With title clear and the survey completed, everything is ready for the title closing, as lawyers call the time when title to the property passes from seller to buyer. The latter’s lawyer should have investigated and passed on all steps prior to this and adjusted any minor details with the seller’s lawyer. The buyer and his lawyer and the seller and his lawyer should all be present at a title closing. The paid tax bills for the current year are first presented and any minor adjustments made. Then the buyer presents a certified check or actual cash for the amount he has agreed to pay. He also has a small amount of money on hand to meet any adjustments such as taxes, insurance, and the like. Lastly, the deed, which has been carefully reviewed by the buyer’s lawyer, is signed by the seller and, for better or worse, you have become a country property owner.
The prospective country dweller is now owner of a piece of property and his ideas are probably fairly definite as to how his home is going to look when his family is actually living there. But seldom is it a simple matter of gathering the household goods into a moving van, having them set down in the new place, and then going out on the terrace to watch the sunset while deft workers within set things to rights.
There may be no house at all on his new holding, much less a terrace. At the time of purchase, an old mill, barn or other combination of walls and roof may stand in place of his imaginary home. Even a house in good condition usually needs a little renovation. During the negotiations for purchase, his lawyer kept him from legal pitfalls. Just as important now in bridging the gap between what he has and what he wants is an architect.
If he has been consulted before purchase, so much the better. If not, it is high time to seek him out unless one happens to be a genius like Thomas Jefferson who could draft a Declaration of Independence with one hand and design a serpentine wall with the other. Such a person has no need of this book anyway and will long since have cast it aside. Most of us are just average citizens with some ideas which we want to put into concrete form but find difficult because we are either inarticulate or untrained.
That is what various specialists are for, and it is a wise man who realizes his own limitations. A sugar broker may have ideas about a portrait but he won’t try to paint it himself. He will commission a portrait painter, in whom he has confidence, to make a likeness of his wife or child as the case may be. Even more necessary are the services of an architect when building or remodeling a house. Trying to be your own architect is as foolish as drawing a sketch of little Jerry on canvas and then calling