Where to Find the Complete Information of a Real Estate Property

Where to Find the Complete Information of a Real Estate Property

As with all large purchases, you always want to do your research before investing in real estate or buying property. Real estate does not come cheap. So, you should know exactly what you’re getting for your money.  By doing your due diligence, you can find the complete information of a real estate property before making a decision that you may come to regret later on. So, here are a few things to keep in mind as you evaluate real estate properties to help you avoid buyer’s remorse and bad investments.

Checklist for a Real Estate Property

Personally, I use checklists for everything. They are especially helpful for me since I tend to have a ton of questions and sometimes forget small details. When it comes to a decision as important as buying real estate, I want to be certain I don’t miss anything. Therefore, I track my progress and record details along the way.

For those who are new to real estate and are not sure what to look for, these are the initial questions and details I search for when comparing properties:

1. Where is it located?

    • What’s the neighborhood like?
    • Does the neighborhood have strict covenants, conditions, and restrictions?
    • What’s the proximity to schools, stores, and other towns?
    • What’s the proximity to main roads and throughways?

2. How old is it?

    • Is it a historic building?
    • Are there additions to the original structure?
    • Does it have damage or code violations?
    • Does it require immediate attention and repairs?

3. What does the floor plan look like? What’s the total square footage?

    • How many bedrooms/bathrooms are there?
    • Are there any extra facilities or features (additional bathrooms, bonus rooms, outdoor space, recent renovations, upgraded appliances)?
    • Does it have a yard/garden/parking?
    • Is there unfinished space that could increase the value of the home?

4. What do the records show?

    • How many previous owners were there?
    • Are there outstanding property taxes owed?
    • Are there liens or easements on the property?
    • Is the property in the neighborhood expected to appreciate in value?

By no means is this a complete or universal real estate checklist. However, it does provide a place to start asking and adding questions of your own.

How to Find the Complete Information of a Real Estate Property

Whether you are comparing, evaluating, or buying, it is difficult to find complete information about a real estate property in one place. But, if you know what to look for and which questions to ask, you can uncover the full history of a property. Here are a few resources that can give you a clearer picture and important details that you need to know.

Zillow.com

While many people complain that the information isn’t always accurate, Zillow.com is an incredible real estate resource. There are several reasons why it’s the leading marketplace among homebuyers.

Since it provides pictures and information on location, floorplans, and other crucial details, it’s a great place to start researching a property. Not only does it have the largest database, but also a variety of learning resources for anyone looking to buy or sell property. In fact, Investopedia rated it the best overall real estate website. So, if you don’t know where to start collecting information, download their app and browse local listings.

Ask Your Realtor

If you are working with an agent, any reputable realtor will know the history of the property. They should be able to tell you about the structure, the neighborhood, and the current owners. Furthermore, they can also help you locate the names of a property’s former owners.

Strict laws also require real estate professionals to disclose any known issues that may affect a sale. However, there may be existing issues they are unaware of. So, it’s important to also follow up with inspections to discover any serious problems they may have missed.

Conduct a Title Search

Finally, you can conduct a title search to find any legal documentation associated with the property. This is a vital step when purchasing any property, so many people choose to hire a professional service to compile the information for them. However, you can search yourself by obtaining information from the courthouse, county assessor’s office, census records, and historical registers when you are looking at older real estate.

The results of the title search are a deciding factor for many people. After reviewing all the property’s tax records, you will know every legal owner from the very beginning until now. In addition to ensuring that the seller is the actual owner, a title search will uncover outstanding property taxes, liens against the property, or easements for the property’s use. All of these factors could affect the sale of the property, and should be considered in your final decision.

Importance of Due Diligence

Although it takes a lot of time and effort, you must ensure that you do your due diligence if you need the complete information of a real estate property. By law, you have 30 days to examine the property, hire experts to perform inspections and tests, and take time to consider the sale before you decide to buy. Be sure that you hire a licensed professional to conduct all your inspections. And, take note of any areas susceptible to damage or that may present problems in the future.

Not only does it allow you the time to fully understand the piece of real estate, but it also grants you the ability to terminate any agreements without penalty. Think of ‘due diligence’ as the grace period to weigh the pros and cons before you make your decision. Depending on what they find during the inspection, it may also provide an opportunity for you to try renegotiating for a better deal. Knowledge can be a very powerful tool. When applied to investing in real estate, it could help you vet out the best opportunities and avoid costly mistakes.

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