Danger Zones: What You Don’t Know May Just Hurt You

From gas explosions to sinkholes and neighborhood crime, it’s a jungle out there. And whether you’re helping sellers list or helping buyers find the perfect home, it pays to get the details. Failing to do so could come at the expense of your reputation.

Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late to Get the 4-1-1 On Home Safety
Use these real estate buying tips to distinguish homes in the danger zone…

• Crime Rates
Check Trulia’s neighborhood guides to detect high crime rates – or simply ask neighbors, who are often a cornucopia of information.

• Flood Zones
Seek out flood zone maps, and beware of ground pitch under homes. Soil should be graded to slope gently away from the home to prevent flooding in storms. Homes located at the bottom of a hill are at additional risk.

• Gas
Contact the local utility to find out if/where larger gas lines are buried in relation to the home.

• Natural Disasters
Contact a local insurance carrier to inquire which natural disasters are common to a potential home site. A move of even a few miles could make a major difference.

• Trees
Often overlooked, trees can cause a good deal of damage, turning a simple rainstorm into a waterfall over a home. Luckily, local arborists or tree specialists often provide free consultations to homeowners/buyers, and can point out issues.

• Seller Disclosures
Though legally required disclosures vary somewhat by state, carefully review disclosure documents, which typically require disclosures regarding:
– Lead paint
– Water damage & mold
– Drainage issues (basement floods, standing water)
– Significant physical issues (foundation, roof leaks, asbestos, radon, etc.)
– Pests (snakes, mice, bats, bedbugs…)
– Neighbor disputes (boundary issues)
– Emotional defects (murder, suicide, violent crime, paranormal activity)

Do you have the real estate buying tips you need to safeguard your clients – and your reputation? Protect yourself with the help of Properties Online today.

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