For most people buying a home is one of the most expense purchases they’ll ever make. Buying a new home is also one of the most exciting experiences you’ll ever have, but it can also be one of the most stressful. Knowing a few things about the process helps you make a wise investment and ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.
- Seller Disclosure
According to New York Law Real Property Law Section 462, sellers must provide buyers with a disclosure form. This means you’ll be aware of any issues with a home before you write an offer. The disclosure form must include:
- Conditions that are of concern in the home (such as asbestos or termite damage)
- Material defects in the electrical system or anything else
- Rules of the homeowners’ association if applicable
- Other details pertinent to owning the property, such as shared spaces
There are additional Title X disclosures required for homes built before 1978.
Newly built homes and cooperatives are exempt from state disclosure rules, but all other homes for sale must provide potential buyers with information or credit the buyer with $500 at closing.
- Buyer Inspection
The seller disclosure is valuable for helping you make a smart home buying decision, but it’s not the only tool available to help you evaluate a home. Most buyers hire a home inspector to verify the information provided in the disclosure and to inspect the home for additional issues.
Home inspectors evaluate issues related to a home’s structural and foundational integrity, all of the home’s major systems, and a variety of other factors. Offers to buy are usually contingent on a satisfactory inspection, which means an offer can be withdrawn if an inspection turns up a problem or the price negotiated based on conditions discovered during an inspection.
- Purchase Agreements
A purchase agreement is a legally binding document that includes the terms and conditions of a home purchase. It must be signed by both the seller and the buyer and include:
- Description of the property
- Offer to purchase
- Acceptance of the offer
- Sale price
- Down payment
- Other financial terms
- Designation of party responsible for paying settlement and closing costs
- Title Search and Title Insurance
A title search is an essential part of a new home purchase. In New York, the buyer is responsible for obtaining a search from the title company, which includes public records and sources of liens, easements, or other encumbrances or restrictions that affect the home. It’s within a buyer’s rights to request any problems be corrected by the seller as a condition of closing.
Title insurance is available to protect the title from adverse claims by third parties. Usually, mortgage lenders require title insurance as a stipulation for approval for a mortgage.
- Legal Support for Buying a Home in New York State
Because of the amount of money involved and the importance to you and your family in buying a home, you should always have an attorney representing you. An attorney assists with mortgage documents, reviews the title report and ensures issues are resolved prior to closing, prepares closing documents, and calculates the money owed to whom at the closing. Should any problems arise, your attorney will advocate for you to ensure that you receive all the benefits/obligations required by your contract.
If you would like more information on buying a home in New York State or you need to hire an attorney with expertise in home buying, contact the Law Offices of Elan Wurtzel by calling 516. 822.7866.