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Changing landscape of residential real estate in Massachusetts

For many Worcester residents, the dream of owning a personal residence may involve a single family home on its own lot. While that dream is still achievable across the state, changes in the residential real estate market are offering interested home buyers a chance to buy homes with different zoning designations.

Multifamily homes are popping up all across the state and both investors and individual buyers may be interested to get in on new construction projects. Unlike single family homes, multifamily homes offer buyers individual spaces that can share walls, lots and other common structural features. While some of the new residential developments will be apartments to address the state's rental property shortage, others will be townhouses and condos available for purchase.

Some differences do exist between the ownership responsibilities of a single family home versus those of a multifamily property. While in most cases the owner of a single family home is responsible for the upkeep of the home's structure and land, multifamily home groups may utilize property management organizations to take care of shared residential features and that are paid through association dues.

For individuals interested in purchasing multifamily residences to use as rental properties, special terms may need to be included in rental contracts that are not always used when single family homes are offered for lease. The differences between the two kinds of properties can create differences in how they are contracted for and sold.

While multifamily homes definitely offer Massachusetts buyers more inventory to choose from those buyers may find themselves confronting new real estate agreements when they sit down to sign. People who would like to discuss the contractual aspects of buying, selling and renting multifamily homes may choose to consult with real estate lawyers practicing in the state.

Source: Taunton Daily Gazette, "Multifamily housing development growing across Massachusetts," Gerry Tuoti and Charles Winokoor, Feb. 23, 2014

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