Real Estate Attorney Daniel J. Byrnes is Licensed in NY and NJ, Serving Staten Island For Over 10 Years

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Home Buyer’s Check List

1. Pre-purchase considerations
2. Home Inspection
3. Purchase contract
4. Cancellation Rights
5. Title Examination
6. Closing Documents
7. Closing Costs

real estate attorney

Who Is Daniel J. Byrnes?

Daniel J. Byrnes, Esq. is licensed to practice law in New York and New Jersey. He is working as a Staten Island real estate attorney for over 10 years now.  Mr. Byrnes is a native Staten Islander, who proudly serves his clients which are members of the community in which he lives. Mr. Byrnes is an alumni of St. Joseph by the Sea, St. John’s University, and is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School.

Affiliations and Memberships

  • Sergeants Benevolent Association – Delegate
  • Holy Name Society
  • Richmond County Bar Association
  • Former member of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association

This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship. I will be more than happy to assist on any real estate attorney help you need. Give us a call today.

What Should You Know About Buying a Home?

What Should You Know About Buying a Home and What a real estate attorney can help you withHome ownership can provide you with many benefits: secure shelter, a long-term investment and tax advantages. However, a home is also a major financial commitment. There are ways to avoid costly mistakes that can strain your budget and your patience. This pamphlet contains tips to help you avoid problems when buying a home.

A home is the largest single investment of most Americans. So the first question is: can you afford the home you want to buy. At the time of your home purchase, when the legal title is transferred to you, you will have to pay the price for the home and closing costs. Usually the bulk of the purchase price is paid with mortgage loan. Afterward, you will need to budget for insurance premiums, maintenance, monthly loan payments, property taxes, utility bills, and repairs. To avoid surprises, examine the seller’s bills to get an idea of the monthly expenses for the home. Also check the age and condition of appliances, plumbing, roof, structures and wiring since they might need repair after your purchase.

A lawyer can help you through the home buying process by preparing or reviewing the purchase contract, advising you about financing and title insurance, answering your legal and tax questions, and arranging for the documents necessary to complete the purchase. When you first visit a lawyer, you can ask for an estimate of legal fees and closing costs.

You should consult a lawyer before you sign a contract to buy a home. Although a printed form may be used for the purchase contract, your lawyer can make changes that protect you. For example, a change in the form may give you the right to cancel the purchase (and get a refund of your deposit) if you obtain unsatisfactory inspection report.

You may want a real estate agent to help you find and evaluate your potential home. Many real estate agents participate in multiple listing services that enable them to quickly identify homes that might be suitable. Also, an agent can help you complete the steps involved in a home purchase. For example, a real estate agent may help you obtain necessary documents. Sometimes the agent represents the seller and the interest of the agent is concluding the sale. The purchase contract an agent prepares may not be as favorable to you as one prepared by your lawyer.
In some states, you may need to sign a binder and submit it to the seller to start the home buying process. A binder can be an agreement to sign a purchase contract itself. In other states, the first document you sign is a purchase contract that contains purchase price. Purchase contracts are called a variety of names, including deposit agreements, earnest money contracts purchase agreements, and receipts. You should not sign a binder or purchase contract unless it protects your rights. A lawyer can prepare the document or review a printed form agreement that you receive from your real estate agent.
Most purchase contracts provide for a cash deposit to show the seller that the buyer is serious. It should contain details about who will hold the deposit and how it will be applied. If you don’t go through with buying the home, you may lose the deposit. Your lawyer can advise you about the circumstances that affect your rights to the deposit.
Any conditions that must be met before you complete a home purchase should be stated in your purchase contract. For example, many buyers make their home purchase contingent upon obtaining a satisfactory report from a home inspector. Before you sign a purchase contract, your lawyer can make sure it contains provisions allowing you to cancel the purchase and get your deposit back if your conditions are not met.
The “closing” of a purchase usually completes the purchase and takes place at a meeting in the office of an attorney, escrow agent, lender, or title insurance company. At the closing, the buyer, seller, and lender sign a deed and mortgage, pay the purchase price and exchange documents. At this time, the buyer may also receive a title insurance policy, a statement of closing charges, and the keys to the house. Your lawyer usually attends the closing to assure that the documents and computation of closing costs are correct.
Closing costs are commonly range from 4 to 6 percent of the price of a home. The costs are payable at the closing and include appraisal fees, attorney fees, lender fees, prorations (insurance, taxes, and other items), recording fees (for deed and mortgage), survey fees, title examination fees, title insurance premiums and transfer taxes. Your lawyer can tell you what to expect in closing costs and which tax deductible. If you obtain FHA, VA or other federally related financing, your lender must provide you with an estimate of its charges before the closing.
Before closing, many home buyers hire a professional inspector to examine the structure, plumbing, wiring, appliances, heating and other systems for defects or needed repairs. Be sure that the purchase contract gives you the right to cancel the purchase if defects or deficiencies are not corrected by the seller before closing.
You receive “title” to your home when the seller gives you a deed at the closing. The title may be limited by easements or building restrictions that affect your use of the home. Easements may give utilities or government authorities the right to use a part of your land for electrical lines, gas lines, sewers or drainage. Before closing, your lawyer can conduct a title search and advise you of any limitations that may interfere with your use of the home or affect its resale value. This title search also will tell you if the seller truly owns the property and is capable of selling it to you. Be sure to obtain an up-to-date survey of the property before completing your home purchase. The survey may disclose encroachments that do not appear in a title search.
Title insurance protects you against the financial loss you may suffer if there are encumbrances, easements or title defects that were not revealed in a survey or title search. The cost of title insurance is usually paid at closing. Your lender will probably require that you buy title insurance to protect its mortgage interest in the home. You may be able to save money if you purchase owner’s title insurance when you buy title insurance for your lender. Other savings may be available if the seller gas a title insurance policy.
Your home can be a valuable investment and provide years of enjoyment. You can protect yourself against expensive mistakes if you proceed carefully before signing a purchase contract and closing the sale. If you are considering buying a home, ask your lawyer to handle your purchase contract and advise you about any pitfalls.
Real Estate Attorney in Staten Island

