Real Estate Law

Residential Real Estate Law

The Law Office of Harold F. Moody, Jr., P.C. provides professional legal services in real estate transactions and other residential property-related matters including:

  • HouseClosings – A large part of our firm’s practice involves the representation of local and national Lenders (banks and mortgage companies) for the closing of Massachusetts purchase or refinance loan transactions. We are title agents for Stewart Title Guaranty Company and can close your loans quickly and professionally.
  • Buyer’s and Seller’s Representation – Our office can provide buyer and seller representation during the entire real estate purchase process including the negotiation and drafting of the Purchase and Sale Agreement. We ensure that you avoid the pitfalls that an uninformed buyer or seller could encounter by not being represented properly. Among the damages one can face by not meeting the terms of a Purchase and Sale Agreement are the forfeiture of a deposit (which is generally significant), the loss of a home or condominium, as well as the time and monetary damages that come from years of real estate litigation. Our representation includes handling all the legal details of the transaction (drafting, reviewing and/or negotiating offers, purchase and sale agreements, title documents (such as deeds) and closing documents. We also handle all communications with the other parties attorney to allow the client to concentrate on buying (or selling) the property. We can represent out of state Massachusetts property owners by power of attorney to provide the convenience many out of state owner’s desire. Put our expertise to your advantage as a Buyer or Seller.
  • House2Drafting Legal Documents (including clearing clouds on title). Our office has extensive experience drafting and reviewing legal documents relating to residential real property. Call us today to discuss the potential benefits a Realty Trust may afford you as a property owner or to discuss the transfer of the property by Deed to another (adding a spouse or child? to title). We can also assist with the reservation of a life estate for an aging property owner looking to minimize exposure to Medicaid liens.
  • Title Issues – Our office can direct you and assist you with any title issue your property may have. We have years of experience representing several title insurance companies resolve title issues which we can put to work for you. Whether it is a boundary dispute, an issue regarding an easement or right of way, a non-discharged lien or any other “cloud” to your title we have the experience to address the matter promptly and effectively on your behalf.
  • Residential Leases – Our office can draft, negotiate and/or review a residential lease on behalf of the Landlord or the Tenant. Don’t be caught unaware of your responsibilities or obligations without the proper representation.

Contact the Law Office of Harold F. Moody, Jr., P.C. for all your real estate needs.

Recent Posts

A Declaration of Homestead can provide protection for a multi-use property – Appeals Court upholds lower court decision.

Back in April of this year Attorney Christopher Knoth posted a blog reporting on a Bankruptcy court decision where the Homestead protections pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 188 were found to be available to a mixed-use property.  Last week the Bankruptcy Appeals Court confirmed that decision making several noteworthy points.

The Court specifically noted that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court had admonished (in a topic related decision) that the intended public policy and the purpose of the Homestead Act should cause courts to construe the homestead exemptions liberally in favor of debtors.  Consequently the Court held that the mere use of a residence for non-residential purposes, at least when the predominant purpose is residential, does not, by itself, preclude an exemption for the Property.

Although counsel for the appellant argued that any non-residential use of a structure would exempt it from the protections of the Homestead statute (citing that the statute itself specifically defined the properties which could enjoy the protection) the Court firmly rejected that argument (invoking our presently undefeated local professional football franchise to illustrate): “If a homeowner in Foxborough were to rent out her driveway to Patriots fans on Gillette Stadium game-days . . . it defies intuition to think she no longer lives in a single-family dwelling.”

It is still important to note that the Court did not mandate a hard and fast rule but rather indicated that evaluations (to determine a property’s “primary” use) would ultimately be made on a “case by case” basis.

This case provides another clear demonstration that a Declaration of Homestead can be an invaluable protection for Massachusetts homeowners.  The current Homestead statute even allows its filing for a property held in Trust.  Additionally, the Massachusetts Homestead Law increases (doubles) protection amounts for the disabled as well as for homeowners 62 years of age or older.

Contact our office to make sure you have recorded a Declaration of Homestead for your principal residence in Massachusetts!

Attorney Harold F. Moody, Jr.

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