Buying a house is a lot more complex than it may seem. You just want to walk into a house and get that special feeling, which signals that this might be the one. At first, you analyze the layout of the house, size of the closets, and determine whether you like the kitchen countertops. But once the house gives you all the right feels, you must consider a multitude of other things that would directly affect your life if you were to move into this house. If you have children, you wonder if the house is in a good school district, what your next-door neighbors are like, and whether it is a safe neighborhood.
Instinctively, you’d ask the person who gives you the tour of the house about these things. However, legally, realtors are not allowed to reveal certain information or express their opinion about neighborhoods because it would violate the Fair Housing Act, which was enacted to eliminate housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or family status. The Fair Housing Act is in place to ensure that realtors don’t try to sway buyer’s decision away from or towards certain neighborhoods.
Realtors are trained to respond tactfully when asked questions they are not allowed to answer. Talking about crime rate in a neighborhood for instance could be seen as referencing a race, and therefore it is a topic best avoided by realtors. Although realtors may not be able to answer some of your questions, they may give a vague description or point you in the right direction of resources where you can find answers.
Nowadays, house hunters have the luxury of browsing the Internet and conducting their own research regarding various topics. You can use a Family Watchdog website to find out about registered sex offenders in your desired area. Homes and the census bureau are online resource you can utilize to evaluate demographic statistics and compare wide range of housing data including home values. You can also visit the neighborhood on your own at different times of the day to get a better feel for the area and talk to your potential neighbors who may reveal critical information about the neighborhood. From your visits you may also be able to notice the demographic makeup of the neighborhood. Keep in mind that a neighborhood that was safe yesterday is not guaranteed to be safe tomorrow and vice versa.
And remember if you are looking for a home don’t forget to reach out to MilHousing Network , our network of trusted and vetted agents can help you find the house of your dreams! We also proudly partner with Veterans First Mortgage, Equal Housing Lender. Veterans First is there with an experienced lending team that can guide you through each step of the process. From getting prequalified to signing closing papers, their experts will help you meet your homebuying goals!
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