Buying New Property: Why Every Perspective Buyer Needs a Good Attorney

Buying a new home always comes with its own checklist.  Perspective buyers look for the right square footage, good school zones, the best realtors, and all of the particulars regarding financing and other related purchase costs.  People don't always think about lawyers before they get into the home buying process, though. 

Having an attorney involved in your purchase is a smart idea and, in some cases, a mandatory one.  Some banks require you to go through an attorney for your closing process in order for them to approve your loan, so knowing what to expect and all of the benefits you can get out of a real estate attorney is key.

Real Estate Complexities

Purchasing a new home isn't always a straightforward issue, so most home buyers are likely to run into a few snags that really make having a lawyer around a true saving grace.  For starters, when you finally find that perfect home and fall in love with the new additions and renovations that the current owner has undertaken, you may find that the work that was completed was done without getting the proper permits for the projects. 

It's pretty common for people to enclose garages or add a bump-out and never get approval from the city to do so, which in turn means that you're about to purchase a home with illegal additions.  You may be able to go ahead and purchase the home anyway, but local laws may require that you undo whatever unpermitted work was previous completed on the home - meaning goodbye to that nice new family room you were so drawn to.

Finding out such particulars, like permits and zoning laws, is just one of the things that may elude you in the fine print of your purchasing documents.  A lawyer is definitely essential for looking through these documents to make sure that you're purchasing what you think you are, and that you're not going to end up liable for any issues created by a previous owner. 

Going through your documents, a lawyer may catch something that could cause a major problem in the future, such as right-away rights to roads or driveways, or even discrepancies with property lines.  Many people have purchased a piece of property thinking that they own a section of land, only to find out later down the road that their property lines aren't where they thought they were, and that they paid for more than they got.

Those parties with whom you're purchasing a property can create more real estate intricacies than you may have originally expected.  Those who purchase a home or other type of property who aren't married or perhaps are related to one another are likely to encounter a lot more documents and legal technicalities. 

A lawyer that specializes in real estate laws can ensure that all parties involved know their rights as well as what they're liable for regarding the property.  A lawyer will also be able to make sure that you've acquired, signed, and submitted all necessary documents for your particular situation, ensuring that you don't have to worry about dealing with much more serious legal issues later down the road. 

You can't always expect a missing document or forgotten step in the process to be pointed out to you by a realtor or your bank, and failing to acquire certain documents could render your purchase void once someone figured out the mistake.

All of the legal requirements upheld by a specific town or state may be cause enough to want a lawyer around if you're not from the area where you're purchasing property.  Many people, especially retirees, purchase property in a state other than the one where they currently reside.  It's easy to inevitably overlook something if you're not from the area and therefore aren't familiar with all of the typical requirements. 

A lawyer is going to have the experience and know-how to research all of the legal and financial requirements for your purchase area, making sure that you know exactly what you're getting into and how to handle it.

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Law Office of
Jason S. Stevens, LLC

215 East Bay Street Suite 500-H
Charleston, SC 29401

Phone: 843-410-3953
Fax: 843-414-7240
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