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NYC Exoduses Due To Covid-19

Author Yuriy Moshes

As the rest of the country begins to show some signs of recovery and different cities in different parts of the country begin to open up more and more, New York City residents are flocking away from “ground zero for COVID-19”.

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New York City residents are buying property with backyards and more interior space, the types of affordable real estate that can be found in the upstate counties of New York and in New Jersey. With the cost of living being cheaper, purchasing a property in Upstate New York or New Jersey is looking better and better.

COVID-19 Is A Serious Matter

Although in June New York City just partially reopened, it pales in comparison to the rest of the cities throughout the United States. The reason for this is because the majority of all COVID-19 cases in the U.S. are based in New York, with over half centered in New York City alone. Accordingly, New York City has become a central hub for COVID-19 exposure, causing many New Yorkers to leave the city they love, looking to purchase property outside of New York City, such as in upper New York or out of state, such as New Jersey. Not only will there be a lower cost of living outside of New York City. As a result, both an experienced real estate agent and real estate attorney become key to make such a move.

People Are Leaving NYC

Where are New Yorkers moving to? As more and more New Yorkers leave the city, people are asking themselves, “What are the best places to relocate from NYC?”

Since most people still want to stay close to NYC, many people are looking to stay within New York State toward the upper counties of New York City, such as east into Long Island’s Nassau and Suffolk counties, Fairfield County, and south to Monmouth County in New Jersey.

Selling Your Home. Is It Even Feasible?

If you’re like some, you’re considering leaving New York entirely. Can you buy property in another state? The answer is most definitely. If you’re considering buying property out of state or even just buying investment property out of state, you’ll have to make sure that you retain an experienced real estate property attorney. If you plan on buying property out of state, can you hire an attorney out of state? The answer again is a resounding yes if your attorney is licensed in that state.

buying property out of state

When dealing with real estate property out of state, you must hire an attorney who practices real estate law in that state. Accordingly, if you plan on purchasing property in New Jersey, you can’t just hire an attorney from New York. You must hire a qualified New Jersey attorney who practices in real estate in New Jersey.

You may be asking yourself exactly when to hire a real estate attorney. The answer is immediately.

Why You Need A Real Estate Attorney

When buying property out of state or buying investment property out of state, you absolutely need a real estate attorney. You’ll not only need a real estate attorney to help sell your home in New York City, if you are planning on moving out of the city, but also one that will help with the purchase of your home or property out of state.

What is a real estate lawyer? A real estate attorney is an attorney that focuses
in real estate transactions. Accordingly, they are equipped to prepare and review documents relating to real estate such as purchase agreements, mortgage documents, title documents, transfer documents, leases, and explaining tax benefits.

What does a real estate attorney do? One of the key roles a real estate lawyer plays is that of document drafter and negotiator. Real estate attorneys prepare deeds for conveyance transactions, leases and rental agreements, purchase contracts and financing agreements.

When do you need a lawyer for buying a home or property? Right when you identify that you are ready to sell or buy your property. After the contract is signed, your attorney will need to do several things to prepare for a closing. First, as the buyer, you must perform your due diligence, and make sure that the property is free and clear of any encumbrances or liens on the property. Accordingly, the attorney will order a title report to see if there are any issues that the seller must resolve before a closing. These may include liens or violations against the property.

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Your attorney will work with you to provide information and documents requested by lenders in connection with your mortgage applications. Third, your attorney will calculate the amounts that you will owe at closing to the seller, the seller’s lender, and the title company, among others.

Finally, your attorney will represent you at the closing, reviewing and advising you on the documents that you are signing, such as the deed, transfer tax returns and mortgage documents, and making sure that all payments are accurately made.

When it comes to selling your New York City home, a real estate attorney is equally just as important. New York law requires you, the seller, to disclose known home defects to the buyer. Under real estate laws in NY state, you, as a New York home seller, could be found liable to a buyer for having failed to disclose certain property conditions, or defects, in the course of the sale.

