Since this question appeared in Oakland CA --- presumably you're interested in the Montclair Area of Oakland CA and not Montclair in NJ?
Using an attorney for your real estate transaction can be a personal choice. However, where we are in Montclair (Oakland) and for most of the Bay area, the majority of transactions are done using title companies and their very capable escrow officers. Of course, one should prepare to review a ton of disclosures for one's own protection, and to also prepare to negotiate on complying with local ordinances such as testing/replacing sewer lateral line which can be a high-ticket expense.
Whom you will need is a realtor to help you find a suitable home, guide you through writing a strong offer to compete in this seller's market, explain the various disclosures and compliance with local ordinances, and who will keep helping you if your offer is not selected this time, or the next.
Montclair is such a desirable part of Oakland that the demand is extremely high for properties which don't stay long on the market. And most listings receive multiple offers at over list price.
As for vibe..(!) it isn't cool like Temescal or edgy like NOBE, less wild west back to nature than some of the way up in the hills Montclair spots. Perhaps a combination of Montclair relaxed retreat with touches of Glenview urban and a hint of exclusive Piedmont influence?!... more