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REAL ESTATE FAQS

By: Karen Behfar



What Closing Costs Should I Expect to Pay?

Whether you are buying or selling your home, these decisions comeat a price. For both parties, you can expect to pay closing costs. These are fees and additional expenses that are involved in the real estate transaction. While both parties can negotiate these fees, typically each party has their own set of fees and expenses to cover.

Seller’s Closing Costs –The seller generally has fewer items to pay for, but their expenses are much larger than those paid for by the buyer. For most New York home sellers, they are responsible to pay for the real estate agent’s commission fees. Generally, this equals approximately two percent of the home’s purchase price.

Buyer’s Closing Costs –When New York buyers see the long list of potential closing costs that they may be responsible for, it can seem overwhelming. However, in most cases, the buyer will only pay between four and four-and-a-half per cent of the home’s purchase price in closing costs. A few of the fees and expenses that home buyers can expect to pay include the home inspection, appraisal fees, and lender fees, such as the loan origination, underwriting, and credit reports.

Should I Paint and Decorate My Rental? Is It Worth the investment?

Here is a renter’s dilemma: you know that it will be at least five to seven years before you can purchase a home. Should you spend thetime and money now to decorate and paint the apartment? Is it really worth the investment?

Before you begin to make any large changes to the cosmetics of an apartment, it is vital that you look over your lease and speak with your landlord. Many landlordsdo not allow any painting or major cosmetic changes to occur in the apartment —
even with the promise that you will change it once you move out. Additionally, read through the lease to determine the rules on making holes in the walls or using certain adhesives for posters, artwork, etc.

If you are able, and want to decorate and make your apartment feel like your own, consider the cost. Keep in mind that one gallon of paint will only cover up to 400 square feet, which is a small room. To complete a bedroom or a large living space such as a kitchen or living room, two gallons of paint will likely be needed, which can cost between $40 and $100. Additionally, you must include the cost of supplies and the value of your time. You may also need to pay this priceagain to paint the walls prior to moving out of the apartment in several years.

How Do I Choose a Real Estate Attorney?

Choosing a real estate attorney should not be a decision that is taken lightly. A real estate attorney can ensure that the entire transaction is fair, legal, and smooth. By hiring the right lawyer, you will know that no unwanted fine print has been slipped into the deal, and all decisions are in your best interest.

As you choose a real estate attorney, do ample research. Not all attorneys are right for your case. Many of these professionals have experience in other areas of the law, and you want to work with someone who understands real estate well. Additionally, don’t wait until the last minute to look for an attorney. These legal experts may be working with dozens of other clients and do not have the time or the capability to take on more cases right away.

Also, take the time to gather references and referrals on lawyers from others. Ask family and friends, and look for online reviews. Your real estate agent is another valuable source who can help you find someone who is honest, knowledgeable, and communicates well.

Once you have narrowed down your options, schedule a quick phone consultation with each attorney. At these meetings, discuss your case, learn about their own experience, and carefully go over their payment schedule. Then, you can make the best decision for your needs.