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Doing Business By Referral--I take a slightly different approach - 07/31/10 08:25 AM
I have been a member of several networking groups duting my career. I also networked way before the term netwroking was in vogue. I have reasonably complete records as to where my business comes from. Alsmost 80% of my business comes on a referral basis. But ulnlike some of the posts I have seen on Activerain lately, I rarely, if ever, actually ask for a referral. That is to say, I agree with the recent post where the writer says that it starts to gnaw onpeople if you are constantly asking them to refer business to you. I get most of (5 comments)
Rain Camp Boston--An experience where half a loaf was still worthwhile - 07/26/10 03:20 PM
As probably the only Massachusetts real estate attorney in attendance at today's RainCamp, I had no idea what to expect from the day. In my case, regrettably, it was only a half a day, because a deal which I thought was all wrapped up started to uncoil at about 10:30 AM, and I am back in my office trying to save it. The three hours spent with Ben Kinney went by in a flash. Ben has a inner calmness that veils his sharp intellect and great sense of humor. He really spelled out what it is that we need to do (4 comments)
Dealing with Lenders on Modifications and Short Sales--All the people helping the Borrowers in Trouble Have "Compassion"; the Lenders could care less - 07/25/10 05:29 PM
I was struck by Gary's post earlier today about showing sensitivity and "compassion" for people who own homes and are behind in their mortgages. Many of them don't even know how they got there. You let one payment slide, and think you'll catch up next month. Then, your unemployment benefits run out or your child gets sick or your car needs repair. Whatever the reason, people fall behind, and there is really no catching up. When they start to think of the home as an asset, and realize that the principal amount of the mortgage grealty exceeds the value of the (3 comments)
Deeds by Power of Attorney--Much Ado about virtually nothing - 07/23/10 06:53 AM
In Massachusetts, where I have been practicing real estate law for mor than 40 years, durable Powers of Attorney are an important estate and financial planning tool. No one really knows what will happen to him or her tomorrow, and it there is someone in your life whom you trust, you give that person the ability to carry on with your affairs if you are no longer ale. The operative word here is "durable". In legal parlance, that means having efficacy even after you no longer have the ability to perform simple acts like writing your name or even putting simple (9 comments)
Hyper-Localism (Boston)--Best Pastry in the North End for those of you attending RainCamp on July 26 - 07/22/10 09:53 AM
Those ActiveRain members who are coming to the RainCamp on July 26, 2010 may intend to visit Boston's historic North End for lunch or dinner. My experience as a person who has lived in the Boston area for almost fifty years will encourage you to make this foray. There are historical sites like the North Church and Paul Revere's home. There are also some terrific Italian restaurants, literally next store to each other, which offer authentic Italian cuisine, from the very simple to the most elegant. There are also Italian bakeries, which are famous in, and of, themselves. As you stroll (2 comments)
The Rate Game---Lower rates don't always mean better results - 07/21/10 06:07 PM
I recently got involved with representing an elderly Seller with property in the fashionable Beacon Hill section of Boston. At the urging of her grown-up children, she decided to sell the Condominium Unit which she used as a pied-de-terre on her frequent visits to Boston. The properly showed nicely, and we received several Offers. We accepted the deal which offered the lowest loan to value mortgage contingency. That was where the problems began. The Buyer, a medical professional who fancied himself quite a real estate expert, started to shop for mortgages. This property was not going to be his principal residence, at (4 comments)
Lawyers at Open Houses--The Lawyer's Point of View - 07/19/10 12:22 AM
I have to be extremely factual here. From June 15 through Labor Day, I turn down offers to sit with a Realtor,or a Loan Officer, at Sunday afternoon Open Houses. That period of time has traditonally been when I play weekend golf, and I will generally chooses a round of golf with family or friends over the Open House every time. No so, the rest of the year. I like attending Open Houses and I have found ways to make myself useful when I do. Whether I am present at the request of a Realtor or a Loan Officer, I believe (4 comments)
The Massachusetts Real Estate Tontine--The Power of Three (or Maybe, Four) - 07/17/10 05:43 PM
People purchasing homes are normally at a high level of stress. After an often laborious journey through many homes displayed by a willing Buyer Agent, the final decision has been made and an Offer to Purchase accepted. As all of you know, this is certainly not the end of the process, but the Buyer may sometimes experience what I call "purchase fatigue" at this stage or, shortly thereafter. What seems to be working for me, and hopefully the other members of my three-sided Tontine group, is a support package which helps the Buyer get to the closing table and purchase the home (2 comments)
Loss Leaders--Predictable Outcomes Can Make Doing the Right Thing a Gateway to More and Better Business Opportunities s - 07/17/10 02:57 AM
