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Every Golf Shot Pleases Sombody--The revived "foreclosure-flip" industry may offer you ,the Realtor, many marketing opportunities. - 04/30/10 05:08 AM
To turn a well-known phrase slightly on its end, "no bad deed goes unnoticed" The bad deeds these days are "foreclosure flips",and they are working out quite well for the patient and careful real estate entrepreneur. In a word, there are people who are purchasing properties at foreclosure, marketing the properties extremely hard during the thirty or forty-five day hiatus between foreclosure sale and foreclosure closing, and selling the property to third parties, sometimes before the time that the property is owned by them. The fuel to engage in this type of practice is known as "hard money". There are Lenders (0 comments)
Discrimination Rears Its Ugly head Once More--An Opportunity to do the 'Right Thing" Goes by the Boards - 04/26/10 05:56 PM
This is, unfortunately, a true story. A client of mine was looking at a home with her Buyer's agent. She is an extremely well educated professional, who is recently divorced. She has a young child to whom she is devoted. her parents grew up in another country. She is American-educated. She was shown a home in which she had interest. The elderly owners were in the home when my client had the showing. The husband asked my client, point blank, whether she had ever been married. She did not answer. When her Buyer's Agent was asked the same question while my client (4 comments)
The "Subprime" Disaster Continues to Haunt Us All--And One Participant is Not Getting the Fair Share of the "Blame Pie" - 04/25/10 07:24 PM
Starting tomorrow, Congress will parade various representibes from the highly profitable firm of Goldman, Sachs to explain to our elected officials the latest round of "Subprime--Redux". It would seem from the advance information I have been reading that Goldman, Sachs (and perhaps many others) figured out a way to "short" the US Housing Market and probably deceive well-meaning investors who were supporting same. The actual facts and permutations and combinations of this sophisticated brand of deception will probably never be known. What I have realized from the start, and knew back in the late 1980's (then it was the S & L crisis), (4 comments)
Expectations from Loan Originaotors--If you can fulfill these, You'll Get My Referrals - 04/24/10 03:12 AM
After almost 42 years of toiling as a Massachusetts real estate attorney, I can honestly relate to you that I have seen almost "everything" in the way of actions by loan originators ('LO's"). I have worked with many LO's who are, in a word, "passing through". This is a job they have taken to make some money, and they really are not in the business for the long-run. That being said, they were perfectly willing to request that I take actions which were not "long run" either. Could I close this transaction today, and say I did it yesterday. Could I (5 comments)
Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Backward--Texting and Kindle and the iPad are making our children into "Bad Writers" - 04/23/10 06:08 AM
This is kind of a rant, and for that I apologize. I just got finished "editing" a paper my 20 year old daughter has finished. The paper is for a course she is taking on Italian architecture at St. John's University in Rome, where she is studying this semester as part of a "semester abroad". The substance of the paper, which concerns the Emperor Hadrian's motivations in designing and building the Pantheon, is excellent. The actual writing of the paper is dreadful, and I started to wonder why our children really cannot write. My conclusion is that texting, and Facebook, and Twitter, with (9 comments)
Transparency In Reporting "Real" Prices of Property Conveyed--We are all in this together - 04/22/10 05:39 AM
In a recent post on ActiveRain, there was some lively discussion about just how far we should go to make sure all the financial facts of a real estate transaction are disclosed for the record. In our business, valuation is king. What a comparable property is worth is critical in determining what a subject property with similar characteristics would sell for. Certainly condition of the property can make a large difference, but by and large properties with similar features should sell for roughly the same prices. Take the example of two homes side by side in a development of similar style (2 comments)
Realtors--The view of One Real Estate Attorney of the Profession, Toggling in What I have Learned in my 15 Months or so on ActiveRain - 04/21/10 03:16 PM