A will avoids costs and complications for your heirs when you die. Besides providing instructions about the disposition of your property—like your home, car, investments and jewelry—your will can provide instructions for selection of an executor for your estate, and appointment of a guardian for your children. Without a will, your property will be distributed according to state law and a court may select an administrator for your estate and a guardian for your minor children. I can help you prepare a valid will that ensures your wishes and intentions are carried out while reducing the time and expense of handling your estate.

If you die without a will

If you leave no will, you will have given up your right to decide who inherits your property. Your property will be distributed according to state law, which might be quite different from your preferences. And without a will, you can’t disinherit heirs. If you leave no will, you also lose the opportunity to select a Guardian for any minor children and an executor for your estate. Court-appointed administrators and guardians may not be the family member or friend that you would have chosen to handle your affairs.

Dying without a will can be costly and may complicate the transfer of your property to your heirs. For example, the estate may have to pay bond premiums if there is no will stating that you don’t require executors and guardians to post a bond. In addition, estate administration proceedings without a will may delay transfer of property to your heirs.

I have a will. Do I need a lawyer to make changes?

You may need to change your will if you move to a new state, marry, divorce, have a child, acquire substantial property, or suffer the loss of a loved one. Tax law changes may also require a will update. Read your will at least once a year to consider changes. You can make the changes by writing a new will or by preparing an amendment to an existing will called a codicil. A new will is best if there are many changes. A codicil may be appropriate for a small change, but it must be made with the same formalities as a new will. Crossing out or writing inserts onto your will might make the entire will invalid.

Appointing an Executor

You should appoint an executor in your will. An executor locates heirs, lists property, pays debts, and distributes property to your heirs. A relative or friend can serve as your executor, but you should consider using a professional executor (such as a bank or trust company) if you have a large or complicated estate. An executor should be someone who is familiar with managing property, financial matters, and record-keeping. Before naming an executor, confirm that the person is willing to serve. Your lawyer can help you select the best executor. Your will can state that the executor is not required to furnish a bond, thus saving your estate this expense.

Appointing a Guardian

If you have children under 18 years old at your death, you should appoint a guardian in your will. Otherwise, if you and your spouse die at the same time, without such appointment, a court will select a guardian to care for your children and manage their inheritance until they become adults. You can create a trust to control the property transferred to your children. A trust is useful if you are concerned that the children may lack the maturity to handle their inheritance after age 18.

Living Wills

Today’s advanced medical technology may result in your facing the possibility of being subjected to various invasive medical procedures, particularly life support systems, which may serve no purpose other than to prolong the process of dying. But each of us has the right to state his or her wishes in this regard, now, while our faculties are still in command and when our judgment will not be challenged.

