Just because a house falls in your price range and is in a neighborhood you desire, don’t fall head over heels in love just yet. There could be many things just under the surface that could turn this deal sour after you close, so slow down and consider some of the following before you make that jump into a house you think is the perfect choice. Take the following advice from Charleston SC Real Estate guru’s Premier One:
1. Check the Area – Most realtors are not allowed to comment on the crime in the surrounding neighborhoods, so don’t even put them in that position. There is a way to get a real feel for a neighborhood if you think there could be issues. Rather than stopping by the house at noon when all is quiet and everyone is on best behavior, park the car around the corner at 8pm and walk the neighborhood instead. Take in the surrounding blocks and you can tell when the sun is down if this is an area you want to raise a family or not.
2. Hire an Inspector – Regardless how old the house may be, always hire a home inspector to check everything before you sign the papers to proceed. Most people are aware of the importance of a home inspector checking older house for structural damage, wiring issues, leaks, or signs of pest problems. The same can be said for a brand new house too. Shoddy construction work hidden behind walls or plumbing that was quickly assembled to meet deadlines could be under code and ready to break soon after you move in. Let the home inspector do their job and make certain you are getting the best value for your money.
3. Social Groups – Once you know the neighborhood that you are interested in, go to social sites like Facebook and join local discussion groups. Not only will you discover the best places to eat, you will find out about nightmare neighbors, crime, and issues with water or electricity in that area. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, most participants are more than happy to share their experiences on that block or neighborhood with you. Whether you are concerned with schools, neighbors, or associations, these social forums provide users a wealth of information.
Just because a realtor is not allowed to go into details about specific things about the house or neighborhood should not discourage you from taking this task on yourself. A little work could reveal this is a dream location or one you should not even consider.