Northampton MA Real Estate | Carla Ness - Delap Real Estate


If you’re buying a home, most likely, you’ll want to have a real estate attorney. The attorney will serve a couple of different purposes, namely, to protect you in the purchase of a home.


Real estate attorneys provide legal advice related to the purchase of a home. An attorney’s duties include:


  • Reviewing and revising the purchase and sale agreement (referred to as the P&S)
  • Negotiating the P&S with the seller’s attorney
  • Adding riders to protect your interests
  • Ensuring you meet contingency dates
  • Helping the buyer to understand zoning laws
  • Helping the buyer to understand ownership interests


If there’s a dispute during the sales process, you’ll be quite happy to have an attorney on your side. The attorney can provide advice based on your legal rights and legal obligations under any contracts that you have signed. 


The bottom line is that your attorney will have your best interests in mind. In everything from ownership issues to disputes and how they will impact your ownership in the property, your attorney will be there to give you the most pertinent advice. There are numerous situations that can come up when it comes to buying a home. It’s impossible to anticipate them all. You don’t want to end up owning problems that you didn’t create, or were unaware of.

Coordinating With Other Attorneys


As a buyer, your attorney will coordinate with other attorneys involved in the sales process. This includes the seller’s attorney and the attorney that will be responsible for the closing on the sale of the home. Your attorney will make sure that all other parties have followed through to resolve any issues that may arise in a timely manner. Your attorney can actually become the closing attorney under certain circumstances, but they will at least be present at the closing.  


The Closing Attorney


The closing attorney is the one who is responsible for many different tasks before and during the closing on the sale of the home. These tasks include:

  • Searching the title
  • Resolving title issues
  • Issuing the title insurance
  • Obtaining the payoff amounts for any outstanding mortgages or leins
  • Ensuring taxes and any other city or town related bills have been paid
  • Preparing closing fees on the settlement statement
  • Explaining documents that will be signed at closing by both the buyer and the seller

Buyers in different states have different rights as to who they can choose as their closing attorney. In a technical sense, the closing attorney represents the lender. It’s a good idea to have your own buyer’s representation at closing. 

Attorneys have a duty to keep their clients‘ information confidential and also to keep their best interests in mind. If an attorney is representing both the buyer and the lender, you will most likely receive a form of written consent, notifying you of this matter.

There’s a lot going on legally during the purchases of a home, so be sure you get recommendations and find the right attorney who will represent you as a buyer.


If you plan to buy a house, it helps to take an honest approach to the homebuying journey. In fact, there are many reasons to remain open and honest throughout the homebuying journey, including:

1. You can set realistic expectations for the homebuying cycle.

If you're honest with yourself, you can determine exactly how much that you can spend on a residence. Then, you can tailor your home search accordingly.

Furthermore, an honest approach is ideal to ensure you can maintain realistic expectations as you pursue houses. No house is perfect, but an honest homebuyer will realize this before he or she embarks on a home search. As a result, this homebuyer may be better equipped than others to discover a terrific house that matches his or her expectations.

2. You can resist the temptation to spend beyond your means.

Oftentimes, it helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you enter the housing market. If you pursue houses with a mortgage in hand, you can establish a price range for your home search, thereby reducing the risk of spending too much on a house.

When it comes to getting a mortgage, you'll need to be honest with prospective lenders. These financial institutions will perform their due diligence to ensure you are qualified to receive a mortgage. And if you are dishonest with lenders, you are unlikely to get the mortgage you need to acquire your ideal house.

3. You can speed up the homebuying journey.

The homebuying journey may prove to be a long, drawn-out process if you're not careful. Fortunately, with an honest approach to buying a house, you can limit the risk of encountering time-consuming homebuying hurdles.

For example, if you are honest with yourself about where you want to live, you can refine your home search to particular cities or towns. This will enable you to keep track of available houses in certain areas, resulting in a fast, efficient home search.

The aforementioned list highlights some of the key reasons to be honest with yourself and others as you pursue a house. Of course, if you need extra assistance as you search for your dream home, you may want to hire a real estate agent too.

A real estate agent is a homebuying expert who will be direct and forthright with you throughout the homebuying journey. As such, a real estate agent can help you take the guesswork out of purchasing a house.

Usually, a real estate agent will meet with you and learn about your homebuying criteria. This housing market professional then can tailor a home search to help you identify your dream residence. And if you have any homebuying questions, a real estate agent can respond to these queries immediately.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will provide honest, unbiased recommendations as you proceed along the homebuying journey. This housing market professional will simplify the homebuying process, ensuring you can acquire a top-notch house that you can enjoy for years to come.


Buying a home should be a quick, simple process. However, the homebuying cycle sometimes proves to be a hassle, particularly for those who are shopping for a house for the first time.

Lucky for you, there are many quick, easy ways to become a smart homebuyer – here are three tips to ensure you can make informed decisions throughout the homebuying journey.

1. Check Out a Broad Array of Houses

Purchasing a home can be a fun, exciting journey, especially if you explore a wide range of residences.

Remember, the more residences you check out, the more likely it becomes that you'll find one that matches or exceeds your expectations.

When you review houses, be sure to analyze each property's interior and exterior closely. That way, you can identify any problem areas and determine whether these issues are potential deal-breakers.

Also, don't hesitate to check out the same house multiple times. It never hurts to take a second look at a house. And if you find that you enjoy a home after a second walk-through, you may be ready to submit an offer on this residence.

2. Set a Homebuying Budget

Before you make an offer on a house, it is important to consider exactly what you can afford. By doing so, you can avoid the temptation to overspend in the hopes of acquiring your dream house.

Many homebuyers get pre-approved for a mortgage – something that may prove to be exceedingly valuable.