A Living Will is a legal document in which you, as an adult who is now competent, can state your wishes regarding your future health care. It is used by those persons who want to express their feelings about the withholding or the withdrawing of life-sustaining treatment that prolongs the process of dying. Many persons want to make clear their objection to unwanted medical measures in advance; others wish to state that they favor measures to have all available kinds of life-sustaining treatment administered.

The Living Will is intended to anticipate the situation wherein you might be in an incurable or an irreversible mental or physical condition, with no reasonable expectation of recovery. Your instructions are usually intended to apply if you are in any of the following states:

  • in a terminal condition;
  • permanent unconsciousness (persistent vegetative state) or
  • Conscious but with irreversible brain damage and will never regain the ability to make decisions and/or express your wishes.

The Living Will can also be used to provide for any expression whatsoever of your wishes as to health care and treatment. A Living Will is sometimes called an Advance Directive for Health Care, or a Health Care Declaration.

Health Care Proxy

What is a Health Care Proxy?

A Health Care Proxy is a document which allows you, a competent adult, to appoint another person as “ agent” to make decisions for you regarding your health care in the event you lose your decision making capability or the ability to understand and appreciate the nature and consequences of health care decisions. The Proxy can be general and apply to all medical decisions, or it can impose limitations and spell out specific instructions.

When does a Health Care Proxy become effective?

A health care proxy is activated only upon a determination by the principal’s attending physician, that the principal has sustained loss of his or her capacity to make such health care decisions. The health care agent cannot act under the proxy until a doctor has made a determination.

Can your health care agent make all medical decisions for your when authorized to act?

YES. Your agent can make decisions in accordance with your wishes, including your religious and moral beliefs, if known to your agent, or, if your agent does not know your views, in accordance with your best interest. However, in regard to the administration of artificial feeding (nutrition and hydration) your agent must have specific knowledge of your wishes, otherwise the agent alas no authority to make decisions regarding these procedures.

Should you execute both a Living Will and a Health Care Proxy?

YES. The Living Will is your own expression of your attitudes and wishes about your health care. This instrument is especially important if you do not have a person to appoint as your Health Care Proxy, or if the person you have appointed is not available. The Health Care Proxy is important because it names your selection of the person who is to make decisions on your behalf I you cannot do so. You will want to have your health care agent communicate the view expressed in the Living Will to your physician to be sure the physician understands your wishes.

In New York State, the Health Care Proxy is statutorily recognized. By specifically providing in the Health Care Proxy statute that a person can specify his or her own wishes in a separate document, it appears that the New York legislation invites persons to also write a Living Will.

This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship.

Closing Costs for Residential Real Estate Purchases and Sales

Closing Costs for Residential Real Estate Purchases and Sales

Although most of us have heard the phrase “closing costs,” we do not always understand why they can amount to $10,000 or more. Even after receiving a Good Faith Estimate from a mortgage lender, it is not always clear where the money is going. Closing costs are comprised of bank charges, which are paid to the bank, and title charges which are paid to the title company. Besides varying greatly some are discretionary, meaning the lender or title company can waive them.

Title Charges

The premium is based on the purchase price of the house and the amount of the mortgage. These fees are controlled by statute and do not vary between companies.
The title company charges for their searches of the building department, highway department, tax report, bankruptcy court, Patriot Act, etc.
It costs approximately $300 to record the deed and mortgage at the county clerk’s office. Mortgage Tax: All purchasers pay mortgage tax to the state. This is 3/4 of a percent of the amount you borrow. New York City charges an additional 1.255% mortgage tax, as do some other municipalities.
It is customary to pay an appearance fee to the title company representative at the closing. Since this is technically a gratuity, it is not required. But keep in mind that title closers perform a vital function and provide many services that make a closing proceed quickly and smoothly.
Most lenders require purchasers to have a survey of the property. If a seller has a survey to pass along, an update usually costs approximately $125. If a new survey is necessary, fees vary based on the size and shape of the lot and are between $600 and $750.

Seller’s Costs

While the industry standard is 6%, since Foxton’s came along it is now possible to negotiate a lower fee.
This must be paid off at closing. We will assist you in obtaining a “pay off letter” from your lender. The mortgage is paid from the sums the purchaser pays you.
You will pay about $125 to record the satisfaction of the existing mortgage at the county clerk’s office. This cancels the loan. The title closer charges a “pick up fee” for seeing to it that the mortgage payoff gets to the lender and that the satisfaction is recorded. This fee ranges from $150 to $250.
While all New York sellers pay a transfer tax to the state of $4 per thousand dollars of selling price, New York City sellers pay an additional 1%. Other municipalities may charge their own transfer tax.

