A home purchase is where a consumer buys a residential home that is listed on the market. The sale can be the result of:
- The owner of the home selling the property
- A sale overseen by the bank due to foreclosure
- A sale conducted by the court (judicial sale)
In most cases, home purchases are subject to both real estate and contract laws. This is because home purchases tend to be major transactions involving the exchange of large amounts of money and valuable property. As such, home purchases usually need to be finalized in writing.
As mentioned, home purchases need to be finalized into a written purchase contract. In addition to this legal requirement, some other legal issues to consider include:
- Mortgage loan laws- each jurisdiction may have specific provisions regarding which types of mortgages are acceptable
- Title searches– in some instances, it may be recommendable to conduct a title search on the property, in order to clarify the history of the previous ownership
- Fraud/scams- you should beware of fraudulent home sales and various scams related to home purchases. You should only deal with licensed professionals, and you should avoid any offers that seem too good to be true
- Tax debt- you may want to conduct some research to determine whether there is any outstanding tax debt on the property, or whether you yourself may have outstanding amounts owed.
Lastly, home purchase laws can vary from state to state. You should be aware of this, especially if you will be purchasing a home in a different state from where you live.
The remedies in a home purchase lawsuit may vary depending on the cause of action. In some cases, a monetary damages award will suffice, which serves to reimburse the victim for losses caused by negligence or intentional conduct. In other cases, the court may issue a lien on the property, or they may even issue a judicial sale (for instance, if the house has been foreclosed).
Home purchases laws can often be complicated, and may undergo several revisions over time. It’s in your best interests to hire a real estate lawyer if you need assistance with any home purchase transactions. Your lawyer will be able to perform several tasks such as drafting or reviewing documents, assisting you during negotiations, and representing you during a lawsuit. Also, your attorney can keep you informed of any adjustments to the home purchase laws in your area.