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April 2012 Archives

Nationwide Open House Weekend April 28-29

Americans love open houses, whether they go to check out their dream home, or simply dream about a dream home. And now, a nationwide open house weekend on April 28-29 will allow more Americans to fantasize (because that is one thing America doesn't do enough of), reports The Boston Globe.

But while it is easy for the potential consumer to get to an open house and rub his or her hands and eyes all over the prospective homes, getting a home ready for an open house is not the easiest task, reports FindLaw.

What Can a MA Tenant Rights Attorney Do For You?

Massachusetts apartment renters are an unusual breed. They pay a huge amount of money per month, some of the highest in the country, but don't always put up much of a fight when landlords try to trammel their rights.

Maybe its time that Boston and Massachusetts tenants learned that they can use a tenant rights attorney to stand up for them.

Wells Fargo and US Bank Housing Discrimination Alleged

The predatory mortgages that hit minorities around the United States especially hard are now finally leading for a little bit of accountability, reports The Washington Post.

Fair housing advocates are alleging that US Bank's housing discrimination led to improper marketing and maintenance of foreclosed properties in minority neighborhoods in nine different cities.

Will Malden Redevelopment Authority Go Eminent Domain?

A minor league baseball stadium is bringing a whole range of real estate issues to light in Massachusetts, reports The Boston Globe.

The Malden baseball stadium, worth about $50 million, and future home to a minor league baseball team, is in need of the land currently home to three businesses: L&L Services, a trucking and landscaping company at 11 Canal St.; Spadafora’s Auto Parts, 129 Charles St.; and Collex auto body repair, 124 Centre St.

Do Brothel Laws Ban Sorority Houses in MA?

There is a claim out there that due to antiquated brothel laws around the USA, colleges can't have sorority houses because a group of women would be living together, and when groups of women live together then the house is considered a brothel.

One example of this issue came up in Detroit when a sorority at Wayne State University alleged that it couldn't get a sorority house due to this brothel law, reports FoxNews Detroit.

Can You Terminate a Lease in MA if the Place is Haunted?

You may not be Shaggy or Scooby Doo but it could be that you have certain paranormal abilities and can spot ghosts in the machine (or, in this case, the washing machine). If so, can you use that as a way to get out of your lease? You don't know? Why don't you ask these tenants down in Toms River New Jersey (of course it would be Toms River!) who are alleging that their apartment is haunted, notes FindLaw's Legally Weird.

While some kooky paranormal police have identified the possibility of paranormal activity in the apartment, many people will (rightly) think that this might be a ruse by the family to get out of the lease.

RHOA Reunion: Kim Zolciak and Nene Leaks' Real Estate Beef

The recent Real Housewives of Atlanta (RHOA) reunion show made a lot of ripples and shot off a lot of fireworks, one of which pertains to a real estate fight between Kim Zolciak and Nene Leakes, reports Radar.

At issue is a festering fight over the fact that Nene Leakes exposed that a17,000 square foot mansion that Kim Zolciak and her husband Kroy Bierman were living in was a rental. Since the house was a good $3.2 million and in the RHOA world quite a status symbol, whether or not it was a rental or purchase was enough to lead the ladies to call each other the b-word.

Pet Laws: Alligator Found in Charles River

Perhaps it is the modern condition, but we in our urban environments get very excited when encountering wild animals (co-workers don’t count). Whether it is a beached whale, an escaped grizzly, or as was the case recently in Massachusetts, an alligator in Charles River, as reported by The Boston Globe.

In this case, the alligator in Charles River was about four feet long and discovered by a canoeist. The canoeist had purchased a canoe on Craigslist and was taking it out for a ride. The man, named Topher Cox, is an advertising photographer (who else would buy a canoe and discover an alligator?).

Should Entrepreneurs Be Buying Homes?

With Google and other tech companies coming to Boston, as reported by FindLaw's Boston Real Estate Law News, there is also likely going to be an increase in the number of techies and entrepreneurs that come into Boston.

And as they achieve varying degrees of success this will open the door for many to consider buying a home in Massachusetts.

But, should entrepreneurs buy a home? No doubt it is an individual decision, but certain informed techies and super-geeks feel that entrepreneurs should not buy homes, reports TechCrunch.

HARP 2.0: Refinance Mortgages in Boston

That pleasing harp like sound you hear is that of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) rebooting and retooling its rules to make it easier for homeowners to refinance, reports NASDAQ. These new rules are being called HARP 2.0 (I guess that's more appropriate than Return of the HARP).

HARP 2.0 will allow homeowners that couldn't previously refinance because they owed too much on their mortgage (called being "underwater") to go ahead and refinance at a lower interest rate.

So what are the HARP 2.0 requirements?

Sober Home Scams in Boston

It goes without saying that recovering from a drug addiction is one of the more difficult changes faced by men and women in Massachusetts today. And now, their problems are compounded by the fact that they may be getting swindled by some Boston area landlords.

Low budget rooms usually tucked into some of the worst areas of Boston often serve as "sober homes" for many recovering addicts. These sober homes are a place recovering addicts can go to because they promise urine testing, along with zero-tolerance rules. Except, it turns out, many of these Boston sober homes are not enforcing any of their rules, reports The Boston Globe.

The selectmen of Wellesley town reached an accord with the Archdiocese of Boston to purchase St. James the Great Church, which had previously been shuttered, reports The Boston Globe.

The deal helps answer the age-old question: how much do churches cost? In this case, the 8-acre property on Route 9 was valued at $3.8 million. Unfortunately, after being bought, the St. James the Great Church will be turned into a skating rink, playing field, and swimming pool. (Dive into holy water, y'all!).

Newton's Zoning Fight Heating Up Even More

It is beginning to sound like Newton's zoning fight is getting even more tempestuous, reports The Boston Globe. And, ironically, it is just four little words causing all the mayhem.

Turns out that putting certain words -- "adjoining", "and", and "subject" (twice) -- would really complicate Newton's zoning rules and lead to a permission for a whole lot of new houses on undersized lots.