February 4th, 2008

New York City real estate transactions

I'm trying to figure out exactly what goes on during a residential real estate transaction in Brooklyn, New York City, in the present time. The property is a house, not a condo. I've tried searching:

New York real estate transactions
New York house sale
New York selling house procedure
New York sales procedure real estate

and gotten oceans of ads, but nothing that answers what I need to know, which is:

1. Who normally orders and pays for the survey? The seller or the buyer?
2. Who normally pays for the home inspection? Seller or buyer?
3. Is title insurance common? What the heck does it do?
4. What is entailed in a title search in that jurisdiction? Who does the title search and how long does it take?
5. When is the transfer of land and mortgage signed? Does the deal close upon signing, or do you have to wait for registration of the transfer and mortgage with the local land titles office? When is the cash to close released?
6. Are property taxes paid yearly, monthly, or quarterly?
7. Are offers to purchase ever conditional (upon financing, surveys, inspections, etc.)?
8. How long does it normally take from acceptance of the offer to closing?

[Note: I was a real estate paralegal but only in Alberta and the Northwest Territories. The Torrens system here means that most documents must be registered against title to affect title, which means that title searches take seconds to complete and mortgages are signed well before closing, since cash won't be released until registration (which can take a week or more, depending on the backlog).]
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Written dates in 1700's England

I've done some research on this, google and wikipedia, but I'm not getting the exact info I need. So I turn here.

I have a character who, in the U.S. of 1850, is looking at a journal that was kept by an English ancestor of hers from the 1700's. My simple question: How would the ancestor write the date out? Would they do 12 May 1717 or May 12, 1717 or something entirely different? I know that people in the UK commonly do the date month year thing, but I've not been able to locate any sort of record on how far back this practice dates.

Any tips for places to check, or does anyone know?? Thanks!
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