Finding out about financing - the real lowdown. - Posted by GL
Posted by GL on June 16, 2000 at 20:19:58:
I would never make an offer on a property unless I knew all the details about the property. You can find out all about it for a small fee, because all documents must be REGISTERED, and they are available to the public. That means anybody can look them up, including you!
Here in Canada the Registry Office is the place to look. In the US I believe the County Courthouse is where they keep these records. Call a real estate agent and ask. You have to go to the Court House and pay a fee to look at the records. The fee here is $5 for each property, for that sum you can look up all the deeds mortgages leases easments surveys etc. etc. all the way back for 100 years or more!
Don’t be scared, ask the clerk for help if you need to. Try to go when they are not too busy. For some reason most deals close on the first of the month, that is when they are busiest. Any other time they should have time to help out. Soon you will know how to look up things without help. For only $5 bucks it is fantastic. You can find details of zoning etc. even the RE agent doesn’t know. They always take the vendor’s word anyway and vendors are notorious liars. Also they don’t know what they are talking about half the time.
You can also get info for free from the tax office. Also other public officials like the Building Inspector,and the Fire Marshal can tell you if there are outstanding work orders on the property etc.
It is fantastic what you can find out by asking a few questions. And it does not hurt to establish a friendly relationship with building inspectors etc. I mean to let them know you are a reasonable person who wishes to always obey the law, and not pull a fast one.
Good luck in your new venture!