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Recent Blog Posts

Avoid Common First-Time Buyer Mistakes with a Real Estate Attorney

 Posted on December 08, 2022 in Real Estate

Lake County, IL real estate attorneyInterest rates on home loans in Illinois are double what they were a year ago. This has created less competition for buyers, and many markets are seeing frequent price drops and fewer offers, giving buyers the upper hand in negotiating the best price. So maybe you are ready to take the plunge and use your savings for a down payment on your first home. If you are a first-time buyer it can be a bit nerve-wracking and overwhelming. But an experienced Illinois real estate attorney can guide you through the home-buying process and make sure that you thoroughly understand everything you sign.

Offer and Negotiation

Once you know how much you can spend, you will tour various homes until you find the right one for you. The official buying process begins when you make an offer in writing. A real estate attorney will help you draft an offer that makes sense financially and protects your rights. The seller could accept the offer, make a counteroffer, or reject the offer. But if there is an agreement, a signed offer becomes a purchase contract. A real estate attorney will review the terms of the contract to ensure they are reasonable and fair to you as the buyer. The attorney will address any issue with the seller's attorney before the sale proceeds.

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Online Money Scams Target Home Buyers: Ways a Real Estate Attorney Can Help   

 Posted on December 01, 2022 in Mortgage

Round Lake, IL real estate lawyerPurchasing a home is probably the biggest investment you will make in your life, and when you find your dream home you are probably going to be excited about locking it in with a big down payment. But online scam artists are ready to take your hard-earned money. Wire fraud is now the fastest-growing scam in the United States, up more than 1,000 percent between 2015 and 2017. If you are buying a home a skilled real estate attorney can guide you through the process and help you avoid any pitfalls.

The Scam: Fake Wiring Instructions

The FBI reports there are phishing scams to divert your down payment and closing costs into a fraudulent account. Typically, it comes across as last-minute changes to your wiring instructions. The scams are astronomically successful and translate into nearly $1 billion in real estate transaction losses.

Closing Funds

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Zombie Properties on the Rise: Two Ways to Avoid Foreclosure 

 Posted on November 11, 2022 in Foreclosure

North Chicago, IL foreclosure attorney“Zombie foreclosures” in Illinois are haunting homeowners well into the holiday season and  Illinois has the fourth overall number of zombie foreclosures in the United States. Perhaps you are facing this situation and need a real estate attorney to avoid losing your home to foreclosure. Or worse, maybe you already lost your home to foreclosure and are just finding out that outstanding debts on the property are still your responsibility. At Newland & Newland, LLP, we work tirelessly to keep you from losing your home in the first place by finding solutions to try to prevent foreclosure.

What is a Zombie Foreclosure?

Zombie foreclosures tend to stick around because the title of the house was never transferred from the original owner to the bank or the new homeowner. Some residents in Illinois are being billed for overgrown weeds and demolition costs on properties they thought they no longer owned. It is always good practice to check public records to make sure the deed is transferred to the new owner, even if you moved out of your home due to foreclosure.

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Are You Facing Foreclosure Due to Lender Errors?

 Posted on October 18, 2022 in Foreclosure

waukegan foreclosure lawyerBuying your home is probably one of the biggest investments you have made. As life would have it, things happen, and you have fallen behind on your mortgage payments. You may be in default or foreclosure proceedings are underway. You should seek out help to protect your home and your credit.

Foreclosure Spike

The foreclosure process often starts when you receive a default notice from the lender after missing three mortgage payments in a row. In just the last quarter, lenders have started the foreclosure process on 67,249 properties across the United States. That is a 167 percent jump from a year ago. A foreclosure can trigger a lower credit score and make it harder for you to get financing in the future.

For many of us, being able to buy our own home came with hard work and sacrifice. That is why there are federal regulations in place to help homeowners keep their homes. It can be a very complex process. Here are the three key phases of the process: 

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Paranormal Activity in a New Home: Illinois Law Regarding Stigmatized Houses

 Posted on October 13, 2022 in Real Estate

waukegan real estate lawyerSpooky homes and dark tales abound this time of year. But if your dream of homeownership has suddenly left you seeing ghosts, you may feel like someone played a trick on you. Selling and buying real estate can be complex, and disclosure laws can be equally perplexing. But in Illinois, it is your responsibility as the buyer to find out if the house you wish to buy has a tragic history or spirits luring inside. 

What is a Stigmatized House? 

A seller in Illinois is required to disclose any physical defects the property may have. The law does not require the seller, listing brokers, or agents to disclose anything that may cause a stigma for the property. Stigmatized homes are those that some people find undesirable because emotionally upsetting events such as murder, suicide, or sexual assault have occurred at the home. Haunted houses fall under the same stigmatized category.

