How do you research a property that you are looking to buy?

Asked by Drackliffe, 12306 Fri Jun 15, 2012

We are looking at a home and it seems too good to be true. Are there problems in the neighborhood any issues that we really shoud know about before buying. We are getting a home inspection, but what else should we do?

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Dennis Barnes, Other Pro, Springfield, VA
Mon Jun 18, 2012
Must get a home inspection. Then try to contact (or goggle) the local government (City or County) to discover property facts - who supplies utility services, any easement on property, zoning requirements, etc. The local planning department should have basic facts and figures for the neighborhood.
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Marco Gomez &…, Agent, Jackson Heights, NY
Mon Jun 18, 2012
You can research Property Shark, GeoData, as well as sperlings for information about the area. If you're concerned about crime google the streets around the home and see what comes up.
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Justin & Gen…, Agent, Roseville, CA
Sun Jun 17, 2012
I live and work in Granite Bay. Please feel free to ask, if you have any questions.

Justin Sherrets
Keller Williams Realty
DRE# 01251197
(916) 872-4300
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Matthew Bart…, Agent, Glendora, CA
Fri Jun 15, 2012
Hi Drackliffe,

I recommend that you drive through the neighborhood at least twice during the week, once during the week and once during the weekend. On each day visit once in the morning, afternoon and evening. Be sure to stop by and introduce yourself to some of the other homeowners in the neighborhood. Let them know that you're considering the purchase of a home in the area and would like to ask them a few questions. Ask them if there have been any issues in the neighborhood? Ask them if they are happy living in the area? Ask them what they think of the school district? And so on. Most homeowners will be glad to answer your questions because it enables them to meet you and feel as if they're taking part in the sales process. You may also contact the local Police Department to find out what type of calls are frequent in the area. Following these guidelines along with your planned property inspection will enable you to determine if the home and neighborhood is right for you and your family. I hope this answers your question. Best Wishes!

Warmest Regards,

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Morgan Larson, Agent, Folsom, CA
Fri Jun 15, 2012
When you purchase a home, there are a few items that help you get a complete picture on a property. The first is a whole home inspection. The home inspection will cover all of the major systems in a home, and if anything questionable comes up the inspector will recommend a specialist to come in and do a further evaluation. You'll also want to get a pest and dry rot inspection. In our area, with all of the rain and heat, this is one of the most common issues.

Besides inspections, you'll want to take a close look at the preliminary title report. This report shares any unpaid taxes, liens, etc. You'll want a clear title report before purchase.

Another item to evaluate closely are the disclosures given to you by the seller. The TDS and SPQ are questionnaires for the seller. They are supposed to disclose everything they know about the home. Repairs? Remodels? Leaks? Flooding? All of these questions are asked and the answers should give you a picture of some of the malfunctions of the home.

Don't be turned off by a home because it has a few things wrong with it - all homes do. Just know as much about the home as possible. If you have questions about the home, most sellers are cooperate and will freely give out the information you are seeking. The only exception is a bank owned home. The bank never lived there, so they don't know about the home.

Hope this helps!
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Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Fri Jun 15, 2012
Understand that the LISTING PRICE has one primary objective, to attract attention: It is not intended to be set in stone, and in many cases it is not even a good guideline toward the SELLING PRICE.

Some Sellers believe that by setting the LISTING PRICE high, they can always come down, and people will make an offer anyway: WRONG! Buyers will just bypass the property and look at houses that are within their price range. And six months from now, the Seller will slowly start lowering the PRICE, (this is called “chasing the curve”) and Buyers will be asking the question; “What’s wrong with that house?” and “Why has it been on the Market so long?”

Other Sellers set the LISTING PRICE low, to attract multiple offers. (The correct strategy.) We are asked; “Aren’t you obligated to sell at this price if someone offers it?” The answer is probably not; for that to happen, you would first have to have only one offer, and secondly, the offer would have be exactly the same, down to the smallest detail, (please discuss this with your Realtor).
Another thought; Buyer will search for potential properties by groups; for example, $400,000 to $450,000, and $250,000 to $300,000. If your house is priced at $460,000 or $310,000, the Buyers will never see it. (something else to discuss with your Agent.)

Different Banks have different philosophies about pricing their properties: You cannot draw any conclusions without a good analysis.

Have your Realtor do a CMA, (Comparative Market Analysis) to help you determine your Offering Price. It is the surest way to determine the Market Value of the property.
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Walter 'Skip'…, Agent, Brea, CA
Fri Jun 15, 2012
If it is a short sale the list price maybe lower than the lender will approve. Have your agent show you the comparable sales for the area to determine the correct value.
Good luck,
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Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Fri Jun 15, 2012
Hi, The best you can do is get the home inespection and take their advice. If there are trouble spots that may require a further look, bring in a specialist for that area. The home inspector looks at the basics but will always recommend bringing in a specialist for roof, electric, structutre, hVAC, etc.

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