4 Key Legal Aspects of Buying Your First Residential Property


Buying your first home can be both exciting and unnerving at the same time—with the anticipation of owning a house often comes the anxiety of dealing with reams of paperwork and legal considerations.

From arranging finance to ensuring that you’re getting a fair deal and complying with local regulations, the home-buying process is also a great learning experience. Here are four crucial aspects of buying a home that you should know in detail.

Get your mortgage pre approved

If you have a pre approved home loan, it becomes way easier to convince a seller to consider your offer, as it tells them that you have the funds to buy the property.

Unlike what many home buyers tend to believe, the mortgage pre approval process is not all that complicated. You need to choose a trusted lending institution, apply for pre approval by furnishing your personal details and income proof. They will run a credit check to know if you qualify for a loan. Once the paperwork is complete, they will issue a letter stating the amount of loan pre approved as well as the time period for which the approval is valid.

Do remember that preapproval does not mean that you’ll definitely get the loan—you’ll need to furnish more documents and satisfy certain conditions when the time comes.

Crafting a foolproof purchase offer

First-time home buyers are often not familiar with the complexities of real estate documentation, which is why it is important that you have access to legal expertise for such matters. Find an experienced and professional real estate lawyer you can trust with giving you sound advice. You can find a good property law attorney at Coover Law Firm by searching online.

Once you’ve found the home you want to buy, prepare the purchase offer document in consultation with your real estate agent and an attorney who specializes in such matter. A purchase offer is actually a purchase contract being presented to the seller so that they can review and sign it if they’re happy with the offer. It is a complex document and having a legal expert review it can save you both time and money later.

It is true that your agent would likely use a standard purchase offer form, but you may still want your attorney to go through it to ensure that your legal rights are protected.

Contingency provisions in your purchase contract

Contingencies are provisions in your contract that must be fulfilled in order for a real estate transaction to be finalized. Take the help of an experienced attorney to build contingency clauses in your contract—the seller may do it as well. This helps in safeguarding the interests of both parties and also allows either to abandon the transaction in case a condition is not met.

Examples of such provisions include the sale of the buyer’s present home, successful title search that does not identify any liens on the title of the property in question, an independent home inspection, and so forth.

A contingency can work in your favor, but it also has a flip side. For instance, the condition that you’ll finalize a contingent offer only if you’re able to sell your current house may prompt the seller to look for other potential buyers who don’t need to place such a clause in the contract. So add contingencies after seeking expert counsel from a qualified real estate expert.

Title Search

The lending company generally arranges for a title insurance provider to conduct a title search, which means researching the public records to know if the property you want to buy has any pending debt or other issues relating to right of access or claim of ownership. For instance, a title search will reveal if the current owner took out a loan against the property or if they owe any money for renovation or repairs (mechanic’s lien).

In addition, a title search will also reveal any prohibitions on remodeling the exteriors of the property, easements given to gas, phone or electric (utility) companies to enter the premises for service and maintenance, and so forth.

Some real estate law firms offer the whole gamut of services to real estate buyers and sellers, including title search. It is an important part of the home-buying process as it protects your right to ownership of the property.

Whichever agency prepares your title search report, do have it reviewed by your attorney to ensure that there are no legal complications associated with the transfer of ownership.


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