This short post is a continuation of "Did your real estate agent tell you to go find the answer yourself?"
When it comes to a major financial decision such as a home purchase a fully informed decision will minimize a potentially costly mistake. Much of the necessary research can take place before an offer is made on a specific property.
As a prospective home buyer much of this information should be gathered while evaluating where to look for your new home.
Information relating to location such as cost of living, school quality, property tax rates, general insurance costs (home owner, flood insurance) and crime rate are fairly easily obtained.
Once a location (and specific property) is identified some new areas of due diligence come into the picture. Here are some places to look although this is not an all inclusive list.
- I suggest starting with the seller's property disclosure for any issues with property (read but don't consider as fact).
- Find out about the home owner association (financial status, assessment and fees). Review the association documents.
- Talk with neighbors. Ask questions.
- Check the Florida sexual predator/offender database.
- Call the local law enforcement department and ask them about the neighborhood specifically.
- Visit (and confirm) the schools your children will likely attend. Start with the Brevard County Public Schools website.
- Have your property inspection done.
- Have a survey done to protect yourself.
- Call your insurance company to get quote (and find out if a four point or wind mitigation inspection should be done at the time of property inspection).
- Consult your attorney or tax adviser if these are a concern. I am a real estate agent - not an attorney or CPA.