Your Tahoe Buyer Responsibilities | Buyer
Your role during the escrow process should be an active one. It is your job as the buyer to investigate and satisfy yourself on any and all aspects of the escrow and home buying process.
Don’t wait for the seller to volunteer information – stay on top of it yourself. The contract will call for specific deadlines on when the seller must perform and provide you with specific disclosures and information on the property, but it is your job to review, verify, and ask questions as that information is provided.
For example, when you review the Transfer and Disclosure Statement (TDS) a mandatory disclosure document the seller must provide you, unless they are exempt by law, keep an eye out for questions answered “unknown”, or left unanswered. Ask about them until you are satisfied with the answers.
Let’s talk about your specific concerns, or plans for the property. Concerned about the open parcel behind the house? Ask about it, or investigate it with the property entity that will have information about it. This would be the time to get a survey done, so you know where the property boundaries are located at.
You’ll want to have professional inspections performed on the property, such as a home inspection and a pest inspection. If there are problems noted in the report, now is the time to consult with a professional specialist that can review the problem(s) such as roofing, electrical, plumbing, heating/air conditioning, and structural issues just to name a few areas of inspection. It is the buyers’ responsibility to make sure they are comfortable with what they learn about the Tahoe property.
You may also wish to investigate the following non-physical conditions, including:
- Governmental zoning, requirements and limitations
- Governmental permits, inspections or certificates
- Limitations, restrictions and requirements affecting use of the property
- Rent and occupancy control
- Proximity and adequacy of law enforcement, crime statistics, proximity of registered sex offenders (see section on Megan’s Law) and other criminals
- Proximity to fire, police and other services
- Proximity to commercial, industry or agricultural activities
- Existing and proposed transportation, construction and development, which may affect noise, view or traffic, airport noise, or odor
- Title policy – preliminary title report
- Natural Hazards Disclosure (NHD) report
- Wild and domestic animals, other nuisances, hazards or circumstances
- Any CC&R’, neighborhood development local rules, regulations, and Home Owner Association documents, even if the HOA is a voluntary association.
For Further Protection – Home Warranties: Home warranties have become a more popular option on homes for sale. For protection you may wish to have a home warranty that either you or the seller pays for. (It’s negotiable you may even split the cost.)
Warranties range in price from $300 – $1,000 and, for a fixed rate, generally cover limited aspects including plumbing, electrical, appliances, heating/air conditioning, and a host of other related areas.
If you have a problem, generally you’ll pay $50-$70 to have a professional come out inspect and fix problems that are covered. A home warranty is usually good for the first year after purchase, but most companies will allow you to continue to the protection plan for an annual fee once the first year is over.