You’ve evaluated the entire market. You’ve searched through a variety of homes. You have done it! You have found the perfect fit. Now, doing some homework is pretty important. Of course we want to make sure that the house is not overpriced to protect your investment, but there are also some other things that could be critical to your needs and situation.
This is one of the reasons we highly encourage a preliminary consultation and committing to working with just one agent, rather than calling every sign that you see to view a home.
A common example is knowing about the neighborhood covenants and restrictions. One of our team members recently sold a property in an older established neighborhood in West Ashley. The neighborhood was developed in the 1960s and an old covenants stated that there were to be no farm animals. Certainly a reasonable request, especially back in the 1960s.
Fast-forward to today, and it is not uncommon for families to be focused on organic living. This particular couple had five chickens, then not only did they become loving pets they also became a source of eggs every day. Farm fresh eggs.
Without knowing this bit of information these buyers could have purchased the home, brought in their chicken coop, and stirred up a hornets nest with their new neighbors. While this is an uncommon occurrence, it certainly paints a picture of why reading the covenants and restrictions are important.
The ending was a happy one. We reached out to the neighbors and found that not only would they welcome chickens, but they were considering having a beehive as well. (this is a blog post that we wrote at the time called “Houses or Poultry Farms?”)
Here are a few items that are more financially necessary:
- Is the property in a flood zone?
- If so, how much is flood insurance?
- What are the taxes?
- Are the taxes at 4% or 6%?
- What is the pricing history?
- When did the owner purchase it?
These are all great questions, and worthy of their own blog posts (notice the foreshadowing here?)