If you are looking in Plymouth, start at the town hall across from South Street. You will want to visit the Assessors Office and get an Assessment and Sales Report. This will give you some interior specs, annual taxes, land and structure value (assessed), and more.
Next, stop of at the Building Department and see what permits have been pulled and get a plot plan to view the properties layout, set backs, septic location and so forth. Also, if the proper permits were pulled, it may provide you with some information regarding anything major that has occurred with the property.
Next, take a stroll over to the Health Department and find out if the septic is "title 5" compliant and if it had been inspected within the past two years. Let's hope it's gets a passing grade, but no need to worry. if it did not and it's a REO property, the list price will reflect that. If it's not Real Estate Owned, use the failing system as a negotiating tool and get your own estimates. Make sure to see if there were ever any other contaminants on the property.
Lastly, check with the registry of deeds and see if there are any easements, covenants or any little variance. Also, make sure the you will be able to acquire title to the property or can insure title. Kind of a problem in the current market. That's another tale for another day.
Be sure to bring a few bucks to the town hall. They will charge a nominal fee to get reports printed. Good luck!
Click on the links below to get started:
The building department is located on the first floor and staff very helpful. Usually cost of copy of property record card is $.25/page. Keep in mind many homeowners over the years complete updates without "pulling" proper permits so some plumbing, electrical, and construction may need to be accessed to obtain permits once you have purchase a home.
Lots of info is available at the town hall or county offices. Chain of ownership, improvements made, right of way(s) granted, deeds given for loans are just a few things available, not to mention tax assessments. There will be little information, however, about the present "conditions" of the home, however. Present condition should be ascertained by inspection, both by you or your chosen home inspector.
Work with a great lender that can help you negotiate the various options available to you. Remember, many towns and counties have digitized their real estate records, and you can view them online from the comfort of your own home!
Best wishes, Jim, Home Savings of America, 703 591 5626 ext 419.
Please see my blog for advice and tips on buying bank owned homes.
The town hall should be able to provide you with the tax records. Teh tax records will give you the square footage of the home when it was first recorded and all subsequent sale times. you will want to ensure that the squre footage is accurate.
Second, you will be able to find out the size of the property. In regards to the acres and approximate dimension size. I always recommend when you are buying a house; after you bought it have it surveyed. but the plat map should give you a good estimate of where to look for approximate borders.
A good realtor shoudl be able to help you out in verifying the information for you as well....