Real Estate in West Virginia

Believe it or not, not every state defines real estate the same way.  Real estate in West Virginia is just slightly different from every other state, so it’s very important for you to know the basic legal aspects and definitions of terms before you start to buy or sell property in the state.

Real estate in West Virginia is defined as land and anything that’s attached to it.  This may include a house, a factory, equipment, and various other facilities.  It also includes the resources on and under the land, such as gas, oil, and minerals.  In West Virginia, it’s possible to sell some of these attachments separately from the land.

Disclosure Statements in West Virginia

One of the major real estate laws in West Virginia requires a seller to provide the buyer with a disclosure statement, or a document that lists defects, problems, and more information about the property before the buyer actually agrees to purchase it.  It’s very important for buyers to read over this statement and discuss any issues they have with the defects listed before they agree to purchase the property.

If you find something on the disclosure statement that you wish to have the seller repair or change, real estate law gives you the option to include this expense in your offer.  If the seller accepts your offer without specifically amending it to remove these items, he or she is legally bound to make any repairs you listed at his/her own expense.

Deeds

The deed to a property indicates who legally owns that property.  It will list the seller and the buyer, the legal description of what is being sold, and more.  There are several types of deeds, and it’s important for you to know which type is being used in your purchase.  A quitclaim deed, for example, has very few guarantees on it, while a warranty deed certifies that the title is in good standing and contains no forgeries or other problems.

After you and the seller sign the deed, it is filed at the land records office.  Generally, this is now done by the title company instead of the buyer to ensure that the title isn’t lost or damaged.  Note that the records office does charge a fee to file a change of ownership, and that fee will be included on the final list of all fees and taxes involved in buying the piece of real estate.

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