Stamford Real Estate Attorneys

Fall can often bring a breath of fresh air for the real estate market. The Connecticut real estate market saw a slight increase in single-family home sales for the month of July. According to a September report released by the Warren Group, this small spike marked the fifth time in 2014 that single-family home sales increased year-over-year. In July, a total of 3,152 homes were sold in Connecticut, which was the highest total for any month since June of 2010.

However, as the numbers rolled in for August fewer people in Connecticut and across the United States bought homes, as investors started to back away and first-time homebuyers remained on the fence. The Connecticut Association of Realtors' September report showed that the sales of existing homes dropped 7.4 percent in August from the same time last year. Additionally, the median sale price for a home in Connecticut fell 4 percent from $281,000 to $270,000. The Connecticut Association of Realtors imputes this drop to both the time of year and the limited inventory available at certain price levels. In Connecticut, first-time homebuyers have been driving home sales this year.

According to the National Association of Realtors, across the country home sales have dropped 5.3 percent in August from year-to-year. But, even with these numbers in mind, a recent report from the Redfin Research Center says that a surge in home sales is expected to occur in September and October.

Redfin reports they continue to see strong buyer demand as we head into the fall market. The buyer weariness from competing in bidding wars, multiple offer situations, and tight inventory is beginning to wear off. Additionally, the report says that buyers will be more energized about house hunting this fall and the widespread increase in price drops is likely to give buyers even more confidence as they continue to regain some of their negotiating power lost to investors last year.

Two other factors can potentially encourage a fall market surge this year. First, mortgage rates continue to remain low for the year. Second, the selling season started late this year. Many buyers and sellers across the country took their time due to several factors including: the slowing economy, low inventory, spike in mortgage rates and the increase in 2013 home prices. Redfin says the carryover supply and demand from earlier this year can pave the way for a fall selling season that has the potential to be stronger than any other.

Benefits of Buying a Home During the Fall Real Estate Market

There are a few advantages the fall real estate market has to offer to homebuyers:

Year-End Tax Breaks - When shopping for a home in September and October, there are year-end tax breaks for homebuyers to consider. For example, both mortgage interest and property taxes are deductible from your gross income.

Less Competition - Since the fall real estate market isn't as popular of a time to move as the spring, buyers face less competition and are often able to make decisions at a more leisurely pace. This also means buyers can have more negotiating power when making an offer, without the competition, which can in turn lead to a better deal.

Wide Selection of Homes - At the height of the spring real estate market, homes can go contingent and be taken off the market just days after they are listed. This quick turn-around in market status can mean that buyers are left with fewer options when they are ready to make an offer. During the fall market, there is typically a larger inventory of homes to choose from, which increases a buyer's chances of finding and actually landing their ideal home.

Great Weather Conditions for Moving - Autumn can be a very enjoyable time to venture outdoors. Whether buyers are spending the day house hunting or making the actual move, fall's mild temperatures set the stage for favorable weather conditions. Also, by moving in the fall, buyers can be settled into their new home before the busy holiday season arrives.

Real Estate Fundamentals

When you purchase a home there are different methods of holding title to real estate. Sole ownership is one such method, whether as a single or legally divorced person, or as a married individual holding title under the classification of separate property. A second method of holding title to real estate is that of co-ownership. Here, the marriage context comes to mind, with spouses each holding legal title to real estate. Third, besides individuals, business entities such as corporations, partnerships, and limited liability corporations may hold legal title to real estate.

A mortgage involves the transfer of an interest in real property as security for a debt, whether in the form of a loan or other obligation. This transfer is one of the most common ways of financing a purchase of real estate. Because real property is so expensive, most individuals cannot pay the entire purchase price upfront. Faced with this reality, prospective property owners turn to banks for loans. The banks, in turn, condition loans on the transfer of a security interest in the real property to be financed by the loan to ensure a means of recovering any balance of the loan still owed upon on a failure to make agreed upon payments. The specific nature of the security interest determines the type of mortgage. Common types include title mortgages, lien mortgages, and deeds of trust. A less standard form of mortgage is a home equity line of credit (HELOC). Whereas standard mortgages allow borrowers to access a lump sum to finance a single purchase, a HELOC is like a line of credit that can be accessed for a period of years before a transition is made to a period of repayment.

Connecticut Divorce and Home Ownership

If you and your spouse already own a house together and are going through a divorce, a decision must be made regarding what to do with the house post-divorce. A house is often seen as more than an asset as you have probably worked hard into making your house a home. It can be a difficult choice to give that up during the divorce process.

When a Connecticut couple is faced with divorce, there are important questions to answer regarding real estate property. The property will first need to be valued and then divided at the time of divorce or in the future. How these assets are divided in a divorce can often times be a complex matter, and requires qualified consultation from an experienced attorney.

For divorcing co-owners of property, there are also important tax implications to be aware of. These include the division of tax liabilities tied to a mortgage in conjunction with a property settlement, child support payments, and spousal support (sometimes still referred to as alimony). Some divorcing spouses choose to re-title a property after arriving at a settlement. However, in some cases, re-titling is not be possible until loans used to finance the property are paid in full.

The experienced Fairfield County divorce lawyers at Prince Law Group, LLC have the knowledge and expertise to assist clients with difficult Connecticut real estate questions. Some real estate questions that will need to be considered during the Connecticut divorce process include:

  • Is the property considered a marital asset?
  • How is the property mortgaged?
  • Who holds title to the property?
  • Do any other individuals have ownership interest in the real estate property?
  • Is the real estate owned as primary residence, an investment, or as part of a business or corporation?

If you need assistance with handling your Connecticut real estate matters, contact Prince Law Group, LLC today. Our Stamford real estate valuation lawyers have the experience and resources to effectively handle your real estate division. Call 203-977-3700 or fill out the online contact form to set up an initial consultation.

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