JEANNE REARDON - Attorney at Law
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What does the "on or about" closing date in my contract to purchase a home mean?
Real Estate Contract Mortgage Contingency Clause
Why a Home Buyer Needs Title Insurance
Joint Ownership of Real Property in New York
Home Mortgage Refinance

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Real Estate Law Blog

Real Estate

What does the "on or about" closing date in my contract to purchase a home mean?

The standard residential contract of sale used by attorneys in the New York Metropolitan area will often state that the closing will take place, for example, “on or about December 1, 2018.”  In New York, unlike many other states, the “Closing Date” contained in the contract, especially if the words “on or about” precede it, is a fluid date.  It is rare that a closing actually occurs on the date specified in the contract. The phrase “on or about” has been interpreted by the New York courts to mean that either side has a reasonable period beyond the “on or about” date in which to close.

Real Estate Contract Mortgage Contingency Clause

Most people obtain financing when purchasing a house, condo, or co-op.  In that case, the contract of sale will contain a mortgage contingency clause making the sale contingent upon the buyer obtaining a mortgage in a certain amount.  If the buyer's loan application is denied by the lending institution, the buyer can then cancel the contract and get the down payment back.

In order to benefit from the protections allowed by the mortgage contingency clause the buyer must strictly abide by all its terms, i.

Why a Home Buyer Needs Title Insurance

Title insurance is crucial for a home buyer because it protects you and the lender from the possibility that your seller doesn't -- or previous sellers didn't -- have free and clear ownership of the house and property and, therefore, can't rightfully transfer full ownership to you. Problems with the title can limit your use and enjoyment of the property, as well as cause you financial loss.  This is why you need title insurance.  

Your real estate attorney will arrange the process of getting you title insurance soon after your Contract of Sale is signed.

Home Mortgage Refinance

Standard Refinance

A standard refinance paying off an existing mortgage with the proceeds from a new loan.  In order to decide whether this is worthwhile, the savings in interest must be weighed against the fees associated with refinancing. Other reasons to refinance include reducing the term of a longer mortgage, or switching between an adjustable-rate and a fixed-rate mortgage.

Acash-out refinanceis taking a loan for more than you owe on your existing mortgage. Your existing mortgage is paid off from the new loan proceeds and you receive the balance of the new loan.

Will I Pay Capital Gains Taxes on the Sale of My Home

Will you pay tax on the sale of your home? Likely not, unless you have gains that are more than $250,000 or more than $500,000 for married couples.

Old Rule:
Until 1997, once you reached the age of 55, you had the one-time option of excluding up to $125,000 of gain on the sale of your home providing it was your primary residence.

New Rule:
Now, anyone, regardless of age, can excludeup to $250,000of gain or $500,000 for a married couple filing jointly on the sale of a home.

That means most people will pay no tax unless they have lived there for less than 2 out of the last 5 years