As many of you are aware, this is a time when Borrowers behind in their mortgages need help in dealing with Lenders, of all shapes and sizes, in developing solutions. A lot of people think that if they only can get their mortgage modified, their problems will be solved. There are procedures for obtaining this type of relief, and I have worked with many Borrowers to sort through the maze of Lender procedures to obtain a modification. For some Borrowers, the modification means reaching the goal line, and their financial problems can be put behind them. For many others, the modification is (1 comments)
Seller Financing--Perhaps a viable way to get through the maze of new Fannie/Freddie underwriting standards - 07/14/10 06:00 PM
So this is the situation. My seller client is 81 years old and wants to sell her Condominium Unit in Boston, which she used from time to time when she was visiting her children and grandchildren. The Buyer is a professional from suburban Boston, who sees the Unit as an ideal place to use, initally, as a rental property and subsequently live in when he and his wife move to the city. He is prepared to put down a 35% cash contribution. The mortgage he is seeking is comparatively small. His credit is excellent Sound like a done deal, no? Well, (6 comments)
Your Short Sale Offer to Purchase---The More You Put In; the Better Your Chances of Success - 07/13/10 06:51 PM
I learned from my parents that raising kids was one of the few exercises in your life where the more you put into your parenting, the better your kids turned out. The more quality time you spent with your kids, the better would be the chances that your kids would achieve your ultimate goals of a decent self image and the ability to take care of themselves. As I work more and more with Lenders on getting short sales approved (and yes, I am having more than a modicum of success these days on this effort), I become more convinced that (2 comments)
Do you need a Closing Agent for a Massachusetts Purchase or Refinance?--Please consider Topkins & Bevans - 07/12/10 06:01 PM
Most of you know by now that Massachusetts, where I practice real estate law, is not a typical state in almost any aspect of real estate practice. Lawyers are still very much involved in the process, and in my posts and comment, I have tried to demonstrate to each of you that I am not only competent to handle a real estate closing, but that my firm will walk the extra mile in any real estate transaction where we are fortunate enough to be selected as "closing agent". It matters not whether the transaction is a purchase or a refinance. It (0 comments)
Why do I Participate So Actively on ActiveRain?--It really depends on when you ask me, because it is an ever-changing story - 07/10/10 06:34 PM
I got involved in ActiveRain in February, 2009. I had just started my very own Wordpress blog, and i was disappointed that people from all over the world were not commenting on my posts and asking me questions and, in a word, making my new blog something special. The plain fact was that my blog, while neat and focused, was not much different from thousands of others, and it was not catching on. So, I guess you could say that I joined AR out of desperation. I didn't know what to expect; I really didn't know who I was writing for. (60 comments)
The Making of a Short Sale--Lender Excesses Which Are Never Properly Examined - 07/09/10 07:19 PM
As many of you know,one of my sub-specialties has become representing Borrowers behind in their mortgages in their dealings with Lenders. Normally, what I do is have my clients sign an authorization which permits me to gather information and negotiate. It is something that I did not anticipate doing with as much regularity as I experiencing today, but I do get satisfaction when I am able to define my client's situation with the Lender and develop a short sale scenario which works for both sides. Today, I interviewed a client who is three months behind in his mortgage, and will not (2 comments)
Do You Believe in Magic?---An old song that continues to resonate in my mind even today - 07/08/10 08:40 PM
The Lovin' Spoonful, now that was a group!! When I was in college and law school, they were as hot as any singing group around. They were right up there with the Byrds, and the Beach Boys, and all the singing sensations that shaped our lives so lobg ago. Once in a while when things aren't going so well, and there is a matter that I wished I had handled differently, or a roadd I should have taken, the words to the song come back to "Believe in the magic of a young girs's soul, believe in the magic of rock (7 comments)
Qualified Personal Residence Trusts--A great way to keep your family home or family vacation home in the family - 07/08/10 05:36 AM
My father had a great expression "Every golf shot pleases somebody" Of course, this will not apply if you are playing alone, but golf is a social sport, so people rarely play alone. Obviously, what the expression means is that from negatives we can also get positives. The current slumbering real estate market may, in fact, be a blessing for people whose homes, or vacation homes, have declined in value. If there is truth in the statement that real estate is extremely cyclical, we may have reason to believe that there will be a rebound in prices in the not too (2 comments)
Are all Banks the Same? While one would think so, my experience has been otherwise, and it is distressing - 07/07/10 07:31 PM
