I put together 3 simple things that I think a lot of home buyers don't think about, but most likely should.
One of the biggest things people don't think about is going to the town to look into information about the property that they're buying.
What a lot of people don't know is that the information at the Town Hall is public record for property.
All of NH small towns will have a folder and you would be surprised at how much information the lady at the counter already knows about that property.
These town offices are usually stopped in by appraisers to gather information about properties.
Here's a list of a few things that you might find in a folder
- Building permits
- Septic designs
- The unknown about the property
A lot of these things are very important and these things you won't be brought up typically during the home buying process.
Building permits are very important because it gives you an idea of the type of person that was living in the home.
It's also going to help you understand or reassure you more on the additions or renovations that have been done and if they were done correctly.
Septic design permits will usually have a set of plans which can help you locate where the septic is and also let you know the age of the system and the type of system that the property has.
For instance, if If you're buying a house that's the late 80s or 90s with the original septic system that is piped stone it could be an indication that you're getting close to the end of its life.
What is the unknown? It's exactly what I'm saying, you have no idea what you could find in this file. In some towns come across someone that is on top of things and you can find all kinds of stuff on the properties.
Once again, take a look at public records and you might be surprised at what you find.
Walk the land
It's funny, this one really surprises me. Being with lots of home buyers during home inspections I'll ask them if they have walked the land and they typically say no.
What if on the back of your property they used it for a dump site? Who knows what could have been dumped out there.
What if the home had an old dug well that nobody really knew about? This could be a safety concern, someone could accidentally fall in it while you own the property.
Another thing you might find is that a neighbor has built something on your land. I do believe in the state of New Hampshire there is a law that states if someone had been using your land for more than 10 years that it becomes theirs.
This step is not done by a home inspector. Here is a good guide of what we do.
Talk to the neighbors
So here's a scenario for you… You're all excited about a property, it's in the great location and you are motivated to live there. You never talked to the neighbors so you really have no idea who you're buying a home next to...
Maybe, that neighbor listens to crazy loud music and has teenagers coming and going at all hours of the night.
Or, that neighbor has a kennel at his house that's not quite legal but he's been getting away with it for years and now you have to listen to barking forever...
The point of this is you really have no idea who you're buying a home next to. Personally I would go knock on the doors and introduce myself and ask how they like living in the neighborhood.
With making such a huge purchase, I'd really want to know when I'm getting involved in.