have included restrictions on how much noise you can make, decorations you can adorn the outside of your condo, etc.

Magic Johnson to Help NorthPoint Development Break Ground?

The NorthPoint development in Cambridge may finally break ground with a little Magic. After years of starts and stops, the developers of NorthPoint recruited help from basketball legend Magic Johnson to help push forward one of the largest developments in New England. Ironically, the bane of New England’s existence in the 1980s, may be the savior nearly three decades later.

Johnson’s Los-Angeles-based Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds have partnered up with the original NorthPoint developers to help the project move forward and perhaps break ground sometime in 2012, reports the Cambridge Chronicle.

Your Right to a Healthy Apartment

Did you know Massachusetts gives renters the right to a healthy apartment? You are entitled to a safe and habitable living environment throughout your entire tenancy under various state laws. The following are some basic habitability rights that you have.

Water

Your landlord must provide enough water, and water at adequate water pressure, to meet your ordinary needs. So if you suffer from very weak showers, you may have a legal claim to a stronger shower.

Massachusetts Landlords Right to Enter

We've previously written about rights of renters in looking for an apartment, signing a lease, and laying down a security deposit. Now it's time to learn about Massachusetts renter rights regarding a landlord’s right to enter an apartment.

While your landlord may own the building and have rights to the building itself, once your landlord rents the apartment to you, he or she cannot come in and out of your unit as they please.