Real estate attorneys like me are rather rare birds in ActiveRain nation. There are several reasons for this, at least in my opinion. First and foremost, most of the other 49 do not have the involvement in residential real estate transactions that we have in Massachusetts. Lawyers are involved in P & S work in some states, certainly not all. The involvement of attorneys in the closing process and issuance of title insurance policy would seem to be limited to a couple of state in New England, and perhaps North Carolina and the northern counties of New Jersey. So, my posts (1 comments)
My Server Crashed on Sunday Evening--Two Days from Hell would not be close to Telling the Problems this has created - 04/20/10 05:47 PM
Like most of you, I am totally committed to my computers and my firm network. My email flows through this system; I draft most documents in Word, and then transmit them through the system. I scan aritcles and other documents and send them through the system. In a word, I am totally committed to a life that turns on my network being "up and running". You can imagine my horror, therefore, when yesterday morning, when I checked my email through "Log Me In", I found out that my email was stuck sometime in the evening on Sunday, and nothing was "flowing" though (2 comments)
The "Nominee" or "Dummy" Trust--A Multi-faceted Tool that just "keeps on ticking" - 04/19/10 09:15 AM
In Massachusetts, where I practice real estate law, the single member limited liability company, which provides a safe layer of insulation for most real estate investors, had generally replaced the nominee or dummy trust as the "entity du jour". A client of mine has recently experienced a unique situation where the trust mechanism has become a perfect solution. My client is desirous of helping a friend of hers whose financial situation has taken a turn for the worse. The friend is a person of integrity, but he needs some extra money to purchase a building where he can run his business. (0 comments)
Re-inventinG My Persona--I hope I still have Thousands of First Impressions Left to Make - 04/18/10 06:27 AM
After I read Bob's most recent challenge, I read the excerpt from the book which was adverted to. I found it well-written and thoughtful. So I got to thinking about self-satisfaction and how really dangerous it can be for career growth. Two or three years ago, someone smart at the Tampa Bay baseball club had a good idea. The name of the team, which was a perennial loser, was the Devil Rays (a scary fish). Management decided to shorten the name to "Rays", and gradually change the personal of the team. Last night I saw the 2010 Tampa Bay raod uniforms. (3 comments)
Notes from a Closing--The Patter I use to Move things along - 04/17/10 04:15 PM
Since I am a real estate attorney in Masscsuetts, a state where attorneys still rune the Closing "show", I keep trying to reinvent myself as a person not to be feared but listened to and respected. Buyers come to one of my three offices (we have three so it is geographically convenient for the Buyer) and they are instantly afraid of me. Here is this guy who stands between my family's ability to buy my home, and he has a lot more experience at this than I do. So, one of my early objectives is to establish some thread of familiarity with (4 comments)
FNMA Rewards Michigan Homeowners doing a Short Sale or Deed-In-Lieu Instead of Walking-Away (Foreclosure) - 04/17/10 05:23 AM
This is really a break-through. There is light at the end of the tunnel for people who thought they were "out of the ballgame if they had a short sale or deed-in-liew. Via Drew Sygit (The Lending Edge) Real Estate Financing Expert (The Lending Edge): Homeowners doing a Short Sale or Deed-In-Lieu instead of Walking-Away (Foreclosure) got some great news from FNMA recently as the agency announced shorter waiting periods to qualify for a new mortgage. MORTGAGE, EXPERT, MICHIGAN, BIRMINGHAM, BLOOMFIELD, DETROIT, ROCHESTER, ROYAL OAK, TROY In an attempt to encourage Michigan Homeowners to work with their lenders on Short Sales or Deed-in-Lieu's instead of (0 comments)
Use and Occupancy Agreements--A Valuable Tool often Under-Utilized and Misunderstood - 04/16/10 03:10 PM
The Use and Occupancy Agreement is multifaceted. There is almost no end to its potential ability to solve closing and occupancy issues, among which are the following: 1. Permitting a Buyer to move into the Property before the Closing: 2. Permitting the Seller to remain in the Property after the Closing. 3. Creating a right for a non-Buyer or non-Seller to occupy the Property, on a short-term basis, and specifically limiting the rights of the person occupying to remain past the agreed upon time set forth in the Agreement. Generally, the Use and Occupancy Agreement will provide basic provisions that (6 comments)
"No" as a Factor in your sales efforts--Are you getting enough rejections lately? - 04/15/10 05:25 PM
