Sec. 59. The desirable farming lands in the United States are steadily growing more valuable. There has been an astonishing demand for more land in northwest during the past few years. A prominent agricultural journal (the Orange Judd Farmer), which has investigated the causes for this, summarizes the situation as follows:

(1.) The choice agricultural lands of the central Mississippi valley have reached extraordinarily high prices. Some Illinois farmers have sold at $200 per acre land that they themselves "took up" as a free gift under the homestead act - farming land only, in central Illinois, which has reached this figure because farming pays good interest on that valuation, not because of proximity to cities. In Iowa, indeed all through the central valleys, land values have also risen enormously.

(2.) The extension of electric trolley lines from the large cities through farming sections to suburban towns has made a demand for farming lands along these lines. Wealthy individuals in the cities have bought up farms along the electric lines, have demolished the old-time farm houses, and have erected fine residences, which are occupied chiefly in summer. Some of these new owners carry on experimental farming on a magnificent scale and with but very little profit.

(3.) Farming in the central west is so profitable, so safe, and still further advances in land values are so constantly expected, that men of large means are buying these central lands and operating them on a large scale. Farming is becoming as fashionable as it is profitable, but in the central west agriculture requires more and more capital.

(4.) Many thousands of farmers in moderate circumstances, hired men or others, who would like to go to farming but who cannot afford to pay from $50 to $200 per acre for land, are casting about for good lands that can be bought at moderate prices. The great majority of these people want such lands located in the western and northwestern states or the Canadian northwest, because they prefer the inspiring climate and the social conditions of that favored region.

(5.) But little privation is now required from settlers who move onto these newer lands in northern Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota or the northwest of the states or Canada. Almost every part of these regions is within convenient reach of railroad transportation. If in any section the mails, schools, churches, etc., are at all deficient, they are rapidly brought to perfection as population increases. It is easy to develop homes and farms on the cheaper lands of the west and northwest, compared to the privations suffered by the early settlers in the central west.

(6.) The man who can sell out in the central west at from $50 to $200 per acre, and buy lands in the newer sections at from $3 to $25 per acre, is very much disposed to do so. He has had one taste of the enormous profit accruing from the natural increase in the value of land. He is hungry for another dose of such profits. He is still hungrier for more acres for himself and his children. If he can sell out at a price that will enable him to pay for 160 acres or more for each member of his family, and also have a snug capital left he is very much disposed to do so.

(7.) Each of the foregoing reasons is enough to warrant the present activity in the real estate market throughout the west. An uncontrollable impulse for more land has got control of many people's minds. They are ready to "swarm" onto the newer and cheaper lands. This movement of population promises to be even larger in the future than ever before. The fever to migrate and to open up new land has occurred about once in every decade, but has been most powerful at periods of about 20 to 30 years apart.

Sec. 60. The "Real Estate Purchase Chart" (Form No. 1), which follows, is designed to afford the intending investor a systematic guide in the matter of covering all the points of his intended purchase, and it may also be used as a memorandum of purchase and sale. In commenting on this Form, would say:

(1.) "Description." It is well, at the outset, to obtain an accurate, legal description of the premises, as such description is convenient in preparing the deed and other papers and as a means of checking the description given in the certificate of title and other instruments. See also Chapter on Deeds.

(2.) "Side of Street." In real estate parlance there are two sides to a street - the "clean" side and the "dirty" side. The "dirty" side is that towards which the wind blows and consequently the side which receives the most dust; the "clean" side is the opposite side.

(3.) "Restrictions." Restrictions in some cases are burdensome and in others are beneficial. Beauty and uniformity are secured on a residence street by providing that no business buildings shall be erected and that all houses shall cost not less than a specified sum and shall be placed a certain distance from the street. The question of restrictions is important and should be looked into while the intending purchaser is conducting his negotiations.

(4.) The purchaser should ascertain if sewer is laid and connections made with it; also if the assessments for sewer, sidewalk, grading and curbing have been paid.

(5.) "Things the Owner will Throw In." In some instances the owner of a house, in order to make a sale, will "throw in" a gas stove, or coal stove, or carpets or mattings on the floors. The buyer, of course, should not mention this part of the transaction until he believes he has reached a bed-rock price.

(6.) "Shades, Gas and Electric Light Fixtures." In California, the custom is, when a house is newly completed, to put shades on all windows, and these shades and their renewals remain as part of the realty when the house changes hands. Lighting fixtures are presumably, but not necessarily, a part of the realty. Whether or not the shades and lighting fixtures are to remain as a part of the realty, and be included in the purchase price, should be specified in every agreement of sale, for the sake of avoiding misunderstandings.

(7.) For explanations in regard to Insurance, Taxes, Title, and Escrow, see Chapters with these captions.