Articles filed under Lank, Edith

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  • Letters often scream ‘Go see an attorney, now’ Dec 7, 2013 12:00 AM
    I try to say “see a lawyer” not more than once per column. But recent mail is full of questions from people who need just that advice, so to start clearing out a backlog, here’s a sample of what came in this week:

  • How to make real estate contract binding Nov 30, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. This is written in response to the letter .asking how to make a purchase contract “more binding.” One simple method is to require more deposit money at the time of acceptance. This money would be tied up and not so easy to walk away from if the buyer does not close.

  • More concerns over reverse mortgages Nov 23, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. My dad has a reverse mortgage. It had a cap of $150,000. The tax-assessed value on his house is $224,140 but I know it wouldn’t sell for that, since it needs major updating. I’ve read several Internet articles that state that heirs of reverse mortgage owners cannot be liable for any amount not covered in the sale of the house. But is that in fact true?

  • Mortgage deal between siblings is part of an estate Nov 16, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. I lent my sister the money for her house. I had the mortgage recorded. My question is: In the event of my death, how can I make sure she keeps up the payments of her agreement?

  • Costs of refinancing help determine if it is a wise move Nov 9, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. I agree that it is a good idea to refinance. But I think you left out a couple of things in your response. The costs of refinancing, in a recent letter I got, were over $4,000. Besides, at the beginning of a new loan payments are almost all interest and very little comes off the principal.

  • Worried about reverse mortgage Nov 2, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. My husband and I needed medical help years ago and applied for a reverse mortgage. I did not want it, but there was no place to turn. Now I am a widow 70-plus years of age and worry about leaving my family members with complications from the financial charges listed on the mortgage report I am enclosing. You can see that the debt is mounting up and soon the bank will own my home.

  • With real estate sales, it’s not over until it’s over Oct 19, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. It seems like the newest scam is that the buyer walks away from the purchase of a house just before the closing, leaving the seller high and dry. Is there any way to make the purchase offer more binding?

  • What to ask when looking for a broker Oct 12, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. We are thinking about selling our cottage and meeting with a real estate agent soon. What questions should we ask? Should we interview more than one?

  • On homes and real estate: Full-price offer accepted, then voided Oct 5, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. Recently we put a purchase offer in on a house that was listed for $289,000. We offered the full price. The seller signed the purchase offer the same day. Three days later the seller’s lawyer voided our purchase offer. How often does this happen and is this sort of dealing legal?

  • In many cases, an appraisal before listing is unnecessary Sep 21, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. Our development has townhouses and patio homes. Some have added porches. My question: Is it wise to have a bank appraisal before putting one’s home on the market?

  • Streamline for underwater mortgage Sep 14, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. We are feeling trapped by our underwater mortgage. It’s at 6.5 percent, and we can’t refinance for a lower rate because we owe a little more than the house is worth. We have good jobs, good credit and some cash for closing costs. Is there any way we can take advantage of the low rates before they start going up?

  • Old vacant lot is not worth agent’s time Sep 7, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. In 1972, my parents bought a vacant lot in Florida for $1,000. They hoped to build and retire there. They’ve both passed away, and they did not have wills. The property is not worth that much, and I never legally had it put in my name.

  • What is a Lady Bird Deed? Aug 30, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. I’m an official resident of Florida now. My neighbor is also a widow and her attorney recently set her up with something called a “Lady Bird Deed” to ease the transfer of her house upon her death. Can you please explain its use/validity?

  • With jointly owned property, does majority rule? Aug 17, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. Two of my cousins and I own a house. I want to sell and so does one of my cousins. The other one wants to keep it. So what happens? Does majority rule?

  • Accepting an offer by phone doesn’t actually count Aug 10, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q: My wife and I made an offer on a home. Our real estate agent texted my wife about a phone call from the owner’s real estate agent saying the owner accepted our offer, and they would send the paperwork the following day. Two days passed with no paperwork.

  • Holding a mortgage can be safe under certain conditions Aug 3, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. I have owned a two-family rental home for over 30 years. It has been paid for long ago and has been a nice source of income. I have decided to sell this property. I have not listed it yet. I have someone who is interested in buying the property. This person wants me to hold the paper on it.

  • Mortgage interest isn’t pre-paid Jul 26, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q.We had a 30-year loan for the mortgage of our house and we paid off the mortgage in full 16 years early. We thought we would receive not only the escrow money back but we would receive the remaining interest money back. This would have been the interest we would have paid for the 16 years remaining of the loan because we had been paying interest each month as part of our payments. But we received only the escrow money. We are wondering why.

  • Fee paid to real estate brokers varies by region Jul 20, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. I would like to know what the commission rate is for sellers?

  • On homes and real estate: Buyer and seller should hire a lawyer Jul 13, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. My tenant has been renting from me for 18 years. He has received some money and wants to buy the house. It will be a cash deal. What have we got to do now to formalize this sale? I know probably a lawyer will be needed. There will be no inspection because he knows the house. Where do we start?

  • What to do when the mortgage is paid off Jul 6, 2013 12:00 AM
    Q. Years ago my uncle lent me the money to buy our house, and we have finally paid off the mortgage. You mention how important it is to have a satisfaction certificate filed in the public records to clear the debt. How do we get that?

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