Crime & Safety in San Ramon>Question Details

KMB, Other/Just Looking in 94582

We learned about "steering". What about asking if a house for sale has been robbed, or if there are problems with neighbors, questions like?

Asked by KMB, 94582 Mon Aug 13, 2012

that? Reveling information about a house....

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As stated below, you can ask questions in writing and have the seller answer them. Not only is an agent not allowed to “steer” you, they also cannot provide second party information that they have not personally verified. Let me give you an example:

The neighbors in a specific community knew that one of the neighbors had been accused of child molestation by one of his children. However, the individual had never been convicted. He was, however, “fully convicted” in the neighborhood court of public opinion. An agent listed the home immediately next door the “purported” child molester. The agent was aware of the allegations, but, since the individual in question had no verified criminal record, could not disclose anything one way or another. To do so would have been hearsay or even slander and would have made the agent liable for legal proceedings.

To get around this, you can ask the seller any questions you wish, including neighborhood safety, problems with neighbors, etc. As suggested below, you can also check Megan’s Law websites, local crime web pages such as http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ca/san-ramon/crime/ and more. Ironically, the answers you get from the seller may not be indicative of the overall neighborhood – everyone has personal opinions based on personal experience. As an example, I live in a very nice neighborhood but had a motorcycle stolen out of my driveway.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 13, 2012
Hi,
When purchasing a home from a seller, rather than a bank (foreclosure), the seller is required to disclose any information that they are aware of that may have an impact to a buyer, having said that, I always advise my clients to check in with the local police, go to meganslaw website, and to visit the neighborhood at different days and times. If purchasing a foreclosure, the banks are excused from these important disclosures, since they did not occupy the property.
hope this helps.
Suzanne Looker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 13, 2012
Hello KMB,
I suggest that you contact the local police department in San Ramon to learn about the crime activity in that neighborhood and anything specific on the house that interests you.

Walk around the neighborhood and talk to any residents you encounter to get their thoughts about safety in the area. I wouldn't rely on the seller's response as the only avenue to learn about crime and safety in the area.

Good luck to you!

Laura Feghali
Prudential Connecticut Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 13, 2012
As Steve says, the seller is required to disclose any material issues but there is nothing to stop you asking about anything specific that concerns you (such as if the home has ever been burgled). This makes the seller address that question (and any others you may have) specifically. This should be done by your agent, in writing, of course.

Bernard Gibbons

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Bernard Gibbons, J. Rockcliff Realtors
DRE License # 01331583
Phone (925) 997-1585 - bernard@bernardgibbons.com

http://www.JustSanRamonHomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 13, 2012
The CAR purchase contract clearly states the seller is to disclose any known material fact regarding the property. The above mentioned is known material facts they should disclose. You can always ask the seller questions in writing and ask for a response.
If you buy a foreclosure property though the seller is exempt from answering because they never lived there. If you buy a flip they are still responsible for answering to the best of their knowledge.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 13, 2012
Seller and the agents in a transaction are required to disclose any information that materially impacts the value of a property, hence some of the above information should be disclosed as part of the routine disclosures. Having said that you as a buyer are encouraged to do your own due diligence and investigations i.e. you may contact loan police department and ask them about the crime rates and incidents. You can knock on the neighbors' doors and get to know the area better to satisfy yourselves as some of these concerns are relative....different people find it different. Do you own due diligence.....purchasing a home is a big investment,

Best of luck,
Steve Mohseni
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 13, 2012
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