What Is a Dry Closing?

A dry closing is the final step in the home-buying process, during which the buyers and sellers sign the official paperwork and the home’s title changes hands. This term is used to contrast with a wet closing, during which the home’s keys are also handed over to the new owners. What is the difference between … Read more

Homeowners Association (HOA) Fee.

A homeowners association fee is a monthly or annual fee that is charged to owners of homes or condos in certain developments in order to fund the costs of maintaining common areas, such as landscaping, pools, and other amenities. The fee is typically paid to the HOA, which is a nonprofit organization that is responsible … Read more

What Is an Affidavit of Title?

An affidavit of title is a written statement that is used to prove ownership of a piece of property. The affidavit is usually prepared by a lawyer or Notary Public, and it must be signed by the person who is making the claim of ownership. The affidavit must also be witnessed by at least two … Read more

Contributory Value.

Contributory value is the portion of a property’s value that is attributable to the improvements made by the owner. The contributory value of a property is used to determine the owner’s equity in the property, as well as the amount of any potential loss in the event of a sale. The contributory value may also … Read more

Right of Redemption Definition.

The right of redemption is the legal right of a homeowner to reclaim their home from foreclosure. This right is typically only available during the pre-foreclosure period, and allows the homeowner to redeem the property by paying the outstanding mortgage balance in full. Once the foreclosure process has begun, the right of redemption is typically … Read more

What Is a Squatter?

A squatter is an individual who unlawfully occupies an abandoned or unoccupied area of land or property that they do not own, rent, or otherwise have permission to use. Squatting is often used as a form of protest to draw attention to the plight of the homeless or to call for political or social change. … Read more

What Is Adverse Possession?

Adverse possession occurs when a person who does not have legal title to a piece of property—usually land—gains legal ownership of it by possessing it for a period of time set by state law. The person must have actual, visible, exclusive, and continuous possession of the property for the required time period, and their use … Read more

What Is Joint Tenancy?

Joint tenancy is a form of co-ownership of property whereby each joint tenant has an undivided interest in the property and equal rights to possession of the property. Joint tenants are generally required to have acquired their interests in the property at the same time and by the same conveyance. Upon the death of a … Read more

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Condominium Fees.

Weighing the pros and cons of condominium fees is an important step for anyone considering purchasing a condominium unit. There are many factors to consider when making this decision, and each person’s situation is unique. However, there are some general pros and cons of condominium fees that can be helpful to keep in mind. One … Read more

Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan (HASP).

The Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan (HASP) was announced by the Obama administration on February 18, 2009. The plan is designed to help up to 7 to 9 million homeowners who are struggling to make their mortgage payments, but who may not qualify for traditional refinancing because their home values have declined. Under HASP, eligible … Read more