In the April, 2010 edition of Inc. Magazine, G. Clotaire Rapaille has written afascinating article entitled "The Secret of Their Success". (Inc Magazine, April, 2010 pages 92-93). The author, a psychoanalyst takes the position that if you aren't getting a lot of "no's" from your potential customers, than you aren't really in "sales"; you are in "order takering". Dr. Rapaille suggests that the way we handle rejection, and if we are really "good losers" is the tell-tale indicator of whether we will succeed in sales. While I can endorse where he is coming from, i can truly say that it has only (2 comments)
Representing a Well-Known Real Estate Buyer--Certainly this is a situation where Less is More - 04/14/10 12:09 PM
Recently, I have been retained by a well-known person to help this person purchase real estate. After my euphoria settled, I started to realize that this type of engagement, while interesting because many people would recognize the name of the purchaser, presented the following rather daunting challenges for me as a Massachusetts real estate attorney: 1. I need to keep everyone in the transaction on a "need to know" basis. This includes the usual snoops from the newpapers and other printed media, as well as the realtors, home inspectors, mortgage originators and neighbors. 2. After the purchase and sale agreement (1 comments)
Joining Networking Organizations--I have offically put my oar back in the Water. I know there are no Guarantees - 04/13/10 04:02 AM
After an hiatus of nearly five years, I am joining another BNI networking group. The requirements of my prior group, once a week at 7:00 AM, really wore me out, and I "bowed out gracefully" in 2005. I must tell all of you that my exit from BNI was not without some negatives. I enjoyed the discipline of the organization. There was a tight time schedule, and I was usually out of the meeting at the advertised time of 8:30 AM. The benefits of BNI for me then, and the lure on my return, is the business BNI generated for me. (3 comments)
Making One Sale Contingent Upon a Closing for Another Sale: I Have Reserved the Right to Change My Mind - 04/12/10 04:28 PM
A few weeks ago, i read post on ActiveRain wherein the writer was ranting about the difficulty she experienced when a Buyer,or Seller, made an acceptance of an Offer subject to the sale, or purchase, of another home. In my mind, I chided the writer for not being willing to deal with a fe "complications' that should be easily resolved with proper handling. I have just finished a rather harrowing engagement that makes me question the wisdom of doubting the person who wrote the at that time "offending" post. My clients are originally from another country. They can converse in English, (7 comments)
The Movie "Blindside"--There are Aspects of that Movie which can Easily apply to Real Estate professionals - 04/09/10 03:12 PM
Maybe it's because I work too hard. My wife clearly thinks I do. Maybe it's because I am "addicted" to ActiveRain, and that site has become my salvation. Maybe, it's the dog. In any event, my wife and I do not get out much. So, when Sandra Bullock won the Academy Award for Best Actress in "Blindside", I had not seen it, and only knew about it by reputation. For your information, we had only seen one of the ten movies nominated for Best Picture, so we are really out of the loop. The reason for this rather prolix introduction is (1 comments)
ActiveRain for the non-Realtor--Myriad, Unique Networking (and other) Opportunities Abound - 04/08/10 05:17 AM
I am not now, nor have I ever been, a Realtor. My relationships with Realtors are essential part of my business, but I am a practicing real estate lawyer in Massachusetts, and I have never received a commission for selling real estate in Massachusetts, or anywhere else. Being a Realtor is a great profession: it is just not mine. I share this with you, because I wanted to give you an idea of how "overwhelmed" I initially was when I visited the ActiveRain site, and, with much trepidation, starting writing posts. Fast forward approximately 14 months, and the situation has really (30 comments)
A Very "Massachusetts" Issue: Would an Offer to Purchase be Sufficient to Satisfy the "written binding contract" provisions of the first-time home buyer credit - 04/07/10 04:47 PM
Here we go again. There is the way things are practiced in the other 49 states. And, there is the way real estate transaction are handled in Massachusetts, the Commonwealth (not a state, please) where I have had the privilege of practicing real estate law for the past forty-some years. In Massachusetts, we still retain the two-tier contract approach to residential real estate transactions. Generally without the benefit of counsel, a Buyer executes an Offer to Purchase, and plunks down a $500 or $1,000 good faith binder. Both Buyer and Seller anticipate, and it is generally written into the Offer, the (1 comments)
