Relocating? Legal Tips And Advice To Make Your Move A Success

by gclatworthy on January 8, 2013

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[US Law and General] Moving can be an exciting experience full of new opportunities and new relationships, but if you’re not careful, it can also become a nightmare. While buying or renting a new home, condo or apartment may seem easy enough on the surface, there are a number of legal pitfalls that can make the process long, difficult and frustrating.

Understand the Terms

Before you make a move, it’s always important to understand the terms of your lease or mortgage. Unfortunately, many such documents are complex and written using complicated legal jargon. In fact, if you aren’t able to fully understand each part of your lease or mortgage agreement, you may find yourself paying more money than you anticipated. As a result, most experts agree that people who are moving should consult with a property attorney before signing any agreements.

New State, New Laws

If you’re moving to another state, whether you are looking at real estate Indianapolis or properties in Virginia, it’s also important for you to read up on the state’s laws, and not just the ones regarding property. All too often, people move to new states without understanding the laws of the new states, and as a result, they end up taking part in illegal activities without even realizing it. For instance, in South Carolina, drivers are allowed to keep handguns in their glove compartments without a concealed carry permit; however, in neighboring North Carolina, drivers who have handguns in their vehicles are required to leave such weapons on the dashboard in full view at all times. Not understanding this could be the difference between being within the law and going to jail.


You might also need to work with a financial advisor or a financial attorney before seeking a mortgage. In many cases, you will need to provide specific information about your income, any assets you posses and more before being considered for a mortgage. In some cases, even if you’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage, spending money or transferring assets could become a problem. For instance, if you’ve been approved for a $150,000 mortgage based on your available credit of $15,000, but then you go and spend $10,000 of that credit, your mortgage terms may be changed or the mortgage may be revoked entirely. A financial advisor or financial attorney will be able to give you legal options to avoid such situations.

Setting Expectations

Additionally, if you’re selling a home or condo during your move, it’s important for you to understand your legal obligations as well. This could include a requirement to disclose all potential or known problems with your property before completing a sale. An example of this may be where your home has a known electrical problem that has the potential to cause a fire. If you don’t disclose this and it’s discovered later that you knew of the issue, you may find yourself in court. In addition, if someone is injured or killed due to your negligence, you may also face criminal charges.

Whilst moving can be fun, don’t forget that a lot goes into the process. If you’re feeling unsure about a potential move and the legalities involved, you may want to consult with a real estate agent who works in the area where you’ll be moving to. They will be able to assist you not only with the moving process, but also with understanding the various legal aspects involved. 

Georgina Clatworthy is a freelance legal writer with experience in property surveying and building control. F.C. Tucker Company, Inc provides real estate Indianapolis services for buyers and sellers.  Its family of businesses include mortgages, title insurance, a complete line of insurance products, auctioning, home owner warranty services, and assistance with relocation.

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