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Friday, December 19, 2014
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Published: Thursday, 6/19/2003

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You've found the home of your dreams. Aside from the big rooms and generous closet space, there are a lot of other features that make this the perfect home.

You just love the chandelier that hangs in the dining room.

The curtains and window treatments are perfect.

So, too, are the antique cabinets hanging on the kitchen wall.

But when you make a purchase offer what are you really buying? Whether a seller is allowed to remove the chandelier when the house sold or whether it stays with the property can present problems at the time of closing-- problems that can be avoided.

When you purchase a home you will be buying what is considered real property. Real property means anything that is part of the land or which is attached to the land. Real property may also be anything which is considered a fixture--something that is so affixed to the property that it becomes part of the property.

In contrast to real property, personal property are those items which are moveable and can be easily removed from the property without damaging it. This may seem fairly clear cut and indisputable, but problems do arise when one party considers an item, such as a chandelier, personal property and the other party considers it a part of the home and real property.

The law specifies several criteria for determining whether an item is considered real or personal property. The law looks at the intent in the manner in which the item is attached to the property in order to determine if the item is a fixture. The intention of the owner at the time of installation may be hard to determine, so it is important at the time of the sale that the personal property items are listed in the purchase agreement between the buyer and seller.

It is advisable to list any light fixtures that may be in question in a list of personal property items which will either stay with the property or be removed. Appliances, water softeners, built-in bookshelves should also be listed in the contract. Personal property items, such as furniture, do not generally present a problem as these items are not typically fitted or attached to the property. Items which are attached to the property that cannot be removed without doing damage to the real estate are generally considered to be part of the real property.

Such items as drapes, blinds and other window coverings may present a problem when the intention of the parties is not made clear. The best way to avoid any confusion at closing is to make a list of the personal property items that will be included in the sale and have all parties sign the document.

This probably isn't big news here in the Midwest, where family roots have always run deep, but more and more prospective transferees are rejecting job transfer offers in order to stay close to their families, according to a recent survey by Runzheimer Reports on Relocation.

The survey found that 63 percent--nearly two-thirds--of prospective transferees who reject a job transfer turn down the transfer offer for family related reasons. Another 27 percent turn it down for financial reasons, while four percent turn it down because they feel they would not be provided enough relocation assistance. Three percent reject an offer because they feel it would limit their opportunities.

Overall, one in 12 prospective transferees--eight percent-turn down transfer offers. While this trend is increasingly evident nationwide, according to the Runzheimer survey, we in the Midwest have always been a relatively stable group. U.S. Census Bureau reports indicate that nearly three-quarters of the people who live in Ohio now were born in Ohio.

We may move away for job opportunities elsewhere when we're young but most of us return to our early roots, in other words.



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