Back to Back Closing on April 30, 2010--"Black Friday" may have an entirely new meaning - 04/06/10 07:02 PM
I don't know about the rest of you, but my April 30, 2010 "dance card" is filling up at an alarming rate. Our firm has already scheduled at least two closing for each lawyer in the firm, and there are definitely more to come, The real "killer" here is the fact that many of the already scheduled closings are of the "Back to Back" variety. Despite my efforts to convince my clients otherwise, there are three scenarios where people are buying and selling on that day. Lenders are trying to deal with new RESPA rules for HUD-1's. Appraisals are taking longer (2 comments)
Note to Buyer's Agents involved in Short Sales-Your purchase agreements need some "substance" and discipline!!!!!! - 04/05/10 08:05 PM
"Same old, same old" really doesn't work very well when you are representing a Short Sale Buyer. The reason: Your client can get eaten alive by upfront costs, and end up not even getting to purchase the property in question, because the Lender withholds approval or makes the approval price prohibitive. These are my suggested solutions,: 1. Do not put up any substantial deposit (more than $500) until your Buyer has written Short Sale Approvals in hand, 2. Do not do a home inpsection until your Buyer has written Short Sale Approvals in hand, 3. Do not file (0 comments)
Upside Down on Your Home? – Here’s Your Playbook - 04/04/10 11:35 AM
This is an excellent summary of options which are available. iintend to post this on the Topkins & Bevans blog site, as well. Via Charles Dailey (iLoan): In my home state of Minnesota, Minneapolis and Saint Paul have nearly 39 percent of homeowners under water. I've had the question, "I'm upside down on my home, what are my options?" so many times that I wanted to prepare a menu of options for people to reference. This article briefly outlines 9 potential solutions that may serve you well. The target audience here is not necessarily someone who's in default on their loan but simply (0 comments)
The "Difficult" Condominum Unit Owner--Ways that we have Developed to "Stop the Madness" - 04/04/10 09:28 AM
The culprits exist in all shapes and sizes. They are young; they are old. They have high-paying jobs; they are unemployed. They are men; they are women. The one thing all of the people in question have in common is that have decided, for reasons I cannot fathom, that the Condominium rules are "not for them", and they will do whatever they wish, whenever they wish. Our most current situation involves a young woman in a two bedroom three Unit Condominium north of Boston. Within the past year, she has managed to do the following, all in contravention of clearly articulated provisions (4 comments)
Was I Smarter (even in my chosen field of expertise) than a Group of Fourth Graders??--At Best, It was a "toss-Up" - 04/03/10 05:22 AM
A few weeks go, at the request of a client who taught school in a neighborhood school in Boston, I made a presentation about what I did to a group of 4th grade students. My goal was to explain to them what a real estate attorney did for clients and then to answer any questions they might have about my career. I started of used "Law and Order" as an introduction because there are lawyers involved in that TV Show, and at least that would give the students a frame of reference about my profession. Almost of the Ms. Clarke's students (23 comments)
Dorchester Lower Mills--Flatblack stands out as a neighborhood coffee house - 04/02/10 04:36 AM
I found out about Flatblack from Heather Collins, the owner and chief barber at Aidan's Barber Shop. Word of mouth is generally the way information flows in Dorchester Lower Mills. There is no Starbucks in Lower Mills; I am not sure one would be well-received. There is a Dunkin Donuts at the intersection where Lower Mills begins, but for me, Dunkin Donuts is where you go when you are in a hurry. Flatblack is a throwback to the time, when a discussion over a "cup of coffee" was a tried and true way to resolve differences or get to know someone (2 comments)
Realtor's Resource Blog is dedicated to furnishing current strategy and information to the Massachusetts real estate community of professionals and to out of state realtors and REO and relocation companies who need excellent representation in Massachusetts. My law firm, Topkins & Bevans, can cover the entire state of Massachusetts. I hope to use my 40 years of hands-on real estate experience to assist you and your Massachusetts Buyers and Sellers.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.