Purchasing a home is one of the main signposts to adulthood and making that purchase shouldn’t be taken lightly. Every precaution should be taken beforehand whether the purchase is for yourself, renting to others, or for upgrading and flipping later. There are a few things to look out for when you have your eye on a home to buy, we’ll cover some of those below. The main takeaway that all of these methods branch out from is one word, research. The research will net you information and the more information you have on a dwelling, the better decisions you’ll make when it comes to making a financial decision.
This advice veers more towards the buyer who is looking to do major developments with the property. That could entail changing the classification of property (Residential, Commercial, etc.) or seeing how much the property could be expanded before coming into conflict with other properties. The minutiae are vast within this scope of research and require you to visit your city and county offices to get detailed records on the property in question.
City and Neighborhood Data
You can see how the neighborhood in question lines up against similar neighborhoods and properties in different cities in your state. You can pull data such as crime rates, graduation rates, median incomes, etc. These data numbers will paint a realistic picture of the home in question comparatively to other homes like it.
Spread the Love
Never go all-in with just one property, you should always have a couple of other properties of interest when you shop for a home. Doing this will give you some quick comparisons to lean in when initially considering the offer for the house. Having options will also help you in better determining the true value of the home when comparing it to your other selections. This will also give you a little bit of “walk-away” leverage when it gets to the price haggling stage if that option is on the table.
Talk with the Townsfolk
When setting up that home inspection to check out the home inside and out, you can also take the time to chat with people in the neighborhood, go to the local grocery store, etc. This will give you a feel for the local flavor and what it would be like to live there. You really don’t want to commit to a home, close on the property, and move in to find out that the neighbors and the locals are jerks.
Registry of Deeds
Buyers should do this step (either in-person or online) to research the transactions based around the property. These transactions are things like: Property taxes, liens, last sale price of the property, current mortgages, etc. Having all of this data can paint a bigger picture as to what your parameters are in terms of buying price.
These are just some of the methods you can use to do your own due diligence before purchasing a home. There are more methods out there to use to get as much information as you possibly can about the property. “Knowledge is Power” and that knowledge could end up saving you thousands of dollars in the long run.