There’s no law that states you absolutely need a lawyer to purchase property in New York City, but that isn’t to say it’s not in your best interest. Indeed, utilizing an attorney’s services to buy a house or apartment will serve you well in more ways than one.
Unless you are an attorney yourself, or have experience with home buying, chances are you’ll need help drawing up a contract that supports you. The seller of the property will definitely have an attorney on their side. After all, they are trying to get the most money for their property, which means if their lawyer draws up the contract, you can be sure it will favor them. If you don’t have a lawyer on your side, chances are that you may not even know that it gives the seller unfair advantage. For this reason, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve chosen an experienced attorney that understands real estate contracts and will work hard to make sure the contract is fair and equal.
Save Money in the Long Run
It may sound like too much of an investment to pay for a lawyer to help you purchase a home that you know you already want, but think of it like insurance or a pre-purchase inspection – it can really only help you in the long run. A good lawyer will most likely be able to save you money in the end by making sure everything is inspected and accounted for. They will most likely look over the financial statements of the building and its owner to make sure that everything is in order. This will help you decide if the building is being taken care of properly so that you don’t sink your money into a home that will end up costing more to repair.
Understand the Laws
Along with understanding the more complicated financial aspects of the home-buying process, an attorney will also be able to understand specific laws and regulations related to the property in question. Zoning laws, construction guidelines, and other rules are often difficult to understand if you’ve never come across them before. The untrained eye may not be able to make sense of the contract wording, which could result in some unpleasant surprises in the future. For example, sellers will often include clauses that protect their interest in the future, whether that be with a protection for or against future construction or the exclusion of the use of certain areas of the property.
How to Find an Attorney
Essentially, a good attorney is an invaluable addition to your home-buying experience. When looking for an attorney, you’ll want to make sure that the one you choose is vetted by others. Ask friends, family, and associates if they have anyone you recommend. Failing that, a short search online could lead you to find a suitable attorney. You’ll want to make sure they have experience dealing with real estate in your area; online reviews can be very helpful in this case. One word of warning – try to avoid attorneys who charge a flat fee for their work with you. This will often be much higher than what you may pay elsewhere for an attorney that charges for his time and work-related specifically to your case.