Before buying a piece of furniture, you always check for defects, test it, ask various questions about it before you actually buy it. Why not do the same for a property which costs a whole lot more? First time homeowners and landlords often make the mistake of trusting their real estate agent or the seller implicitly without bothering to check a property’s background. When a property is new, then there is no cause to do so. However, if a property is old then you might want to do some sleuthing of your own. So here is a list of ways on how you can check your property’s history before making the critical buy decision. There are offline and online methods, but in this digital age, we recommend go online first.
1. Local municipality
First stop the local municipality. Tax records hold important information related to your property’s history. These tax records can easily be found in the local municipality. You can access them with permission from the previous owner of the house. However, nowadays the municipality itself lists out the tax records once the property is put on sale. You just have to check out the list.
2.Online property listings
Homeowners and landlords usually refer to their trusted real estate agent to short list properties for them to view, and negotiate offers with the owners. However, when you have finalized a piece of property, why not contact the owner directly? The good thing about this is, the owner usually list details about the property without the exaggerated marketing talk. It is, after all, a matter of financial importance to them to get it sold without a hitch. So, instead of the sugar-coated talk by your real estate agent, you can find out about the property’s history from the owner themself. Review the information they share and choose wisely.
3. Older maps
The local San Fernando Valley library will have older, historical maps of the area. Take a day off and use it to check these maps. You will find out about the previous land area or span of the property, other previous buildings in the vicinity that could be available for sale. By reviewing thus, you can find out whether your property could be merged with those next door, by paying a small price. Who doesn’t like a larger property? It will broaden your perspective for sure.
4. Government databases
There are certain, sometimes free and sometimes paid for, government databases that give out history of every property in the states. For this, you’ll need your agent’s help. You can ask them to log you on to a database that provides easy access to old information such as tax records, previous owners, disputes etc. You’ll also need to know the pin code of the area and the Indian state the property currently is present in to locate your property. Once you do that, you’ll have a whole lot of information at your fingertips to make the buy decision.
5. Ask Neighbors
Since you would be visiting the area where your property is located a lot of times, it would be smart for you to build rapport with your would-be neighbors as well. What better way than to build friendly relations with them AND get to know more about your property’s history. You never know, your neighbors might have certain knowledge of the household that might affirm or negate your choice whether to live there or not.
There is never too much information where a lot of money invested in a property is concerned. Always, take precaution to check your property’s history and satisfy yourself before you give the OK to your real estate agent. Start off with the last one, asking the neighbors, which is the easiest. Then, if you’re satisfied you can move on to other options. And if you don’t have time, then refer to reputable property management company like ours which has access to all types of property information for you to refer to.