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The Importance of Due Diligence

Aug 17, 2007
You must exercise due diligence when you plan on acquiring any type of property. It is essential to gather all the information with respect to the property that you intend to buy. You will need to start collecting facts as soon as you decide upon a particular property and may have to continue to do so for as long as the deal is not finalized and you formally become the owner.

Reliable and accurate data about the property can be had only from the primary source. The primary sources for real estate documents are either the documents themselves or the place where the record filings are maintained. Records for real estate documents are maintained at the respective government departments. The Recorder of Deeds or the Tax Assessment department in the courthouse for the county where the property is located is the right place where information can be found. The normal course adopted by people is to entrust title insurance companies to go to various courthouses for searching and looking up the relevant records. The legal description of the property and the actual dimensions are contained in the deed.

There are other fee based, and free tools as well, with information on properties nationwide. To access them you can log onto searchsystems.net, www.realquest.com and www.brbpub.com/pubrecsites.asp. But they should never be used as a substitute for the actual hands on research, which is the best way to get accurate, current and updated information. All title companies involved in insuring property title, finally rely on the information they obtain by having a hands on search conducted at the place where the actual records for the property are maintained.

In property matters, as you move further away from the primary source of information, the possibility of information being inaccurate increases. One reason is the time factor which means that that since the information has to pass through many people or organizations before it reaches the data base, it may not incorporate he current status when you access the information. Then the accuracy of the details depends on the competence of the people involved in compiling and maintaining a database. In case your situation demands that you know of contacts that can provide additional clarifications or details, databases are the place for this.

When you locate a property that interests you but are unable to get the owners address or other details, visit the municipal building to peruse the tax plats and tax maps. You will be able to get the owners name, address and the parcel identifying number. Get a copy and take it along with you when you return to the physical location of the property. It will help you in pinpointing the location through streets, intersections and other landmarks. However, there remains a possibility that the data with respect to the size, shape and other characteristics like property being serviced by public utilities may not be entirely accurate.

Also check the municipal records for the zoning ordinance and zoning map, the utility maps for public utility service, plans for proposed highways and other facilities, the master plans available with the municipality or the regional land planning agency for the profile data of the area and the flood plain map.
About the Author
Real Estate Investing is made easy with Real Net USA. Our four step program of find, fund fix and sell, is your blueprint to Real Estate Investment success. Discover how you can profit at http://www.realnetusa.com.
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