The Importance of Having a Real Estate Legal Asset When Buying and Selling

The Importance of Having a Real Estate Legal Asset When Buying and Selling

If there is one type of law which is complicated beyond reason it is financial and real estate law. With not only regulations and rules changing every year but also the financial details themselves changing daily, it is a wonder anyone can even get a fair deal. It is important to understand that the banks and lenders’ jobs are not to get you a good deal. Their sole purpose is to get a favorable agreement for the bank. This oftentimes means a far less favorable deal for you.

Navigating Confusing Legal Language

Legal speak is always difficult to wade through. However, when it is mixed in with countless financial facts, percentages, and numbers, it can be downright indecipherable. This is where you need a trained legal expert who specializes in this type of law. It is the only way you are going to get someone to explain this complex legal dialogue to you. How can you expect to make the best decision if you don’t have all of the information?

Dealing With Complex Financial Details

Each of those numbers and decimals and percentages all mean something in this type of law. They represent interest rates, variations, length of term, monthly payments and so on. Each one of these and many other specifics all need to be documented properly and verified. Also, the fine print and details of any contract should never be ignored, especially on real estate.

These details may be the difference between a balloon payment and flat final payment. They may also list an incorrect detail such as an adjustable rate instead of a fixed rate. There are a number of examples of what a real estate lawyer might catch that you would miss.

Let the team here at Bell Law lookout for you during your next home purchase or sale. With everything from price to rate to term on the line, you need to make sure you get the best deal. We’d be glad to be the ones to safeguard your interests in any real estate transaction. Simply get in contact with us to find out more details!

Autumn Real Estate Market Trends

Autumn Real Estate Market Trends

The housing market is just like anything else when it comes to change; it’s inevitable. And also, just like many other similar (and completely unrelated industries), it experiences seasonal shifts. This year is truly like no other, given the global health crisis that we have all had to deal with. This has made what was once seen as the simplest of chores difficult and, in some cases, impossible. With that in mind, here are a few examples of what is going on in the real estate market heading into fall:

Stable Interest Rates

Although many people were predicting that interest rates would stabilize at this time of the year, it ended up happening for reasons that had nothing to do with the original predictions. The sudden outbreak of the coronavirus brought home buying and selling to a halt. It did the same with the rest of the economy. The Feds took drastic measures to encourage real estate transactions.

Shortage of Entry-Level Homes

A lot of singles, married couples, and young families like to try and close on their first home before the holidays. There is something extra special about getting to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas in your own home. Following the sudden slowdown in buying in selling, things are starting to pick back up as we all adjust to living in this new reality. Unfortunately, many of these prospective buyers may have difficulty finding something they love. In these cases, it is essential not to rush into a buying decision.

Housing Uncertainty

Finally, something else that is looming over the market is the lack of clarity regarding past-due mortgages and late rent on millions of residential properties all over the country. If some type of governmental relief doesn’t come, we could be on the verge of an eviction crisis on top of everything else.

If you are getting ready to buy or sell a home this fall, or if you find yourself with any other type of legal real estate issue, make sure that you take the time to safeguard your future and protect your investments. People who understand the importance of property law and transactions also understand the importance of having a real estate attorney working on their behalf. Give us a call here at Bell Law to find out how we can help you protect your interests and still get you the best deal!

Tips to Beat First Time Home Buyer Stress

Tips to Beat First Time Home Buyer Stress

Even though buying your first home should be a cause for celebration, it is frequently challenging to muster up that sort of enthusiasm until the process ends due to the stress. Here’s an encouraging fact, though; it gets much easier after this. Once you have gone through the entire process one time, from start to finish, you will know what to expect with future real estate purchases. But none of that helps you right now with your first home, so here are a few things that will:

Pay Off Other Debts

This one practice alone will do wonders as far as lifting stress and anxiety from you. One of the biggest causes of concern for people buying a home for the first time is the commitment to the mortgage. For most, this is the most significant monthly obligation they have ever taken on and by far the longest. Creating more disposable income goes a long way to alleviating those worries.

Save a Sizeable Down Payment

Something else that will help put your mind at ease regarding payments and financial obligations is putting down a significant amount of money. That will often get you a lower rate, reduced payments, and give you much more flexibility than you would have had otherwise. You will need to start saving sooner than planned to accomplish this.

Stay Within Your Budget

Lastly, it can’t be stressed enough how important it is to stick to your budget. If you think the anxiety and worry that comes from a typical first-time purchase is bad, just imagine how you’ll feel if you end up getting in over your head on price and payments.

