Homegrown podcast: Meet Johnetta Paye, Esq., of J. Paye & Associates

Step 3 to homeownership: Find a real estate attorney who speaks your communication style

When you’re getting ready to sign off on a six-figure agreement, the last thing you should be OK with doing is not understanding what the legal documents say. First-time homeowners have a lot of unfamiliar documents coming at them all at once, and the mile-high stack of paper that is placed in front of them on Closing Day may feel like it’s never going to diminish. But working with a real estate attorney who will prepare you throughout the homebuying process significantly helps.

Click here to listen to Episode 3 of “Homegrown: An Ode to Sugarbowl Sam

In my case, my real estate attorney was someone I’d already befriended over the years. She was one of a list of people I’d met during my freelancing days with CBS Chicago. That one interview created a series of other marketing, event planning and news blogging series projects between the two of us, plus the occasional hangout to “catch up and kee-kee.” So it only made sense that I’d hire her as my real estate attorney, too.

In comedian Ray Romano’s latest comedy special “Right Here, Around the Corner,” he said as people get older, they need to have certain kinds of friends: You start off with “the kid with the car,” then the hookup guy, and eventually work your way to lawyers and doctors. He’s not wrong. This would’ve went over my head in my 20s. However, in your 30s, responsibility kicks in and I realized I was accidentally building a pretty cool social circle.

However, the average homebuyer may not have an attorney who she can just chit-chat with, and bounce writing and legal ideas off of. Friends or not, my latest “Homegrown” guest would’ve been someone I wanted to hire for a business-to-client relationship regardless. Why should homebuyers keep a real estate attorney in their corner at all times? Check out my third interview on the “Homegrown: An Ode to Sugarbowl Sam” series to find out.

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Cheat sheet answers: In addition to your real estate attorney being your go-to for buying a home for the first time (or the next time), this is also someone who can help you with understanding the significance of bylaws and Rules and Regulations (for condo owners); how to properly complete estate planning and wills; understanding the highs and lows of selling your unit after the 2008 housing crisis, and the odds of selling successfully after the worldwide coronavirus outbreak from 2020 and onward; how to properly navigate being a landlord; and how to work out tenant-landlord or condo-owner disputes.

For more information on Johnetta Paye, Esq. and J. Paye & Associates, click here. You can follow her on Twitter @JPayeEsq and Instagram @JPayeEsq. Or, contact the Chicago/Atlanta attorney at info@jpaye.com for a 15-minute free consultation.

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