Categories for Real Estate

Homebuyer Beware—of Ghosts! How to Avoid Purchasing a House of Horrors

October 5, 2018 1:39 pm Published by

Boo! It’s already October, and Halloween looms. My family loves the spooky holiday, ghost stories and horror films. Recently we watched a few frightening flicks with a common theme: An unsuspecting family moves into an old, “charming” house. They are blissfully unaware of its violent past. Because of the horror that occurred there, the property is haunted, usually by angry poltergeists. And the locals know all about it.

My favorites in this genre include The Amityville Horror, The Disappointments Room, and two seasons of American Horror Story. But how could that could happen in real life? Wouldn’t the seller be legally obligated to disclose the presence of unwanted guests who walk ...

Protect Your Nest This Spring: File a Declaration of Homestead

May 4, 2017 2:20 pm Published by

One step that you can take to protect the equity in your primary residence is to file a Declaration of Homestead. A Homestead Declaration protects your home against certain creditors who might use attachment, seizure, execution on judgment, levy, or sale to collect various debts. The protection is not universal, however. Homestead will not shelter you from “exempted debts” such as mortgages, tax liens, “nursing home” liens, spousal and child support obligations, and certain other court-ordered liens.

There are two levels of protection under the Massachusetts Homestead Act. One, in the amount of $125,000, is automatic. The other, a “declared” homestead, in the amount of $500,000, requires a bit of effort.

Only One Primary Residence Allowed ...

Deadline for 2017 Real Estate Tax Abatement Applications Is February 1

January 25, 2017 10:28 am Published by

Property owners: Don’t miss the filing deadline for your real estate Tax Abatement Application. If you believe that your real estate valuation and tax bills are too high, you must file an Abatement Application with your city or town on or before the last day for payment of the first installment of the tax bill due as shown on the “Actual” (as opposed to the “Preliminary”) tax bill.

For Worcester properties, the Fiscal Year 2017 Actual tax bills were mailed on January 1, 2017, and the payment is due February 1, 2017. You must file your Abatement Application on or before Wednesday, February 1. You must pay your real estate taxes on time to be ...