To find out even more ways to simplify the process of buying your first home rather than dreading it, give us a call anytime here at Bell Law. We would be more than glad to assist you with any or every aspect of your purchasing process. Regardless of whether this is your first home or your retirement property, having a legal professional on your side that specializes in real estate law can make a world of difference.

Making a Successful Cross Country Move

Making a Successful Cross Country Move

Moving across the street is stressful enough, but moving cross country is a whole different situation full of its own stressors. You are about to move to a location you know next to nothing about, have no idea where the best schools are or where the grocery store is. You aren’t even sure where to get the best cup of coffee. While some concerns are bigger than others, it is important to be prepared for anything when making such a momentous move.

Finding Your Dream Home

Due to the current state of the world due to the coronavirus, almost all real estate transactions have been revamped to make virtual tours the new normal. This allows a buyer to see exactly what a potential home looks like, no matter where they are in the world. Using virtual tours can help you narrow down your search to just a few homes and can make the purchasing decision more streamlined. 

It is also highly recommended that you take the time to physically visit any potential homes on your shortlist before purchasing, if possible. A virtual tour does not show you entire neighborhoods or towns. Therefore, narrowing down your search and then going to the actual homes and surrounding areas before a final choice is highly recommended.

Timing is Everything

It is important to start planning your move at least 2 months in advance. This gives you plenty of time to effectively go through your belongings and declutter. The last thing you want to do is pay to move items you are just going throw out upon arrival. 

Now is the time to start deciding how you are moving, whether with professional movers, self-packing containers, or driving your own rental truck. If you are depending on a moving company or self-packing company, you need to be sure to do the proper research to make sure the company is trustworthy and dependable. 

Protect Your Investment

Purchasing a new home is the most important investment you may ever make, do it wisely. Hiring a real estate attorney is imperative when purchasing any home, especially one that may be sight unseen and in an unfamiliar state. 

Not just any real estate attorney will do though. Making sure your attorney is licensed in your new state is also incredibly important. Real estate transactions can get quite messy and confusing, as laws are different in every state. Therefore, moving to Illinois means you need to have a qualified real estate attorney who will look out for your best interests and knows Illinois real estate law. Thus, giving you the peace of mind that your purchase is done correctly, potentially saving you money and heartache down the road.

If you are looking to make the move to the Chicagoland area, give Bell Law a call. They have experienced real estate lawyers that are ready to assist you every step of the way. The professionals at Bell Law are well versed in Illinois real estate law and can ensure that your new home purchase is seamless and legally secure. Call them today to get started on your exciting new adventure.

Considerations for Buying a Second Home

Considerations for Buying a Second Home

Whether you have paid off your first home or just have extra money to spend, buying a second home could be your next big real estate move. Before you commit to owning a second home, whether as a vacation home or income property, there are several things to consider in order to make a responsible decision. Take time to do your research on both potential properties and your own short and long-term financial goals before you begin to browse what is available. 

Can I Afford a Second Home? 

Before you even begin to daydream about a second property, ask yourself if you can truly afford it. Many people decide to purchase their second homes right before or at the beginning of retirement, while others choose to buy a new home while they are still actively working. In any case, knowing you are financially stable enough to afford an additional home is paramount, as if you fall into too much debt, it can be next to impossible to recover financially.

Work with your financial advisor to determine if you can take on an additional mortgage payment, along with homeowner insurance and utilities. If it is going to be a big stretch or have a major impact on your current lifestyle, you might want to save up for a few more years before purchasing that second home.

Know All the Costs

If you do have the money available to responsibly purchase a second property, ensure you know the primary purpose of your purchase. For example, will you be using this property as an income property to rent out to others? If so, make sure you know the ins and outs of renting before you make the purchase. Or, if you are purchasing a vacation home, make sure you plan for any short-stay renters via AirBnB if you are planning on going that route. 

It’s important to be aware that most mortgage rates for second homes can run a bit higher than your first, unless you are paying cash or have a sizeable cash down payment. You should also look into additional costs that can come with purchasing in a different state, including insurance costs associated with hurricanes or flooding. Finally, be prepared to learn more about HOA regulations and requirements if you are looking at a second home within a developed neighborhood. 

If you have found yourself lucky enough to be in the position to consider buying the perfect second home, you want to make sure you do it right. Understanding landlord laws and property taxes for a home across the country can be a daunting task. There is no better time to reach out to Bell Law, as their knowledgeable real estate attorneys can help navigate you through the buying process to ensure your best interests are at the center of every decision.

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