Yes, a RE attorney is key- but not the only key.
Home inspection is a must, but there are many kinds of home inspections and inspectors. I could give you a little advice on that if you'd like.
Feel free to contact me if you'd like. Thanks, and good luck,
As far as safe residential area goes, people have different criteria of what is safe enough for them. Trulia has a good info - you might want to browse through - just click on the Stats & Trends tab and you'll get to statistical data about East Boston. Play with it, compare with other neighborhoods that you already know, so you could get a feel for what these numbers mean. Have a happy house hunting!
I suppose the short answer is could you get a better return on your money elsewhere? The beauty of real estate is the leverage it provides as an investment. For example, if you were to put 20% down you would still receive appreciation on the entire value of the home. Over the long term that would be approximately 5% per year and on other people's money for the 80% you borrowed.
If you do buy cash remember that certain protections the lender builds into a purchase mortgage include an appraisal and title insurance are not automatic. You want to make sure you have addressed these issues.
Obviously there are advantages and disadvantages either way. You should check with your CPA or financial advisor to get the best answer for your situation.
The "Mortgage Professor" Jack Guttentag offers a free spread sheet that helps you compare the value of each approach. http://www.mtgprofessor.com/A%20-%20Purchasing%20a%20House/w
Hope that helps.
These answers add a little more upfront work on your part, but can save you money and grief in the long run.
My advice is to pay cash. A tax break in essence is really sending the mortgage company $1 so that you don't have to send the government $.40, that really doesn't make a lot of sense to me. If you really need a tax break you can always give your money to your church or _____ (insert your favorite non profit organization). You will also have the added benefit of having reduced financial risk and as an added kicker you will save some money on the closing.
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