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Pros and Cons of Buying a “For Sale By Owner” Home

 Posted on September 30, 2022 in Real Estate

libertyville real estate lawyerThe current real estate market is making it harder to find the perfect new home than most people are expecting. Let’s assume, however, that you found the right house, and you are ready to make an offer, but your real estate agent tells you that the home is an FSBO. You might recognize that abbreviation to mean “for sale by owner,” but do you understand the effects that a sale by the owner can have on your homebuying experience? Selling an FSBO property can be tricky, but so can buying one. Here are a few things you should know ahead of time.

Advantages of Buying an FSBO Home

A “for sale by owner” (FSBO) home is sold by the homeowner with no help from a broker or listing agent. This reduces the commission fees for the seller, thereby allowing them to pocket a larger percentage of the sale price. As a buyer, you will still be able to secure a commission for your agent, but there are a few advantages that buying an FSBO property offers you, including:

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4 Dos and Don'ts If You Are Behind on Your Mortgage and Facing Foreclosure

 Posted on September 16, 2022 in Foreclosure

libertyville real estate lawyerWhile the specifics of mortgage loans—and the associated paperwork—can be quite complicated, one thing is easy to understand: If you do not make your scheduled payments, your lender will eventually file a foreclosure action and take back your home. Just to be clear, foreclosure is the legal process that a lender uses to take possession of a property from a borrower who did not keep up with their obligations as specified in the mortgage loan agreement. Other things could cause a lender to initiate foreclosure, but the vast majority of foreclosures stem from borrowers defaulting on their payments.

The process of foreclosure can be overwhelmingly difficult for many homeowners, and it is extremely easy to make expensive mistakes under such stress. An error in the process could cost you a great deal, but if you are aware of where most people make mistakes, you can be sure to avoid them. A qualified foreclosure defense lawyer can also help.

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Could Defaulting on a Second Mortgage Lead to Foreclosure?

 Posted on August 10, 2022 in Arlington Heights Foreclosure Attorney

chicago bankruptcy lawyerSince the housing bubble burst over a decade ago, the thought of foreclosure has become a near-constant concern for homeowners across the country. Those dealing with financial struggles may be worried that late or missed mortgage payments will lead to them losing their homes. For those who have refinanced or obtained a second mortgage on their homes, things are often uncertain, especially as it pertains to what happens if they default on a second or additional mortgage. If you are in such a situation, a qualified foreclosure defense lawyer can help you understand your available options.

What You Should Know About Second Mortgages

Any loan that qualifies as a mortgage is considered a secured debt. This means the loan is secured by collateral, and in the case of a mortgage loan, the collateral is the home itself. If you default on your mortgage, the lender can foreclose on the home and take the house. This applies to the mortgage that allowed you to buy the home as well as any subsequent mortgages. It also applies to home equity loans taken out with the home as collateral.

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UPDATE: Can a Home Closing Be Completed Digitally?

 Posted on July 25, 2022 in Real Estate

Grayslake Real Estate AttorneyOriginally published: October 6, 2021 -- Updated: June 25, 2022

Last fall, we shared some of our thoughts about digital closings for residential real estate transactions and how they started to become popular during the Coronavirus pandemic. As concern about the virus slowly decreases—although it will probably never go back to pre-crisis levels—it appears that electronic real estate closings are here to stay.

The Benefits of eClosings

In most cases, originating a traditional mortgage takes roughly 30 days from the initiation of the application to closing. As more and more digital lending platforms emerge, the use of artificial intelligence and data processing allows lenders and borrowers to remove a number of manual steps from the process of fulfillment.

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Due Diligence That Must Done in a Real Estate Transaction

 Posted on June 24, 2022 in Real Estate

Il real estate lawyerInvestments in real estate can be very lucrative. However, there are a variety of concerns that will need to be addressed when purchasing real property. If a buyer will be assuming ownership of property that tenants currently occupy, they will need to be prepared to assume existing leases and understand any other contracts that are in place. Those who are planning to embark on a real estate development project will need to ensure that they have the proper construction permits and are in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. To ensure that all of these issues will be addressed correctly, it is crucial to work with an attorney who can help perform due diligence during a transaction.

Issues to Address When Performing Due Diligence

An investor can protect their financial interests by gathering all information needed to ensure that they fully understand the risks and benefits of a commercial real estate transaction. In many cases, a person will have 30 days or less to perform due diligence, so it is essential to act quickly to uncover any issues that may affect a transaction or impact an owner’s ability to receive the proper return on their investment.

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