Home prices in 20 U.S. cities dropped in the year ending in May by the most in 18 months, suggesting that the housing market continues to, Bloomberg reports. According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, values continually dropped in the country's largest cities. In New York, the rate rose slightly in May compared to April. In March, New York saw it's lowest level since Jan. 2004. State levels peaked in June 2006, according to the index. This is a difficult time for many, as their homes aren't worth the mortgages they are making monthly payments on. For others, who have disposable income and are able to purchase houses as investments, this is a great time. There are several things an experienced Great Neck attorney will do help a buyer in a residential purchase: Review and explanation of your purchase contract Assurance that there are no outstanding claims against the property Preparation of all legal documents related to the purchase Interaction with your lender to clarify or amend terms of your loan Review and confirmation of any costs for which you're responsible Assistance with title insurance Attendance at your closing to review But an attorney is also necessary for lenders who are opening lines of credit for buyers, especially during this economic downturn when there is increased scrutiny of mortgages, brokers, lenders and the real estate business in general. Review of all relevant documents Management of loan document preparation HUD-1 Settlement Statement preparation Management and disbursement of loan proceeds Appropriate disposition of executed documents A glut of foreclosure filings will keep new home prices from rising this year, experts believe. A nationwide unemployment rate hovering around 9 percent as well as shrinking home equity are also factors. "Home prices have yet to find a bottom," said John Herrmann, senior fixed-income strategist at State Street Global Markets LLC in Boston. "Buyers are incredibly cautious. They are concerned about the unemployment rate. There is uncertainty about the economic outlook." While this is an unprecedented time for many Americans, the uncertainty of the real estate market has made properly written and documented contracts so essential. With many allegations of mortgage fraud and other real estate-related scams as well as bank fraud and complaints made against lending institutions, it is critical to make sure a seasoned attorney can assist with a transaction from the start. Consumers require protection because many aren't familiar with the terms and conditions that big business uses. This opens opportunities for fraud against consumers. But at the same time, businesses, including lending institutions and real estate-related companies, must protect themselves from loopholes in written contracts in order to ensure they don't get hit with litigation in the future.
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