When is the house yours?

Moving Day

When will you get possession of the house you bought?

It isn’t unusual for someone to buy a house and sell on the same day. Sometimes the movers are moving everything out of one house during a closing and moving into another home after a closing.

Possession immediately after the closing is a popular option. That means if the closing is at 11:00 AM and lasts until 11:45 AM the buyers can move in at 11:45. It also means that the sellers have until 11:45 AM to get the house ready.

The important thing to remember is that possession immediately after the closing is not automatic it is spelled out in the purchase agreement.

Buyers and sellers have other options. Occasionally buyers negotiate for an early move-in and pay rent to the seller up until the closing. There is usually a damage deposit. A contract is drawn up to protect both parties.

Sometimes homeowners need an extra day or two of possession to move out. In that case, the sellers rent their former home after the closing. We call that a “rent back”.  The rent back is also put on a special separate contract.

Sellers sometimes just need an extra hour or two after the closing.

There are a few other options. Movers have all sorts of services they can offer to store items in pods or trucks with the movers or at the new home.

It is important to remember that whatever your moving situation is chances are your real estate agent and movers have seen it all before and will help you make it work and may even have an idea that you have not thought of.

Also see Final walkthrough

How clean is clean?

Multi-generational homes

Having a couple of a few generations living under one roof must be like having Thanksgiving every day. It seems like the idea of multi-generational living was the most popular during the recession.

Student loans debt has made it more common for people to live with their parents for an extra decade. In another decade or so the tables may turn. Elderly parents will be living with their college graduates.

Here are some statistics put together by the National Association of Realtors about multi-generational home buyers.

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Multi-generational housing


Email scams ask for money

There are so many scams these days, in fact some even say the news is fake.

Wire transfer scams are targeting attorneys, banks, title companies, and real estate professionals.

If you are buying or selling a home and you get an email asking you to wire money or send account information so that money can be wired to you, don’t do it.

Call your lender, real estate agent or title company using a phone number that you have already been given instead of the fake phone number in the email.

Please never give anyone your private information in an email.

People call me about homes being advertised for rent that are not for rent. Scammers look for vacant homes and advertise them as rentals. When I put a home on the market I set up a google alert so that if it is being advertised for rent I’ll find out. I encourage home owners to do the same.

Occasionally I get emails from that prince or princess who is in a foreign country but needs someone in the U.S. to help them get money out of the country.

They promise to pay me millions of dollars. The scam was pretty popular a decade ago and people fell for it.

For those who really want to give me money please just mail a check to my office.

We don’t all share the same definition of clean

Sometimes buyers are disappointed when they move into their new home and find that it needs some cleaning.

Home sellers should clean everything of have it cleaned but that doesn’t always work out because we don’t all have the same definition of clean.

The best practice is to hire a professional cleaning service. Some even offer “move out cleaning”. The service will clean every surface and wash the windows too.

Buyers can also ask for cleaning in the purchase agreement. The most common requests are for carpet cleaning.

My own standards for clean seem to be higher than most. The term clean seems to be subjective which is why I recommend hiring professionals.

Be aware that even after a home has been professionally cleaned it won’t be clean enough for some. Cleaning or lack of cleaning can be a major pain point when buying or selling a home.

Buyers should always ask for a final walk through of the home before the closing so they can make sure it is in good repair and is clean.

The American dream of tax breaks

spare change

According to the National Association of Realtors people buy houses because they get a mortgage interest tax deduction.

It is hard for me to see the American Dream of being about taxes especially when we consider that owning a home doesn’t always result in a tax break.

People that think they are getting the mortgage interest tax deduction often are not getting it.  To get the deduction a tax payer has to itemize. Those who itemize do so because their total deductions are higher than the standard deduction.

The average savings is $1,918 across all incomes, those who earn less than $75,000 per year typically save $800 or less each year by deducting their mortgage interest.

The mortgage interest tax deduction alone probably isn’t a good reason for a person of average income to buy the average priced St. Paul home.  The good news is there are plenty of other great reasons for buying a home.

Often people who buy homes do so because they want a place to live and they consider it an investment that could go up in value. It is even possible to buy a home and rent it out so that someone else pays your mortgage.

Hiring movers Vs. DIY

Some people hire movers and others move with the help of friends and family. I remember way back in my 20’s my husband and I rented a U-Haul and with the help of some friends we moved from on second floor apartment without an elevator to another second floor apartment without an elevator.

We didn’t have much in those days but what we was big and heavy. We were young and strong and so were our friends but when we moved again seven years later we hired a moving company.

Hiring movers costs money but it may also save money and a lot of grief. There isn’t anyway to make moving fun but hiring movers will make it less un-fun.

The professionals are less likely to damage furniture or the home they are moving it into. Movers are less likely to be injured. Your friends could get hurt trying to help you heft that big old sofa into the house.

For people who are both buying and selling the movers can be loading the truck during the closing on the sale of your home.

There is a solution for every moving logistics type problem. I have seen them all and so have they.  If you ask me money spent on movers is money well spent.

Two men and a truck