Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Due Diligence

I like to know what I am getting into before I make an offer on a home I am interested in. And lately there have been some temptations.

The following is a list of items I checked on with the offer we made a couple weeks ago. I am sure there are more, so feel free to chime in. I will add to it and post it on the sidebar with the other home buying resources.
  • Check to see where the home falls on the El Dorado County asbestos mapping.
  • Look at the tax assessor’s website. Since I am new to the area, I also called to find out about the county tax rate (1.0364%), special impact assessments and the other district fees.
  • Verify the school district. Redistricting has occurred several times and I wanted to see how likely would we be to get redistricted…as well as ask about how impacted are the schools.
  • Get an estimate on water usage to see how it compares to what we pay now. El Dorado Irrigation District 530 642- 4000
  • Get an estimate on electricity and gas usage to see how it compares to what we pay now: PG&E 800-743-5000
  • Used the online form of my insurance company to get an estimate on Homeowners Insurance.
  • C.L.U.E. Report for previous insurance claims on the home
  • Googled the address to see what comes up.


alba said...

Test scores is the most important factor for me. Most communities that have high test scores, receive a premium for their homes, down to the actual elementary school. Test scores usually have some inferred advantages, but without building up the snooty factor too much, among other things, parent involvement can be measured in test scores.

Home builder: Even in Serrano, or south of 50, you can find builders you're gauranteed to experience buyers remorse. Additionally, take a look at communities those builders have completed.

In Serrano, did the eastside elementary school get built? If not, bussing out of Serrano could be a pain, especially if you end up driving the kiddies to and from. Think you might do some volunteer time at the school? That could be 4 trips/day.

Location, location, location. In good times, the right location goes for a premium. In bad times, you can't give away a bad location. Its hardly ever worth the discount. In Serrano, I'd go with east-facing backyard, on a cul-de-sac, with open field behind, and the park down the street (start with ideal). And never back up to the major roads.

All seems basic, but a good price, and an assertive middle-person, usually trumps best intentions.

anon1137 said...

How about checking with the local building dept to see if any permits have been issued and/or completed, to check the original plans for the house (compare with current layout for work that was done w/o permits), and check for any code of plan variances that have been issued.

Also, if you're unfamiliar with the neighborhood, check with the police dept for crime reports in the neighborhood.

Buying Time said...

Other things to check on might be www.rottenneighbor.com and if you have kids, the Megan's Law databases.