Under the New York Property Condition Disclosure Act or PCDA, the seller is required to make these disclosures to the buyer or else pay a $500.00 penalty to the buyer at closing. While the PCDA requires you to complete a standardized disclosure statement and deliver it to the buyer before the buyer signs the final purchase contract, in practice, most home sellers in New York opt not to complete the statement and instead pay the credit. However, just because the seller pays the $500.00 credit instead does not mean that the seller is still not liable to the buyer for any not disclosing under the PCDA. If there is a known defect that is not disclosed by the seller, the seller may still be liable to the buyer for any loss sustained as a result of that non-disclosure.

Types of Disclosures New York Sellers Must Make

Sellers must disclose known housing defects. If the seller passed information about the property to the buyer that the seller actually knew was false, or if the seller omitted material facts about known defects, the seller may be liable to the buyer for damages; but only if the misinformation, or omitted information, was material to the buyer’s decision to purchase the property. This may include termites, rat infestation, mold, or significant damage to the floor, walls, or roof. Although the buyer may not request for such information, the seller must disclose the information.

people moving out of new york

These disclosures will be a standard form disclosure statement, required by the PCDA. They address the following areas:

  • General Information: age, ownership, utility surcharges and possession of the property
  • Environmental: whether the property is located within a flood plain, wetlands, or agricultural district, near a landfill; whether the property contains asbestos, lead pipes, or fuel storage tanks; whether a radon test has been performed on the property; or whether petroleum products or hazardous or toxic substances are known to have been spilled, leaked, or otherwise released on or from the property
  • Structural: water, fire, smoke, or insect damage and the condition of the roof, and
  • Mechanical systems and services: utilities, water source and quality, sewers, drainage, flooding.

A New York Home Seller Need Not Investigate or Hire an Inspector

Although under NY real estate law, the seller must disclose any and all known housing defects, the seller is not legally obligated to hire an investigator or home inspector. It is the duty of the buyer to hire a home inspector when they perform their due diligence in investigating the house, and it is therefore highly recommended that the buyer do so.

When it comes to the seller’s disclosure statements, the language of the disclosure statement reminds the buyer that it is not a warranty or guarantee from the seller regarding the condition of the property, and is not intended to substitute for any of the inspections, testing, or other research generally recommended to buyers.

Procedure for Completing and Delivering the Disclosure Statement

The seller’s real estate broker, agent, or sales person will provide the seller with a copy of the standardized form disclosure statement. They are also required to share this information with any non-represented buyer. In fact, if they fail to inform you, or the buyer, about the PCDA, they may also be liable for this violation.

The seller completes the disclosure statement by answering the questions and explaining any known defects in detail in the space provided on the form, or on a separate sheet of paper that you may attach. Then, the seller signs the certification located near the bottom of the last page. The seller’s signature means that their answers, and any explanations on or attached to the form, are true and complete to their actual knowledge as of that date.

The completed and signed disclosure statement should be delivered to the buyer before the buyer signs the final purchase contract. A copy of the completed form should be attached to the final, signed purchase contract.

If You Don’t Make the Required Disclosures: Risks and Penalties

According to the PDCA, if the seller does not submit the disclosure statements to the buyer, they have to pay a statutory fine of $500.00 to the buyer. Some sellers find that the disclosure statements are too cumbersome and just voluntarily pay the $500.00 in lieu of disclosure. However, the seller can still be liable to the buyer for failure to disclose pursuant to the PDCA.

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If you, the seller, are found liable to the buyer for a “willful failure to perform” the requirements of the PCDA, you may be required to pay the buyer’s actual damages caused by the defect.

Accordingly, an experienced real estate attorney would be able to guide you through all of this.

Law Office of Yuriy Moshes

At the Law Office of Yuriy Moshes, we are experienced and knowledgeable and are one of the top real estate law firms NYC, as well as in the upper counties of New York, because we keep up-to-date with the NY real estate law. We represent both buyers and sellers in the greater New York City area including all its boroughs, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island) as well as Northern New Jersey, Long Island, and Upstate New York. If you plan on leaving NYC and purchasing a home out of state due to COVID-19 or are considering purchasing an out of state investment property, you need to consult with the best real estate law firm in NYC.

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