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Buying A Home (Part 1)


Buying a home may be the biggest single investment of your lifetime.  A life’s savings may be invested in this one venture.

Thus, it is extremely important that you, the prospective buyer, use the greatest caution in buying a home which will not only provide you with comfort, but will cause you as little trouble as possible while living in it and when you decide to sell it.

For your protection, consult your family lawyer before you sign or buy.  His or her training and experience will help you avoid trouble.

The Purchase and Sale Agreement

The paper first given to a prospective buyer by a real estate broker is the purchase and sale contract.  Few people realize that this paper is the most important step in purchasing a home – the details of this agreement determine what you buy and how you buy it.  Before signing, read the agreement carefully and discuss with your family lawyer such items as the following:

1.  Exactly what land, buildings and furnishings are included in your offer?  Are stove,
     refrigerator and the like included?
2.  What details regarding payments should be stated?
3.  When can you take possession?
4.  Is the seller to furnish you with a good, marketable title?
5.  Which kind of deed should the seller give?
6.  Who pays for the examination of the title to the property in the event the offer is accepted? 
     Who pays for the abstract of title or title insurance?
7.  Have utilities been installed and paid for?
8.  Should a surveyor be employed to determine whether the improvements are actually
     located on the property? Who should pay for the cost of the survey?
9.  If a mortgage is to be given, who will pay the intangible tax on the mortgage?
10.  If a loan is to be obtained from an outside lender, who will pay the loan closing costs?
11.  If termite damage is found, shall the seller pay the cost of repairs?
12.  What are the zoning regulations, or restrictions, on the use of the property?
13.  What is the time within which the purchase should be accepted or refused?  Is the date of
       such acceptance to be vital to the offer?
14.  If your offer is accepted, what steps should be taken with the respect to insuring the
       improvements to protect you, the prospective purchaser, pending the final closing?
15.  What persons (husbands and wives) should be required to sign and accept the offer?
16.  Are boundary lines properly specified?
17.  Are timber, mineral and water rights, if any, properly covered?
18.  Who is responsible for paying of taxes?
19.  How should the agreement be executed to make it binding?
20.  What are the remedies if the buyer or seller defaults?
21.  Should the purchase be contingent on any outside matters such as the availability of
       financing on acceptable terms or the sale of the house which you presently own?
22.  Whose responsibility is it to a pay for the broker?
23.  Whose responsibility is it to pay for governmental special assessments that arise prior to

Part 2 next month

Posted June 2, 2014