When you buy a house..you’re not just purchasing a home, but you’re also purchasing the location as well. You must conduct your own investigation in regards to the location and condition of the neighborhood. You should drive by the area at all times of day and night during different days of the week. This will let you know what you’re really dealing with. A realtor can have his or her license taken away by commenting on their opinion of the neighborhood. So you can’t look to your realtor on this one.
Always check with the local police department, and ask for crime reports. There are also plenty of websites where you can check out the health of the neighborhood. You should certainly utilize these tools, as we are lucky to have them these days. Homeowners decades ago didn’t have public access from right in their living room like we do today. In fact, they didn’t have much to go on at all.
Find out if the house in in foreclosure. Although homes in foreclosures can mean fantastic deals, but you must be sure of the status of a home and whether or not it’s short sale eligible or purchasable if its in foreclosure. If not, you may be making an offer on a home that a bank already owns.
Is the home in dire need of repairs? A fixer upper is cheap initially, but you’ll want a professional to tell you what it’ll really cost to get the home spruced up, and to code. If you don’t want to take on a home that needs a whole lot of work, a fixer upper is a type of home you should stay far, far away from.
Lastly, you need to get a home inspection. It should be obvious, but you should never buy a house without seeing the inspection report. Don’t forego this important step just because you don’t feel like spending the few hundred dollars it costs to get one. You’ll regret it in the long run if you don’t. Besides the fact, that inspection reports are often the buyers largest negotiation leverage tool. For more information, read this article on Why You Should (Or Shouldn’t) Buy a Fixer-Upper.