Massachusetts Real Estate Lawyers
In Massachusetts, real estate law is a very broad area of law covering anything that has to do with the ownership of land and buildings.
Real estate law can apply to many various facets of a personal and professional life. It can apply to anything from the purchase of a vacant lot, to renting prime downtown office space.
Massachusetts real estate law can be very complicated, because it's really a collection of a lot of different areas of law. These areas of law include property rights, contracts, land use, and many others.
Having a good basic knowledge of Massachusetts real estate law can make a lot of transactions, such as buying a house or renting an apartment, much easier.
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Common Real Estate Issues in Massachusetts
Financing: Most people in Massachusetts probably can't afford to buy a house or a piece of land up front. Thus, most individuals and business use some form of financing to purchase real estate, normally a mortgage. A mortgage is a loan used to buy a piece of real estate, with the purchased real estate simultaneously securing the loan.
Disclosure: When a house or other building is being sold, it's possible that there will be some physical defects in the structure. Potential buyers generally have a right to know about these defects, which means that sellers have to disclose them. Generally, if the defect is one that the seller knows about, and the buyer probably couldn't discover it through a normal inspection, the seller has to disclose it. Really, though, it's a good idea for sellers to disclose every defect they know about, whether or not they believe disclosure is technically required as to a specific defect.
Warranty of Habitability: All rented residential properties have at least one basic requirement: they must actually be fit for people to live in them. While the apartments they rent aren't required to be luxurious or pretty, landlords are absolutely required to ensure that their property meets some basic standards for human habitability. This applies whether the lease mentions it or not, and cannot be waived, under any circumstances. A dwelling will usually be found to be uninhabitable if it lacks running water, electricity, heating, or protection from the elements. There are many other ways that a dwelling could be uninhabitable, however.
Zoning Laws: Before you begin any construction project, you need to make sure that it will not violate any zoning laws in Massachusetts. This is because zoning laws decide what can and can't be done on a given piece of property. They can be pretty complex, but, in general, they are designed to ensure that people who use land in different ways can co-exist as harmoniously as possible. To that end, they work to keep industrial and residential uses separate, among other things.
Do I Need a Massachusetts Real Estate Lawyer?
The issues discussed above, as well as the many others that can affect real estate, can get very convoluted. For that reason, it's probably a good idea to consult with a Massachusetts real estate lawyer before undertaking any major real estate transaction.
Massachusetts is known as "The Bay state" and was the sixth state to join the Union. The state of Massachusetts played a major role in the historical, cultural, political, and economic development of early America. The area was settled as early as the 1630's and continues to be a model of life in the U.S.
Since its early days, Massachusetts has been influential in shaping the structure and function of the U.S. government. For example, the Massachusetts State Constitution was drafted in 1780, eight years before the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. Massachusetts' Constitution is one of the oldest written constitutions still in effect in the world. Another of Massachusetts' contributions is the Mayflower Compact of 1620, which was the Pilgrim's governing document for Plymouth colony.
The Massachusetts legal system is composed of the Supreme Judicial Court at the highest level, followed by the Appeals Court, then the Superior Court Department. Beneath these courts are the District Court Department and the Boston Municipal Court Department. The state also operates a number of specific courts including the Housing, Probate & Family, and Land Courts. The Supreme Judicial Court has produced several landmark decisions that have influenced American law, such as those relating to same-sex marriage, higher education, and medical reform.
Lawyers in Massachusetts form the foundation of the state's reputation for outstanding legal services. Many Massachusetts lawyers have been involved in cases that have set the precedent for subsequent cases. Attorneys in Massachusetts handle a wide range of legal issues.