With pre-approval for a mortgage, a homebuyer will know exactly how much money he or she can spend on a home. This will enable a homebuyer to enter the housing market with a budget in hand and map out his or her home search accordingly.

Furthermore, consider your monthly expenses prior to submitting a home offer. Electricity and assorted utility expenses can add up quickly, so you'll want to account for these costs. And if you want cable and internet services at your new home, you'll want to evaluate these potential expenses as well.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a housing market professional, and as such, will help you simplify the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you to understand your homebuying needs. He or she then will help you develop a homebuying strategy, one that ensures you can purchase your ideal house at a budget-friendly price.

With a real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble acquiring a wonderful residence. This housing market professional will set up home showings, keep you up to date about new property listings and negotiate with home sellers on your behalf. As a result, a real estate agent will guarantee you can get the best results possible throughout the home selling journey.

Don't leave anything to chance as you kick off your home search. Instead, use the aforementioned tips, and you can become a smart home shopper in no time at all.


Many factors come into play when determining whether you can afford to buy a house. Since the monthly rent for an apartment is often close to what a mortgage payment would be, you can't help but wonder if your rent money would be better spent building equity in your own home.

While this is often the case, first-time home buyers often underestimate or overlook expenses that accompany home ownership. Although a mortgage broker or bank loan officer can help you calculate the maximum mortgage you can afford, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you weigh your options.

  • Create a detailed budget. By taking the time to figure out how your income stacks up to your monthly expenses, you can get a clearer picture of your financial situation. If you have a good credit score, a positive monthly cash flow, and enough funds to pay closing costs and a down payment, then home ownership may be a viable option. (Your credit score, which you can obtain once a year for free from the three main credit reporting companies, will have a major impact on both your interest rate and your monthly mortgage payments.)
  • Factor in other expenses: Figuring out your current budget is relatively easy, but predicting your future budget as a homeowner can be a lot more challenging. A big part of the equation will depend on the amount of property taxes and school taxes that will be tacked on to your mortgage costs. A real estate agent can provide you with those figures, as well as other information you need to calculate how affordable it would be to live in a particular house. They have access to a wide range of relevant information, such as utility expenses, water bills, and homeowner association fees (if there are any). Since property taxes sometimes cover the cost of services like garbage and yard waste collection, you may not have to factor in those items into your projected budget. Your real estate agent can help you come up with a rough estimate of home maintenance costs -- especially if they're familiar with the history of the home you're considering buying. As the process moves forward, a property inspector can provide you with more details about the condition of the home and whether any costly repairs are likely to be needed soon.
  • Home maintenance and furnishing costs: Other possible expenses to consider when estimating the cost of home ownership include yard maintenance, landscaping, HVAC service calls, electrician services, plumbing repairs, and homeowners' insurance. If you're a first-time home owner, there's also a good chance you'll need to buy some furniture to fill out those additional rooms!
  • Buying your first home definitely takes a lot of planning, budgeting, and research, but the rewards of owning your own home will more than justify the effort!

    Put a mortgage down payment of 20% or more toward the purchase of a new home and you could lower your monthly loan installments by at least $100. A sizable down payment could also position you as a smart risk to lenders. If you're mortgage is approved, you could yield another reward, less interest to pay over the life of your loan. But, how do you get there, especially when you consider your other financial responsibilities, expenses like student loans, credit card bills and insurance. Fortunately, there are actions that you can take to start building money to put toward a down payment on a new home. Make a Decision and Stick To It Decide how much you want to save for your mortgage down payment. Give yourself enough time to build your savings. For example, if you want to put $10,000 toward your down payment, consider giving yourself two to three years to reach your goal. If you're downsizing, money from the sale of your current home could go toward the down payment on your new home. There are online budget templates that you can use to track your current spending. It’s also good to get in the habit of reviewing your monthly bank statement. Not only can this alert you to erroneous charges on your account, it can open your eyes to how much money you could be saving. If you’re still living with your parents, take an honest look at your spending habits. How much money do you spend on restaurant food, clothes, shoes, concert tickets and other entertainment? At first glance, you might think that you only spend $100 a month on entertainment, when you could actually be spending $250 a month. Let your parents know that you're putting money away for a mortgage down payment. They might lower your rent to help you save. Should you be living on your own, consider taking in a roommate to split your rent. Use the other half of the money that you formerly put toward your rent to save for your mortgage down payment. Other ways to save a mortgage down payment are: • Work a part-time job and deposit those earnings into an interest bearing account. Use your skills to telecommute. For example, you could work as a web page designer, computer programmer, freelance writer, virtual instructor or virtual assistant from home. • Put job bonuses and other incentive pay toward your down payment. • Deposit tax refunds in your interest bearing account. • Combine insurance plans and place the savings in your interest bearing account. • Take advantage of cable, telephone and internet service provider discounts, placing the savings toward your down payment. • Rent out a portion of your home and put the rent toward a down payment on a new home. • Use coupons when grocery shopping. Go to the grocery store on double coupon days and you could save $30 or more a week. • Limit unnecessary spending until you reach your mortgage down payment goal. • Set your thermostat to 65. During summer months, get outdoors to avoid keeping the air conditioner on for hours at a time. During winter months, consider using a sweater. • Sell furniture that you are not using. For example, you could hold a yard sale and deposit proceeds from the yard sale in your savings account. • Until you reach your mortgage down payment goal, consider taking day trips rather than vacationing overseas or on long out-of-town stays that require you to take on airline, hotel and rental car expenses. Stick to your plan. Doing so, could yield you thousands of dollars in savings during house buying negotiations and over the lifetime of your mortgage. Sticking to your savings plan could also strengthen your money management skills, so that you avoid debt and continue to build equity long after you move into your new home.



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