There are a lot of headlines about the Valley housing market. NPR “Here and Now” host Steve Goldstein explores the topic with experts, including Real Estate Attorney Robert Nagle, along with The Arizona Republic‘s real estate reporter Catherine Reagor, and Realtor John Wake. They discuss what they’re looking for in the recovering market and what buyers and sellers should be wary of. Click below to listen to the interview.
If you are considering buying a home next year be aware that the federal government has issued new mortgage lending rules. These rules, introduced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) last week, essentially protect borrowers from many of the abusive lending practices that were rampant before the housing crisis, such as high upfront fees and interest-only payments.
“When consumers sit down at the closing table, they shouldn’t be set up to fail with mortgages they can’t afford,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Our Ability-to-Repay rule protects borrowers from the kinds of risky lending practices that resulted in so many families losing their homes. This common-sense rule ensures responsible borrowers get responsible loans.”
Arizona homeowners should be on the lookout for a mailing that appears to be a legal document, but may be a ploy against mortgage consumers, says Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne. His office issued a consumer warning this week about a scam targeting Valley homeowners by mail.
The mailing comes in an envelope that appears to be an official legal or government document, but there is no company name or return address on the envelope or the letter itself. A call to the toll-free number in the letter reveals the company as Fresh Start, based in New York.
In this video blog, Nagle Law Group founder and managing partner Robert Nagle discusses the risks of signing standard real estate forms; if you are buying or selling a home in Phoenix, you need to have an attorney review prior to signing anything. Check out the video for more information
Most homeowners looking to put their property on the market secure the services of a real estate broker, whom they entrust to handle the complex process of selling a home. Whether you are buying or selling, finding a trustworthy agent is a good first step in dealing with real estate matters, but you also need to contact a real estate attorney to review all of the details of the transaction. Why? Because brokers and agents are not experts in real estate law; in fact, they are prohibited from giving you any legal or tax advice. Language contained in the standard forms used by all real estate brokers in Arizona, such as the listing agreement, explicitly state that you acknowledge they are not providing legal advice and you will retain your own legal counsel. Unfortunately, most people do not involve an attorney when it comes to residential real estate transactions in Arizona – they do not realize the unnecessary risks they are taking on.
I was impressed by the flat rate fee for dealing with my issue. Then I was blown away by the customer service – a direct conversation with a named partner (not some clerk) and consistent follow up on the issue via email. I’ve worked with a few attorneys in the past in this is the first time I’ve come away without cursing the whole profession. — Richard L.