First, decide on the neighborhoods you like. Drive around them at different times of day and night.

Pay attention to any annoying noises or odors. No one minds living on a busy road until they have lived on one or living near a sewage treatment plant until they move in.

After you have picked out the neighborhoods, write down the addresses of homes that are on the market. Call the owner, or agent if it is listed in MLS, and get all the information you can, heated and or air conditioned living space, bedroom, bath count, age, remodeling, amenities, etc.

Ask them the reason they are selling, how long they have owned the home and if they have completed any remodeling or renovations. Very important, ask if permits were issued on any improvements! Don't get caught going in to a closing with a potential problem with an addition or remodeling. If the county won't approve they renovation, they may make the owner tear it down.

Ask if it has been owner occupied or tenant occupied.

Inquire to how they arrived at the asking price, did they get an appraisal.

I just recently ran in to a situation where the seller and agent were utilizing information from a sale that was involved in a fraud case. Unfortunately, the buyer purchased the home and was immediately upside down over $50,000. DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU! DON'T LOSE MONEY!!!

If you don't call us, please call a local professional real estate appraiser to assist you. Make sure they are members of the local Multiple Listing Service and have been appraising real estate for a minimum of 10 years, preferably someone that has gone through prior markets that have had significant ups and downs.

The first question most people ask when they call is how much for an appraisal! Ask for their credentials. Ask how long they have been appraising real estate, what kind of real estate do they specialize in, if they are familiar with the neighborhood, etc. We review a high percentage of appraisal reports that use blatant erroneous sales. Just because a property is recorded as a sale in public records, does not make it an arms length transaction. A good appraiser knows how to decipher the good from the bad.

We also offer appraisal reviews. If your lender will not let you choose the appraiser, we can review the lenders appraisal for accuracy and give you the information to make an informed purchasing decision.

Contact us today to see how we can save you money on the purchase of your home, including the selling agents commission.

Home Buyers Checklist

The above was presented by Associated Appraisal Group, Inc.


What buyers often overlook in home purchases

WASHINGTON – May 7, 2012 – While a home’s appearance, financing and location sway many buyers, housing experts say they often overlook other important factors that may keep them happy for years to come with their home purchase.

A recent article at U.S. News & World Report lists tips for those often-forgotten aspects of homeownership. Here are some of those overlooked aspects:

Zoning of nearby areas: What you see today may not be what you see a few years from now. Communities’ and neighborhoods’ landscapes can drastically change in a few years. And while some of these changes may be good – such as the addition of a nearby recreation park or school – some may be viewed as a negative, like a new highway overpass behind the property. By reviewing upcoming plans and existing zoning at the city’s urban development department, home buyers can get a better idea of what the future may hold for the surrounding area of the neighborhood they choose.

Remodeling rules: Some community associations may set limitations on what can be done to a property, particularly if the buyer ever wants to make exterior changes like adding a garage or guest house. Purchasers who plan to have a house grow with their family’s needs through the years may want to investigate such rules beforehand to make sure that they’ll be able to add onto their home as needed.

Impact of crime rate: Home purchasers may not realize how buying a home in a low-crime area can help their budget. Car insurance, for example, might cost less in a neighborhood where property has historically been safe.

Source: “4 Not-So-Obvious Things to Research Before Buying a Home,” U.S. News & World Report (May 2, 2012)

© Copyright 2012 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

Reprinted with permission. Florida Realtors®. All rights reserved.

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