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What’s included when you buy a home?

Posted January 01, 2014 in Advice Column, Perry

The entire home-buying process has gone great. You did the math and found out buying a home was cheaper than renting. Because you live in Perry, you got a “no money down” home loan and didn’t have to come up with a down payment. You’ve worked with a great agent who showed you all the homes on the market in your price range. You made a great purchase, but  there could be trouble ahead.

Picture this: You’re finally moving in to your new home. You walk in the front door with your first box, and you immediately know something is wrong. You quickly discover that the sellers have removed some of your home’s features. The blinds are gone, and the chandelier has been replaced with a ceiling fan.

Sometimes buyers and seller disagree about what is included in the sale of a home. By following a couple simple steps you can protect yourself from any misunderstandings or any costly legal battles.

Often, there are clear legal definitions about what is included in the sale of a home. Basically, all “fixtures” are included in the home sale. This includes obvious items like faucets and cabinetry as well as personal property that has been attached to the home. The window blinds are an example of a fixture — they are permanently attached to the structure.  However, window shades are not attached and are considered personal property.

A clearly written contract will answer the question of what is or isn’t included in a home sale. Pay particular attention to items like window coverings and appliances.  In Perry, the sellers will generally include major household appliances with the sale of the home, but this is not always the case. It is not enough that the appliances are included on the property disclosure. That is not a legally binding document, so they must be on the purchase agreement as well. Mounted TVs are a gray area. A professionally mounted, hardwired television is “technically” a fixture. But televisions are traditionally considered personal property and are not included in the sale of a home.

If you want other, non-traditional items left in the home (such as furniture, a kitchen island, workout equipment, etc.) you need to make sure these are written up separately from the contact. Lenders do not like to see these items on a purchase agreement, so they will have to be included in a separate bill of sale.

By knowing the law and putting everything in writing, you can protect yourself long after you close on your new home. Hiring a real estate agent who knows the rules and will stand up for you and your rights is also beneficial.

Information provided by Adam Van Lin, Nevitt Real Estate, 702 First Ave., Perry, 515-465-2200,

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