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Stamford, CT real estate lawyerPurchasing your first home is an exciting time. It can also be somewhat confusing and overwhelming, given all the components of the purchase process. The following is a brief overview of some of those key components and what they involve. For more detailed information if you are purchasing a home, contact a Stamford, CT real estate attorney.

The Binder

A binder is an offer to purchase. It is a formal written agreement between the buyer and the seller that holds the property until a formal offer to buy contract is drafted and signed by the parties. There is also a binder deposit – typically one percent of the purchase price – that the buyer will include with the binder.

Formal Contract

The next step in the process is for the formal contract of sale to be signed. Usually, it is the seller’s attorney who will draft this contract and then send it to the buyer’s contact for review. This contract will stipulate all the terms of the sale. When the contract is signed, the buyer will then pay a deposit with it, typically 10 percent of the purchase price.

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Stamford, CT real estate attorneyWhen a person purchases a condominium or townhouse, there is usually an association that is responsible for the maintenance of the common areas of the condo or townhouse development. Along with the condo owner’s personal financial obligations for the unit, there are also financial obligations for the expenses that come with the upkeep and maintenance of these common areas. All owners are responsible for contributing condo fees that go towards paying these expenses.

Each association also creates its own bylaws – rules and regulations about what is required, what is allowed, and what is not allowed. These rules apply to all condo owners. Included in the bylaws is how much fines will be for any violations of these rules.

If a condo owner fails to pay their fees, fines, or any assessments, can the association take steps to have the owner evicted from the property? The answer to that question in Connecticut is yes.

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Stamford, CT real estate lawyerJust a few months ago, many pundits in the real estate industry forecasted that the real estate market showed no signs of slowing down. While the past few years have been extremely beneficial for sellers, it has been particularly difficult for homebuyers. In many cases, a home would be under contract within days of it going on the market, often after an intense bidding war and a final sale price far exceeding the original asking price.

But new reports seem to indicate that homebuyers may finally be seeing a slight light at the end of the tunnel. Results recently released by the Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancies and Homeownership survey reveal that the number of vacant homes is increasing, especially here in Connecticut.

Vacant Houses

When a house on the market has been sitting vacant for a few months, that is a good sign for a potential homebuyer that the seller may be open to negotiation. The current real estate boom that started around the time of the COVID pandemic has left little opportunity for any type of bargaining with sellers. The national homeowner vacancy rate was at .08 percent for the first half of the year. This is the lowest that rate has been in the 66 years the Census Bureau began collecting this information.

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Posted on in Real Estate Law

Fairfield County, CT real estate lawyerOne of the most exciting times in a person’s life is when they purchase their first home. But for many, the process of applying for their first mortgage can be stressful, including making sure they have enough for a down payment, gathering all the documentation, and a sufficient credit score that the financial institution they are dealing with requires. If you are applying for your first mortgage, the following is a brief overview of what to expect.

Pre-Approval Process

The first step in the mortgage process is submitting a pre-approval application with the bank or mortgage company. This pre-approval process allows the lender to examine your financial situation to determine if you can afford the mortgage loan you are seeking. There are multiple documents the lender will request to make that determination, including:

  • Most recent pay stubs (typically the last two months’ worth) that also show year-to-date earnings

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Fairfield County real estate lawyerWhen you are purchasing a home, there are so many details to address that it can sometimes feel overwhelming. Not only are you dealing with meeting all the requirements regarding financial information that your financial institution needs for your mortgage, but there are also other things that your bank or mortgage company will require. One of these required is title insurance. At this point, some buyers make the mistake of forgoing having their own real estate attorney and instead allow the title review company to handle everything. This can have serious financial ramifications later on.

What Is Title Insurance?

Every time a property is purchased, sold, or financed, there is a record of that transaction filed in the public archives of the municipality where the property is located. There is also a record of any other liens or other events that may be filed against the property.

When a person is purchasing a property, the mortgage holder requires them to purchase title insurance. The insurance company will hire a title review company to search the public archives to find out if there are any issues that could affect the ownership of the property. Once the title company determines there are no issues, the title insurance company will issue title insurance.

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