Verifying Property Description
Buying a property is a major financial decision. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by emotions or visuals when you’re shopping for real estate. To make sure your transaction reflects reality, you must verify the property description. Making sure it’s accurate and legal is an essential step when buying, selling, or renting.
Real estate property descriptions contain a wealth of information. It includes information about the size of the building, the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and other features. Additionally, it will detail any legal matters, such as restrictions, any shared amenities, plans, and more.
1. Get Current Property Maps
The first step when verifying a property description is to get the most current maps of the area. This will tell you precisely the boundaries of the property in question. Check the contour lines of the map to understand if there are any abrupt changes in elevation. If the boundaries aren’t clear, consult a surveyor.
2. Assess the Local Zoning Laws
The zoning laws of a locality can change the way the land is used. Zoning laws regulate the use, size, building density, proximity to roads, purpose, etc. Knowing the current zoning laws and restrictions may help you determine the value of a property.
3. Conduct a Comprehensive Title Search
Performing a title search is the most crucial step when verifying a property description. Title search costs time and money. It goes beyond a physical evaluation of the land and looks for records of ownership, liens, mortgages, easements, and other legal matters.
4. Get Environmental Assessments done
You need to make sure your property is free of environmental hazards, such as hazardous waste and other contaminants. You can either take it upon yourself to check or hire an environmental engineer and specialist. The professional assessment will go beyond the visible layers and check if there are any environmental dangers present deep in the soil or water that may pollute the land.
5. Understand Property Rights
A crucial part of verification of the property is understanding your rights as the owner. This includes understanding the conditions of rights of access, the rights to build and make modifications on the property, and any restrictions from the homeowner’s association, etc. It can be confusing, so it should be verified by a lawyer.
6. Check for Restrictive Covenants
Restrictive covenant are restrictions placed on the land, usually when selling or trading. These restrictions can limit the permissions to access the land, making changes to the land, or even disallowing certain activities. Before signing off on the ownership, make sure you have the full understanding of any restrictions on the property.
7. Check for Pending Liens
Finally, make sure that the property doesn’t have any pending liens. A lien is an official statement claiming the right to a certain asset by an individual or organization. If a property has pending liens, you might not be able to sell it until sorted. Before closing the deal, make sure you check with the title company if any liens exist or not.
Verifying a property description is essential to making sure that your real estate purchase or sale is legally sound. Make sure the maps are updated; assess the local zoning regulations and restrictions; hire a title search and conduct property rights research; have a professional evaluate the property for environmental hazards; and check for pending liens. Following this checklist will ensure that your purchase is as smooth and hassle-free.