At the law firm of Rudman & Rudman, we have extensive experience representing clients in residential real estate transactions. Here are some helpful tips for you when purchasing a home:
Tips on Buying a Home:
1. Before signing a binder, obtain legal advice from your attorney as what should be contained in the binder and possible ramifications. Generally, a provision should be added to make the binder subject to a satisfactory house inspection and real estate law attorney review.
2. Hire an engineer or house inspector to conduct an inspection and obtain a written report before signing a contract. Among other things, the inspector should report on the structure of the house, the plumbing, heating and electrical systems (ask about aluminum wiring), the roof and the possibility of water infiltration. Also, the inspector should be asked about the presence of any asbestos, radon or mold which have become recent health issues.
3. Prior to the house inspection, inquire whether the Seller has completed a Real Property Disclosure Statement which may be useful to the engineer during the inspection. In the event such a disclosure statement is not provided, the Purchaser is entitled to a $500.00 credit at closing.
4. You may wish to independently confirm the real estate tax on the property and any exemptions the present owner(s) have on the property by calling the local Receiver of Taxes or Treasurer’s Department. If the present owner(s) have an exemption which you are not entitled to, such as a senior or veteran’s exemption among others, the taxes may be significantly higher than those presently reported.
5. Obtain information regarding any additions or improvements to the house or premises requiring Certificates of Occupancy, Certificates of Completion, fire underwriter certificates, plumbing certificates and whether the Seller has obtained such Certificates.
6. Obtain information regarding any previous oil tanks that have been removed or filled (abandonment) and whether the proper filings have been made, where applicable.
7. If you are obtaining a mortgage, confirm with your Real Estate Low Attorney that there is a mortgage contingency clause in the contract of sale that allows you to obtain the return of your deposit made at contract in the event you are not approved by the mortgage lender.
8. Purchasers may be represented by a buyer’s real estate broker to negotiate the terms of the sale rather than dealing directly with the listing broker who technically represents the seller. You should engage a buyer’s broker prior to seeing a house or contacting a listing broker so there is no dispute between the brokers as to commission earned. Check with the buyer’s broker to make sure the buyer’s broker representing you will be paid from the commission of the listing broker and there will be no additional fees you will have to pay in this regard.