Gerald’s Article Insights: “HOA Horrors and How Not to Fall Victim to Them”

Proper due diligence is critical to making wise real estate buying decisions. While nobody can predict the future, you should always take the time to do your homework before you sign a purchase contract to buy real estate. Unexpected surprises that can affect your property are not limited to homeowner association documentation. Towns, gated communities and condominium associations may also have rules or ordinances that can have an enormous impact on your real estate investment. Here are 5 additional questions you should answer before you buy a property:

1. Are there any deed restrictions on the property you want to purchase? (Control)
2. What is crime rate in your property’s neighborhood? Are there any registered sex offenders in the neighborhood? (Safety)
3. Are property prices in the neighborhood increasing, decreasing or remaining stable? (Value/Appreciation)
4. Is there an abandoned oil tank on your property? Is your property next to or near a dry cleaner or a gas station? (Environmental Contamination)
5. Is your property located near an airport? (Noise)
Caveat Emptor is Latin for let the buyer beware. Real estate can be an outstanding investment, but also has the potential to turn into a nightmare if you are careless. As Oprah Winfrey eloquently put it, “The greatest lesson of life is that you are responsible for your life.” Make sure you do your research before you sign that contract.


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