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Pay cash or place a mortgage?

Q: What are the pros and cons of buying a house for cash, and what do I need to do to protect my interest? How is the process different from buying with a mortgage? — R.

A: The settlement process is basically the same with or without a new mortgage loan.

Whether paying cash is right for you depends on your financial situation, and on what you’d do with the money if you didn’t invest it in the house. Mortgage interest rates are still attractively low. If money burns a hole in your pocket, though, it may be prudent to keep some tied up in the house.

An all-cash offer is welcomed by sellers, for it promises a trouble-free closing with no worries about the buyer obtaining a mortgage. That may be worth a concession in price.

Without the protection of a mortgage lender’s investigation, though, you want assurance that you’re receiving clear, trouble-free title, that the seller has the right to transfer the property to you, and that you won’t be taking over old financial claims along with the real estate. You might ask for a satisfactory report from a building inspector before your purchase offer would become firm.

For protection against future legal problems, simply follow the usual local closing procedures.

Looking for Investors

Q: It was with enthusiasm that I read your article from a reader about flipping homes. I am writing to see if you can give my name and cell number to that writer? Or give me his contact information? Or tell me how to research real estate investor associations in my area? — J. K.

A: Sorry, but I never put readers in touch with each other — just too much responsibility. You could call real estate brokerages. Ask to speak with an agent who specializes in working with landlords or investors. You may find contacts that way.

Lender at Fault

Q: I recently signed a contract to buy my dream condo, which was a short sale. My bank (lender) said I was approved and they were waiting for the condo questionnaire (10-day turnaround). But they did not send out the request for the document until three days before closing. I lost the house because the bank did not do their job in time. Do I have any legal recourse against the bank? — www.askedith.com

A: It could be hard to say just what you were requesting in a lawsuit. Can you claim you suffered financial damages?

You may prefer to file a complaint with your state’s department that oversees mortgage lenders.

Buy or Rent?

Q: Selling our larger home and thinking about a condo. We are in our late 70s. Would it be better to buy or rent at this time? — V. L.

A: I’m afraid I don’t know anything about your financial situation, your health, whether you plan to remain in this area indefinitely, where your kids live, whether you stay put all year round, if you’ve considered senior housing —and there are probably even more factors that might enter into the “buy or rent” decision.

So if it’s any help —there isn’t any one right way to go. Good luck!

Still Getting Notices

Q: I was divorced in 2008 after a 25-year marriage. My ex-husband and I had a rental property, of which my name was on the deed. I quitclaimed it to him as part of the divorce; however, he never filed the paperwork with the County Clerk. He now lives out of state and I keep getting notices in both our names from the city for various code violations, etc.

I have started sending the notices I receive back to the city with “NO LONGER RESIDES AT THIS ADDRESS” prominent on the envelopes, and have gone as far as taking them to city hall and still continue to receive them. I have asked him many times about this and he continues to ignore it.

What are my rights in this situation, and what would my responsibilities be? After spending many dollars on attorneys battling him over the divorce, I would prefer not to consult a lawyer again. — T.

A: It’s possible city hall just never got around to removing your name and address from their mailings. Are you sure the deed turning over your share of ownership was never entered in the county’s Public Records Office? You can research that on the Internet.

If the deed really isn’t on file, it’s time to contact the lawyer who drew up the document, and ask how to take care of the matter yourself. Sorry, but you may need legal help to prevent future problems.

Edith Lank will respond personally to any question sent to www.askedith.com, to edithlank@aol.com, or to 240 Hemingway Drive, Rochester NY 14620.


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