In Massachusetts, where I prectice real estate law, Bank of America has a big lead on all the other banks. The successor, by merger and acquisition, to Shawmur Bank, Bank of Boston and Fleet Bank would seem to lead the way in terms of numbers of accounts. they aggressively advertise; their kiosks are everywhere. The sad truth, at least from my perspective, is that Bank of America, is a predator bank. What do I mean by this, you ask. Bank of America is the only bank I know which releases funds which are deposited with them on the basis of antiquated, (1 comments)
A Stager's Advice to Realtors - 07/07/10 06:29 PM
Patsy really has her eye on the ball here. I think all of you should take to heart the things she is saying. Stagin can make a big difference. Via Patsy Overton (Stage, Show & SELL Home Staging Co. Atlanta, Georgia): A Stager's Advice to Realtors Lately I've been on the agent circuit, having done recent home staging presentations for local Keller Williams, Re/Max and Prudential GA Realty offices. On the third presentation I realized that there are several key points that I always emphasize when I have the chance. I'd like to share them with you. Here they are: Never lose sight (1 comments)
Massachusetts Tenancies By the Entirety--Great Protection both while you are alive and when you journey to the hereafter - 07/06/10 10:53 PM
A woman called me today because of my association with ActiveRain, where she had seen one of my posts on the different types of tenancies available for joint ownership. At first, her query confused me. She told me that she was in a second marriage and had recently bought a home with her husband, also in his second marriage. Both of the prior spouses had passed away. She informed me that she had adult children who were financially independent, but her husband had one daughter who was not in strong financial shape and who did not approve of her father's marriage (2 comments)
Massachusetts Limited Liability Company as an Owner of Your Investment Property--Another Way to Teach an Old Dog New Tricks - 07/04/10 04:12 PM
In an age of litigation hastened by the generally weaker real estate market and high levels of unemployment, that rental property or properties you own may expose you, the investor, to added risk. Suppose there is an unexpected catastrophe which your liability insurance, even with umbrella coverage, does not fully insure. Suppose you engage a contractor to do work on your premises, and there is a dispute as to whether the work was done correctly. There are a myriad number of events which can impact your equity in the real estate you have invested in. That is why I suggest each (0 comments)
Local Tradition- 4th of July--Boston Style---Every Year the Extravaganza Get Larger - 07/03/10 03:27 PM
I came to Boston in 1961 from a small town in New Jersey. to attend Harvard College. I stayed on to attend Law School at Harvard and decided to settle down in Boston in 1968, after i had passed the Massachusetts Bar and completed my military basic training. When I first attended the 4th of July Celebration on the Esplanade on the Charles River, the Boston Pops played a relatively brief selection, followed by by a rousing rendition of Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" and some fireworks. If a person did not go to Cape Cod or New Hampshire, he or she could (14 comments)
NMLS - Loan Officer Look Up Service - 07/02/10 03:38 PM
This could be a significant breakthrough for professionals and consumers alike. In Massachusetts, there is compulsory licensing. When it went into effect, approxinmaltely 80% of mortgage brokers "left the building"
Via TED CANTO- Ten Day Close Guarantee (Academy Mortgage www.tendayclose.com): NMLS - Loan Officer Look Up Service Do you know your Loan Officer? I mean do you really know your Loan Officer? Has he/ she have any pending litigation? Have committed fraud or have scammed anyone? Better or worse, are they licensed? You may or may not know but the Federal requirement to become licensed under the NMLS (The Nationwide Mortgage (2 comments)
Family Tenancy In Common Agreements--A Great Tool for People Who Should Have No Reason to Fight With Each Other - 07/02/10 01:13 PM
Recently, I was involved in a cash transaction where a single mother and her brother purchased a Condominium Unit for the mother's son to live in. The beautiful one bedroom Unit is in the Back Bay section of Boston, a location whose values have held up amazingly well in the downturn our region has been experiencing. For real estate and US income tax purposes, I urged the Buyers to include the son, age 20, as a small percentage owner of the Unit. This will permit the Unit to receive favorable treatment for real estate tax purposes, because the Unit will be (2 comments)
Lender Foolishness--Maybe the Madness Will Soon be Over, but you need to hear this one - 07/01/10 06:38 PM
I am really at my wit's end with the latest round of foolishness I have encountered with a Lender. I am reaching out to anyone in our entire nation who can explain what I just experienced. This is the situation. My client's children (young, successful adults and parents) recently got relocated to Texas from Massachusetts. They own an investment property in Boston, which is fully rented. They are current in their mortgage and have adequate means to support the mortgage payments even if they experienced vacancies. The properly is probably worth about 85% of the mortgage balance, but this is a (50 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.