You and your spouse look at a house that matches every feature and amenity you gave to your agent. The backyard is huge, and the landscaping is beautiful. It seems like a slam dunk, right? If you do all of your preliminary investigative work before you decide to buy a house, then you know that there is more to deciding on a house than meets the eye.

A Lien

The great landscaping and brand new roof on the house you are looking at will not, in any way, reveal the $100,000 lien that the house has held against it at city hall. Liens are put on properties for a variety of reasons, and they have to be satisfied before the house can be sold.

If it is a small lien and you really like the house, you may want to pay the lien to allow the transaction to go through. But it is important to remember to put that contingency in your sales contract before both you and the seller sign it.

A Shady Past

The Amityville Horror house was not on the market for very long after the movie was released before it sold again. That house not only has a history of multiple murders, but the movie made the house look like the guardhouse to the gates of Hell.

If you are one of those people who are skittish about certain things, then refusing to buy a house with a shady past is a perfectly legitimate reason. Some people just don’t like buying houses where people were killed or drug lords used to live, and that is probably for very good reasons.

Strange Zoning

If the property you are considering is zoned for residential and commercial, does that change your responsibilities in any way? The way a home is zoned rarely has a negative impact on the owner, but that does not mean that something strange cannot happen. Some people like to file a strangely zoned house under their “not interested” file and move on.

Proximity To Noise

It has happened more than once in the history of American realty that a buyer had no clue the house they were buying had huge commercial jets flying over it until they purchased the property. If the timing is just off when the buyer looks at the house and the seller “forgets” to mention the commercial air traffic that passes 100 feet over the top of the house, then it can be a disaster for the buyer.

If you are looking at a home and see railroad tracks next to it, then do not assume the tracks are abandoned. If you see a large factory only a few yards from the front door of a home you are considering, then make sure that the factory noise does not go on all night before you make your purchasing decision. It is always a good idea to ask about unforeseen sources of noise or annoyance before you put your signature on the sales agreement to a house.

There are a lot of questions potential home buyers need to ask, but some of the best questions are often forgotten. To protect yourself and your investment, it is important to be comprehensive in your research on a property before you approve the sale.