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Why even first-time homebuyers should consider an attorney

On Behalf of | Jun 27, 2019 | Uncategorized

You’ve paid rent for too long and have had it up to here with apartment living. After budgeting for student loans and bills, you saved up for months and are ready to buy a home or condo of your own for the first time. You’re not alone.

Young adults (ages 22-38) are increasingly purchasing homes in the Washington D.C. area, though cautiously. Most are being particularly mindful of the income-to-housing cost ratio, with the median ratio for that age bracket dropping to 15.8%. There’s nothing wrong with that – it’s smart to be frugal, especially with so many other things to spend money on. But if you’re venturing into the home-buying market for the first time, there are some good reasons to consider getting help from an attorney.

More to consider than you think

Starting the homebuying process is daunting enough, and oftentimes, there ends up being way more to it than you expected. What if there’s some language in the mortgage contract that seems questionable, or the seller mentions something about a lien? Or maybe you want to consider rental possibilities with the property.

These questions and concerns come on top of all the standard paperwork and ongoing negotiations. Having an attorney who is able to review these types of potential legal questions as they come up may provide peace of mind as you progress through the buying process.

Looking beneath the surface

Many millennial buyers are looking for a fairly priced turn-key property that won’t require extensive work. While a property may look good on the outside, there may be significant issues beneath the surface. You don’t want to buy a home and soon after discover foundation issues, dry rot, drainage problems or infestations you did not know about.

Inspections are critical, and depending on what they turn up, an attorney may be able to handle negotiating a price change to account for issues that need repairing. In addition, if a seller knew about these issues but did not disclose them, there may be a path to make a legal claim.

A smooth closing

As explained above, there is a lot to juggle when buying a home. But one step you absolutely want to get right is closing. During closing, an attorney can help verify the paperwork accurately reflects what you agreed to, and that the language is fair. They may also be able to deal with any unexpected issues that crop up, or explain items you don’t totally understand.

Considering all the moving parts, the size of the investment you’re about to make and the possibility for surprises along the way, enlisting legal help may be something you want to consider.