Property History and Location – Why is it important to know the history?
If it’s an apartment, who was the developer? Is the developer reputable? Do they have a history of building problem buildings? Are they a new, unknown developer? If so, what kind of support can I expect from them? Will they stand behind their product?
These are all questions you need to take into consideration. One caveat is that just because it was built by a reputable developer, doesn’t mean the building won’t have significant issues.
One of my client’s properties is a penthouse built by a reputable developer in the business for decades. But, unfortunately, this building has had a lot of problems. Just by looking at it, you can tell the quality was just mediocre. But, further investigation found out that this developer has built other buildings that have had some similar issues.
What if it’s a home? For homes, look at the ownership history. Are you the 2nd owner, 3rd owner or…? Has the home been changing owners frequently? Why is the owner selling? Check with your real estate agent to see the property’s history.
Gary, Why is this important?
Well, if the owner has lived in the home 30 years, chances are, the homeowner has taken care of the home and done its regular maintenance. If they didn’t, the home would be falling apart and it would be obvious.
If the home has been changing hands frequently, you have to wonder, “What’s wrong with this place?” Does the home have a troublesome neighbor? Is it a stigmatized property? Are there some structural issues or material latent defects?
Most buyers are aware that location is very important. Is it close to a school, park or community center? Is it convenient to transit and shopping? Location is often important not only for lifestyle but when it comes to selling your property.
Gary, it doesn’t apply to me. I’m planning on living there forever.
The average homeowner moves homes every 7 years. This includes those who say they’re going to live in that home forever. No one can predict the future and sometimes life throws us some good and bad changes that cause us to move.
Anyway, if you’re buying a home, be aware that the following factors will hinder your ability to sell the home. I call these LOCATION STIGMAS.
- If the home is located on a T-junction
- If the backyard is located on a T-junction
- If the front of the home is facing someone’s backyard
- If the backyard is facing the back of some commercial restaurants or properties
- If the home is located beside or near an electrical plant
- If the townhome is located beside the complex’s electrical box or transformer
- If the home is located beside or near a gas station
- If the home is located next to a religious institution
- If the home is on a big street
- If the home is home is located in an area where there is peat or soft soil
- If the home is beside or near a fire or police department or hospital
- If the home has lots of No Parking signs right outside due to City bylaws
- If the home is directly under the flight path of an airplane
- If the home is beside or near an active railroad track or skytrain
Some of these may be common sense to you, but some you may be unsure of why they affect the ability to sell the property. Talk to a knowledgeable Real Estate Agent and he/she can explain the reasoning behind them.
Other tell-tale signs you should be aware of is the history and location of the property. For apartments, pay attention to who the developer is. For houses, find out whether the seller has lived there for a long time or not.
Most buyers don’t live in the house they buy forever, so consider the location and how that can affect the ability to sell it in the future.
Not learning about the property’s history and location stigmas.
Ask lots of questions to your Real Estate Agent. A property’s history and location stigmas can affect whether the property’s priced well, overpriced or something to stay away from.