Finding a home you like isn’t the only task at hand when you are in the market for a home. That’s just the first step. You have several other ‘due diligence’ steps you must take before you make a decision.
One of those steps is learning about the home’s history. There could be something in the home’s past that makes you change your mind about purchasing the home. It may also make you feel even more excited to buy it. For example, historical homes may have some interesting memories tied to it that make you feel even more at home with the house.
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Finding out the history of a home isn’t an easy task, though. It will require some legwork on your part.
Talk to the Experts
Once you sign a purchase contract, you’ll have to pay an appraiser to go through the property and make sure it’s in good condition. This is a great place to start. The appraiser may have records of the home from past appraisals or just know the area well. Have a conversation with the appraiser either before or after the appraisal to see what he comes up with regarding the home’s history.
If you pay for the optional inspection, use the inspector’s professional opinion as well. He has to dig deeper than the appraiser does when evaluating the property, so he may find more things than the appraiser found. If he notices anything historic about the home, ask him to let you know. You can then use that information as your starting point for research into the home’s history.
Get Friendly With the Neighbors
You should always get to know the area the home is in as well before buying the home. This is the perfect time to ask neighbors questions about the home. Do they know any historical facts about it? Do they happen to know of anything bad that occurred in or to the house? These stories aren’t meant to scare you away, but rather keep you informed.
For example, if there has been a whole slew of owners, find out why. Are the taxes unaffordable, chasing people away? Is there something wrong with the home that the previous owners just didn’t want to deal with? The answers to these questions can help you make an informed decision regarding what you plan to do.
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Use Online Resources
The internet has a wealth of information regarding a home’s history. If you want to know specific things about the neighborhood, such as the crime rate, environmental concerns, or noise level, check out Home Disclosure. If you are curious about the area’s school ratings, check out Great Schools. On this website, you can see the school’s academic scores, the demographic breakdown, and information on the teachers/staff.
The more online resources you tap into, the more you’ll be able to find out about a home’s history. Everything today is stored online, so with enough research, you should be able to find the information you desire.
Check With the County
The final place you can check is your county. Any matter of public record should be available at the courthouse. You may even have access to the documents online as many counties have scanned all of their public records into their system. In order to access this information, you’ll need the property’s legal description and pin number.
The more research you conduct a home’s history, the better decision you can make. For example, if you find out the home still has its original electrical or plumbing systems and it’s 100 years old, you may not be up for the task of maintaining and/or replacing it. These are questions you need answers to in order to make sure the home is what you see at face value.
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