5 Things You Must Do before Making a Purchase Offer on a Home

When you find the perfect property to purchase, you ought to take a bit of caution and some time to learn about it so it doesn’t turn your dream into a nightmare. What appears to be the right home can be misleading, especially when the excitement and emotion are high and working to impair your sense to be a healthy skeptic.

Properties with Problems can Turn a Dream Home into a Nightmare

In real estate, most transactions go forward without any big problems; however, there are a good percentage which are complicated by unforeseen circumstances.

“Property liens are inconvenient, and they show up at the most inconvenient times, like when you are refinancing a mortgage or selling your house. Liens must be cleared before a lender will underwrite a new loan and before an owner can sell a house. [Most states’] county recorder-clerks notify a property owner by mail whenever a lien is filed on his property, but occasionally there are mixups and an owner is not notified. Fortunately, county recorders maintain searchable property databases open to anyone interested in researching a property.” —San Francisco Chronicle 

Do yourself a huge favor and conduct a bit of background work before you make an offer on a home. This can save you a lot of time, stress, and anxiety.

Don’t Skip these 5 Critical Checks before You Make a Home Purchase Offer

Making a purchase offer is the start of the buying process, but before you do, get in the know about the locality and the home itself so you aren’t ambushed by unwelcome surprises. Here’s what you should know about:

  • Check for liens against the property. This can be done through the website of the local clerk of the court. You don’t want to wait late in the process to be surprised when the title search uncovers possible clouds that will either delay or derail the transaction.
  • Search public court records on the current owner. If the current owner has lost a lawsuit, that can be a bad sign. It indicates there’s a winning plaintiff who might decide to place a lien on the property or a creditor that will attempt to make a claim against the home.
  • Look for unpermitted work. Okay, this isn’t necessarily going to be simple, but there are ways to find out. For instance, if the listing boasts a new roof or a completely remodeled kitchen, those improvements must be permitted by the local building department and that agency is where you’ll find the answer.
  • Ask about future construction plans. If there’s a open area nearby the home, sooner or later, there’ll be a developer in to build. Search local newspapers online to find out if the home will be next to a high traffic retail property.
  • Check out the school zoning situation. Generally, school districts stay the same year after year. However, if you’re new to the area, be proactive and look for any news about any redistricting plans.

When you put in the effort, you’ll find it worth the time and effort and make a good decision based on facts, rather than emotion.