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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Home Buyers -- Perform Your Own Homework

Your real estate agent can show you properties that meet your search parameters like price range, structure age, square footage, school district, beach side, rural, etc.  Your agent can show you golf course communities, gated communities, 55+ communities, new developments, short sales, foreclosures or whatever.

However, this real estate agent will not do anything to violate the Fair Housing Act - Don't ask!

The Fair Housing Act prohibits any different treatment of persons based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or handicap. 

If you find interest in a particular property your real estate agent can request the seller disclosures and HOA rules.

As a buyer it is a good idea for you to also perform your own research.
  • Worried about crime, check with local law enforcement.
  • Wonder if there are sexual offenders in the area, check the state database.  
  • Really wonder about the schools, research the local schools and visit them.  
  • Wonder what the neighborhood is like after all the kids are home from school and people return from work, visit in the evening or weekend.
  • Wonder how the neighbors like living in the area, ask them.
  • Wonder how the homeowner association is doing, attend a meeting and ask for a financial disclosure or summary from the seller.
As a buyer these areas can be just as important as a property inspection (or more) as they impact your future quality of life.

The information is available – use it!

This post was inspired by a recent article by Debe Maxwell, Realtor®, Charlotte, NC.

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