Most people spend a major portion of their life’s income on real estate, and that is only after considering residential real estate. Therefore, it goes without saying that we should always practice every possible precaution to verify a deal before commencing with its finalization. Stay with us as we discuss a few tips and tricks on how to tell a good deal from a bad one.
Check the Address History
It is within the legal rights of a potential buyer to check the address history of any property that they are considering. Legally speaking, it is also the duty of a real estate agent and the current owner to disclose everything about the property’s history to all potential buyers before the deal is signed. Unfortunately, that may not always happen, as people can be deceptive, while others might not even be aware of the entire address history of the concerned property themselves.
Before you finalize any real estate deals, get to know the name of its current and previous owners first. Once you have their names, find their address history on Public Records Reviews to know whether there’s a dispute in relation to the property that you should be aware of. For example, fraudulent deals could be easily unveiled if the property turns out to be registered in someone else’s name.
From ownership history and a proper map of the place to its previous usage details – all can be revealed from one simple address history search. In case you do find something that was not mentioned, although it should have been, that information can be used as a bargaining chip to lower the price. Alternatively, you can also start looking for other properties if the address history reveals unsavory associations.
Check All the Documents
Hire an experienced lawyer for the day and take him/her with you to verify all of the following documents:
- Government order for grant
- Building plans that include approved provisions for water, electricity, sewerage, clearance, fire safety, etc.
- Succession certificate/certificates
- Sales deed/gift deed
- Partition deed
- Certificate of Occupancy
- Tax payment status/tax clearance certificates
Not every one of these documents is applicable for all properties, while additional documents not mentioned here could also be required in some cases. However, your lawyer will know which ones to ask for and when.
Get the Property Inspected
As inspections are optional and the professionals must be paid out of the buyer’s own pocket, people often make the mistake of not having the property inspected professionally. That is a huge risk to take and one that’s never worth it. Even if the house looks okay or even beautiful from the outside and the inside, you cannot see the plumbing, the electrical wiring or the state of the house below the floorboards. There could be a cockroach infestation, or mold could be hiding behind the bathroom tiles.
A proper house inspection service with the right certifications will check almost everything for you and let you know if there are any problems that you should be aware of. They will also provide a rough estimate of how much you might need to spend on the repairs if they are indeed needed. Just in case the house is in very bad condition, it’s just better to skip the repairs and look for something else instead. In either situation, the home inspection report will act as another bargaining chip to lower the asking price, or you will know that it is a bad deal to avoid. In some cases, the house owner may not agree to a full home inspection, which is a clear sign that they have something to hide and it is inevitably going to be a bad deal if you go through with it!
Visit the Local Precinct
As you are going to move into the neighborhood, it is probably a good idea to get yourself introduced to the cops anyway. However, this would be a necessary visit, as you will be asking questions about the crime rates and the presence of registered criminals in the area. If the precinct assures you about the property and they can show low crime rates to justify their claim, you will know that at least it is a good neighborhood that you are looking at. The address history check mentioned earlier can also help you out in this, as all reported crimes in the area will be included in your search results, in addition to notifying you about the presence of violent criminals or sex offenders if they are living nearby.
Now that we have covered all the bases, there is no reason to hold back anymore. If the property checks through on all accounts, you and your family like it and the price (including renovations, taxes, inspection costs, lawyer costs, etc.) also seems fair enough, it is a good deal.