People Are Still a Good Source of Real Estate Information
Information about the real estate industry is all around us. Between local newspaper real estate sections and the thousands of real estate-related websites on the Internet, there are more resources for real estate information now than ever before. However, as these sources grow, the time spent by some prospective buyers and sellers with actual people decreases. Never forget that doing some ground-level fact-finding can do wonders for you, especially as you endeavor to buy a new piece of real estate.
Real People, Real Source of Information
Face-to-face information will serve you well as you research a particular property. The neighbors, for example, will have useful information on the property, including how it was treated by the previous owner, the owner’s motivations for selling, and other information that you can then use to determine whether the home is right for you. In real estate transactions, this extra bit of information can be the difference between ending up with a home you’re in love with or a piece of real estate you find out later has more problems than the facade first suggested.
Census information and local resources will tell you the basics of a home and its locations, but only by talking to those that you might eventually call neighbors will you get the full story on the block, the amount of activity it gets at night, and other positives and negatives that will eventually weigh on your real estate decisions.
Keep Digging for Sources
In the event that a particular piece of real estate turns out to not be the right one for you, that personal information can also help you decide if a particular city is right for you in the first place. By broadening out your questions, you can get a wider view of the community and determine the positives and negatives of even pursuing real estate in that city. It may be the case that there are some key amenities that are too far away and that may discourage you from further pursuit of the city. Those are great bits of information to have before getting too far down the road in looking for a new home.
Aside from chatting up the neighbors, you can contact a local chamber of commerce or other similar agency, and be prepared to get nothing but a glowing review of the community. While that may seem to not be as useful, it is still certainly good to know the high points of a community and a chamber of commerce official will be all too happy to share those high points with you.
Some key things to ask about whether they concern a single home or an entire community are the level of crime, the quality of local schools, the fluctuations of local weather, and perhaps the big events held in the area around your prospective real estate. These bits of information may not show up on a local MLS printout on a particular piece of real estate, but they do matter during the new home search and should be sought out.
Get the Full and Complete Picture
Of course, it is a good idea to go back and verify the information you’ve gotten, if possible. If the neighbor is a good friend of the seller of the home you’re investigating, they may exaggerate the benefits of the home to help their friend complete the sale. Local residents may also over-sell their community with praise that might not entirely be accurate. Go back and research the claims you get if possible and sometimes with those claims as a starting point, you’ll come across information more easily.
Just as in many other aspects of life, the proliferation of information sources has put personal attention at least somewhat on the back burner. As you go about the important life decision of buying a home, make use of all routes possible, personal contact included, to get a full, complete picture of what you’re buying into. A few conversations now can save you from a handful of headaches later.