Some information about real estate:
Back to those pesky disclosures you have to sign when you head out to see property – once again, I throw out my disclaimer that I work in DC, MD and VA, so I can really only speak to those jurisdictions, but most places in the country have something similar to the document called “Some information about real estate”. And regardless, this information is relevant no matter where you live.
- You need to make all offers to buy a home in writing. And you need to have signed all of the necessary paperwork before you even see property so you know who represents you when you make the offer. We can’t discriminate in ANY way when showing you property – see http://www.hud.gov/offices/fheo/FHLaws/yourrights.cfm for reasons why. Finally, you are buying property that is subject to specific land rules. Like don’t buy a property and think you can suddenly grow chickens in the yard. This will go poorly for you.
- When you buy property, the county/jurisdiction could decide to raise your property taxes after you purchase it. You have the right to appeal, which can be arduous, but you can do it. And you should – why pay more in taxes for assessed value of your new home than market value, which is presumably what you paid when you bought it?
- You have the right to pretty much any inspection of the prospective property, as long as it is written into the contract. So check it all out if you want – the general property, paint, radon, mold, landfills, airport noise. . .you get the idea. It’s really best that you know as much as possible when you buy so there are no unpleasant surprises later. Like airplanes nearly landing in your backyard.
- You can choose your lender, homeowner insurance policy, warranty provider, check criminal activity in your prospective neighborhood, and so on. We can provide referrals for lenders, insurance, title companies and home warranty companies, but are prohibited by federal law to disclose any information about criminal activity in a neighborhood. We CAN provide the information you need in order to find it on your own, though. Do it for all of the obvious reasons.
- Review homeowner association/condo association documents, prospective property disclosure/disclaimer statements, and any jurisdictional documents (county, municipality, etc.) that could impact your purchase. Generally speaking you have time to review these documents before or during the contract period, and you need to because that pool you wanted to build. . .? Yeah, check that out. . .
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