Has your prospective dream home been the scene of a horrific murder? The history of the home and previous occupants may be of concern or hold historical value to a potential buyer. Homebuyer house hunting homework may be the call of action to answer important inquiries.
A professional Realtor® should readily have an answer or the resource available to research an answer. Questions are encouraged. An informed consumer is in a better position to make a qualified decision for purchase.
Examples of prospective homebuyer questions could be and have been:
- Has anyone died in this house?
- Were there any crimes committed in this house?
- Are there sex offenders living nearby?
- Is there a pet leash law?
- Does the subdivision allow 3 story high jungle gyms?
- Can I run my business from this house?
- How far is the nearest firehouse?
- Can I breed pit bulls in the backyard?
Your Realtor® should know, according to his or her state laws governing whether they are able to discuss a death in the home. Texas Realtors® or home owners are not obligated to disclose this information – whether they are aware of it or not. As a prospective buyer, you have the right to research available police records, state, county and local jurisdiction public files and local newspapers and publications for information related to the home’s address.
Public records will also be the key to the history of home ownership. Most counties now have the line of ownership available on the Internet. If you are an observant researcher, it may be evident to determine if the home was inherited or transferred within a family, a foreclosure, a history of improvements, tax history, lien history and a record of the properties/improvements dimensions.
The US Department of Justice National Sex Registry has a website for researching if there are sex offenders living nearby or within the community. The Internet is also a resource for locating the nearest police and fire house. If the home is located in a town, borough, suburb or sub-division community, they may have their own website with local rules, laws, regulations and activities available. Sub-divisions may also have a copy of the by-laws and deed restrictions posted by the home owner association (HOA). Your real estate agent will also be able to obtain home owner association information for you, also.
Home owner association by-laws and deed restrictions are usually very specific and will let you know the requirements for home ownership within the subdivision. Local jurisdictions will also inform you of your ability to run a business from your residence or not. Ask specific questions. You may be able to conduct business but may not be able to post a sign advertising the business on the property. Local jurisdictions will also be able to inform you of laws and regulations in reference to pet ownership.
Again, your real estate agent or broker will have neighborhood knowledge and resources to assist with answers to your questions.
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