Bank Charges

One point is equal to 1% of the loan amount. When you pay points you are buying down the interest rate of your loan. If you are short on cash, you might elect not to pay points and pay a slightly higher interest rate. If you have sufficient cash, you may want to pay points to obtain a lower interest rate. You usually have a choice, although borrowers with poor credit may not have this flexibility.
Banks require an appraisal of the house before they’ll agree to make the loan. Fees range from $350 to $600.
These are various discretionary lender charges which basically amount to the bank passing along its overhead costs to you. They are usually in the range of $1,000 or more.
These are small charges that, respectively, provide for your tax bills to go directly to the lender, certify whether or not the house is in a flood zone, and advise a lender as to your creditworthiness.
You pay the fee of the bank’s attorney to prepare the loan documents and attend the closing. Usually ranges from $500 to $1,000.00. In the “piggyback” loan arrangements (80% first mortgage and 10% credit line); an additional fee may be charged by the attorney for the second loan.
Since lenders want their payments on the first of a month, at closing you pay interest on your mortgage from the date of the closing to the end of that month. Thereafter your first mortgage payment is not due until one full month later. Per-diem interest is computed by multiplying the loan amount times the interest rate and dividing by 365 days, then multiplying times the number of days left in the month you close.
Most lenders require that they pay your real estate taxes and homeowner’s insurance. Although you will be required to purchase a homeowner’s policy for a one year period before we can schedule your closing, we pay several months worth of premium to the bank at closing to start the escrow fund. The same is true for real estate taxes, and the amount needed to start the escrow fund depends on the amount of the taxes and when the next tax payment is due.
This is an insurance coverage for loans exceeding 80% of the appraised value of the home, which insures the lender against the borrower’s default. Your lender will advise as to this amount. It is sometimes prepaid at closing, and sometimes paid out over the life of the loan until the outstanding balance on the loan is less than 80%.

Over 7000 clients! Let’s hear what they say

We love our clients and are fully dedicated to keeping their trust by offering the One on One personal attention their need!

Dan helped me through buying my home. Dan and his staff were easy to work with and returned all my calls promptly. I highly recommend using Dan Byrnes for your home closing.
Bret Moleta
I purchased a condo an 11 year old condo in South Beach and Dan explained the entire contract to me in regular terms. Even after closing, when I was preparing a letter to Wintrust outlining what the loan processor had put us through, Dan took interest in the communication and followed up when we received a reply (and compensation) from Wintrust. He repeatedly went above and beyond typical “flat rate” service. I’d work with him again in a heartbeat.
Ben Parker
I knew I was in good hands. Daniel J. Byrnes made me feel like family. His top concern was for me to calm down and told me there is no reason to panic. He put to solution in front of me, Dan just knew exactly what to do and he explained it to me. I was actually surprised about how quickly he figured it out.
Max Wielen
My family and I have worked with Daniel Byrnes on two different real estate deals and have had nothing short of an excellent experience. He is incredibly clear, concise, and supportive all-the-while ensuring that all of our questions were answered throughout the entire process. I highly recommend Daniel to anyone looking for buying or selling a home in the Staten Island Area.
Frank Abraham
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Staten Island Real Estate Lawyer

Daniel J. Byrnes is licensed to practice law in New York and New Jersey.
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At the law offices of Daniel J. Byrnes, we stress quality over quantity.

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Licensed Real Estate Attorney Staten Island NY

Licensed

Daniel J. Byrnes is licensed
to practice law in New York
and New Jersey.

About Daniel J. Byrnes Real Estate Attorney

About Daniel J. Byrnes

Mr. Byrnes is a native Staten Islander, who proudly serves his clients which are members of the community in which he lives.

Contact Real Estate Attorney on Staten Island

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4459 Amboy Rd # 1,
Staten Island, NY, 10312-3863
Tel: 718.967.5000

Richmond County Real Estate Attorney

Daniel J. Byrnes, Esq. is a solo-practitioner who services both individual and corporate clients. His law practice focuses on Residential Real Estate transactions, Will preparation, Trusts & Estate work and Probate matters. In each of these areas he stresses quality not quantity – providing “one on one” personal attention, offering professional services, quality advice and practical solutions to all of his client’s needs.

We understand that not everyone’s lifestyle can accommodate the 9-5 corporate schedule so we offer our clients evening and Saturday appointments.

Mr. Byrnes will personally guide you through every step of your legal matter and promptly return all phone calls and/or emails. He guarantees that all phone calls are personally handled and your case will not be banished to a paralegal or receptionist.