Over the years, we have all heard stories about people who sign papers who think they are making the best decision to purchase a home. Or, people who think they are signing papers to purchase a home only to find they have been mislead.
In the former case the homeowner realizes a few years into the mortgage they have an interest only loan, a balloon, an adjustable rate that skyrockets, or a prepayment penalty (which is a disaster when you try to refinance or sell). The latter finds they did not actually purchase a home. Instead, they are simply renting with all the responsibilities as if they were buying the home because they signed papers for a “land contract” or “contract for deed”.
The only only time you should do a real estate transaction without an attorney is never!! The fine print can only be understood by an attorney. And, the other party always has an attorney. Even the builder has an attorney for new homes being built. If you need to save money and not have an attorney for your real estate transaction, you are surely mistaken. Real estate contracts can last a lifetime (up to 30-40 years) and destroy your credit, your life, and could cause you to be homeless. This is not the time to be frugal. If you feel you should not spend a few hundred dollars for a real estate attorney to review your documents, then perhaps you should not buy the property!!
Case in point is a story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on July 8, 2017 that details the Texas-based Harbour Portfolio and associate companies targeted Black communities in Atlanta, Cincinnati and other cities across the nation. Read more about how they mislead unsuspecting people into thinking they were buying homes in the article titled “Federal lawsuit claims Texas Firm preyed on Atlanta residents” on pages A11 and A12 at: