There is a company is Asheville North Carolina (a beautiful city by the way) that is starting a business not unlike like the one that tells you the history of the used car you so desire.Â The difference is that this service gives you the history of real property.Â They will be able to search for building permits to see what kind of work has been done by competent contractors, and signed off on by various inspectors.Â First of all, do we think that this is a good idea, and more importantly, what has taken so long for this kind of service?Â Is this something that a potential homebuyer can do for himself?
It seems like a natural extension of the home inspection.Â Since the dawn of the Internet people have researched not only cars used and new, before buying, but replacement windows, high definition televisions, and the computers from which they do this all-important research as well.Â They will compare furniture prices and quality, interest rates on CDâ€™s and even check the background on potential mates. Some of this research is done to determine the best quality available and some goes back to the second oldest instinct we have; saving money.Â Hopefully though, frugality does not factor into finding potential mates.Â I know people who drive across town to save a penny or two on a gallon of gasoline.Â Ok, I admit it.Â I can be one of them.Â But the way I figure it, in my sixteen-gallon tank, it is possible for me to save a whopping 32 cents per fill up!Â The point is, that a lot of pre-purchase research has been done by John Q. Public regarding everything from cell phones to breakfast cereal, but one of the biggest transactions that they will ever make, the building they will call home, is done on a whim, with lots of emotion, and a bit of hope thrown in.Â When I put it into this context, this small amount of due diligence seems silly to me, but this has worked for such a long time.Â Do we need to add another layer to the process?Â Hasnâ€™t the advent of the home inspection only made it better for the buyer?Â The process may not be perfect, but it has worked.
I know that there will be a lot of people who think that this type of business is unnecessary.Â I however feel that in the long run, people will learn to rely on this service.Â Home sellers will begin to expect it, and get ready for it before putting their propertiesâ€™ on the market.Â Realtors will learn to deal with it just like a sellerâ€™s statement or a lead disclosure.Â In no time, it will be part of the process, with brokerages offering the home report to clients as an incentive.Â Iâ€™m sure that lenders too will jump on the bandwagon before too long and require these reports as a condition of underwriting.Â The immediate beneficiaries, other than the service itself, which will be generating revenue from the company, will be the homebuyer and the industry in general.Â The homebuyer will have a much greater level of confidence in the product he is buying.Â He/She will be able to tell what work was done over the years by licensed contractors and when.Â They will see that the building inspectors have signed off on the various projects, meaning that they were competently done.Â Transparency will become more of a reality in the home buying process.Â It wonâ€™t just be a buzzword for politicians anymore.Â Therefore the industry will benefit from an improved image that will help us all.Â Â
I am curious though to see how this type of business will be viewed in its initial stages.Â Will Realtors, lenders, and inspectors embrace it?Â What will the buyers and sellers think?Â What will some of the objections be?Â How long, if ever, will it take to become mainstream?Â What do you think?
Best of luck