how long the property has been on the market and whether it was previously listed, withdrawn, and/or relisted for a lower price. These kinds of questions can help you decide how much to offer. You’ll also need detailed information on the property, most of which will be available from the public records. A bit of research online will disclose the name of the owner, original age of the home, mortgage history, parcel number, previous sales of the property, property deeds, and any judgments or liens filed against the seller. Information about how much the property taxes are, and whether they’re paid or in arrears, will also be available in the records. You’ll also be able to see if there were permits obtained to make improvements on the home. These permits could complicate the sale of the property if liens were attached by workmen or improvements were not done up to code. Don’t skip this search because it reveals important information about the property in which you’re interested and could save you money. You can get this information through your agent, since most agents subscribe to services that give them access to such data. If you’re not using an agent, you can obtain this information through a local title company or order online for a small fee.


Once you’ve done all your homework, you need to decide whether to buy the house. It’s important that you step back and evaluate all the information available to you from viewing the house, inspecting its condition, and obtaining public records.

Keep in mind:

• You will likely need to compromise on some of your priorities. No home is completely perfect, and a first home


Powered by