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.
The above was presented by Associated Appraisal Group, Inc.
Reprinted with permission. Florida Realtors®. All rights reserved.
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