REAL PROPERTY INVESTIGATIONS (PART 1)
Due to the recent housing boom and bust, many potential investors and home buyers are concerned about widespread fraud in the industry. Unlicensed activity, conflicts of interest, and fraud are increasing at an alarming rate. In a perfect world, sellers and realtors would disclose all adverse information about the property one is interested in obtaining. Remember, it is the responsibility of the buyer to be informed.
The Commonwealth of Virginia is a caveat emptor (buyer beware) state. This means that disclosures by a seller are limited in scope. What does this mean to the buyer? The buyer must not only deal with the stress of determining which property is suitable for their needs, but they must also be responsible for obtaining additional information regarding the property.
Potential real estate homebuyers and investors have requested real estate property investigations because the following typically have not been disclosed and could adversely affect the property:
Natural Death on the Property Suicide on the Property
Homicide on the Property History of Drug Activity
Other Criminal Activity Sex Offenders in Area
Problem Neighbors Area School Reputation
Why should you be concerned? Check back for Real Property Investigations Part 2 and find out how TEA2SEA LLC can help you.
REAL PROPERTY INVESTIGATIONS (PART 2)
TEA2SEA LLC wants to provide its clients with peace of mind in regards to purchasing or leasing a property. While practicing due diligence, our firm will accomplish this by performing a thorough background investigation. With this data, a private investigator can assimilate any potential issues which may be a cause for concern.
Some things a potential purchaser, lessee, or renter should consider:
Will a residence that was used as an illegal drug laboratory or place of business be safe to live in? Is it possible that someone who previously purchased drugs at the home may return? Will a landlord be responsible if the current tenants become ill due to chemical exposure created by the previous tenants?
Will children be safe if there are known sex offenders living within the neighborhood?
Will your family be comfortable living in a home where a known death, suicide, or other violent crime was committed?
What is the true reason the owner is selling?
Was the appraiser licensed and was an unbiased party to the transaction? Is the realtor properly licensed and their history reveals that they have committed no fraudulent activity? Are there any outstanding liens or pending lawsuits on the property?
Are there any underground tanks or caverns located on the property? Does the building contain asbestos, lead, radon, or Stachybotrys mold?
If you see that dream property you want to purchase or that apartment you want to rent, go to our contact tab and let us help you.
Dangers of Not Vetting Contractors
The time has come to remodel that kitchen. You are wondering who you may be able to hire to do the job. You decide to go online and see who may be out there. You come across a website that claims they have contractors for you. You fill out the form and you may even pay a fee.
The website you are dealing with informs you that a contractor will be coming to your home and will complete the remodel. You have entered into an agreement with the website for $5,000.00.
The contractor arrives, they inform you the work will be done within fifteen days of starting. Since your kitchen will be unavailable, you decide to go stay with your family while the work is being done.
Thirteen days later, you get a call informing you the work has been completed and they are leaving. You arrive home and nearly pass out when you walk into the kitchen. You discover wiring hanging out from under your cabinets, the refrigerator is making a weird sound, your hot water is coming from the cold water spigot and cold is coming out of hot. Your kitchen light is flickering and smoking, and to add injury to insult, you get a call from the website, and they tell you that you owe them an additional $2,000.00 for work that had to be done to bring the kitchen up to code. You tell them the work is subpar and you want the contractor to come back and make it right. The website dismisses you and you are informed they will be placing a lien on your home for failure to pay.
You also found out the contractor did not have workers’ compensation insurance. You are notified that you will be responsible for one of the workers who had broken their finger while completing work in your kitchen.
You may not even know the contractor they are sending over by dealing with the website. They can tell you they have properly vetted them, they are a reputable organization, and all their work has been verified. Well, how do you know all this is true? You don’t. A good friend of mine recently had a new fence installed. He dealt with a website that aligns you with contractors, I will not use their name, and they did not even give him the name of the contractor. The contractor arrived a day later than scheduled, he provided the contractor with a secured place so they could store their tools and materials, and he even provided water and electricity for the job. Fortunately, in this case, the contractor appears to have done a good job. However, after the contractor leaves, my friend gets a call from this website, and they told him he owes an additional $350.00 for root removal. At no time before, during, or after the job did the contractor mention this additional cost. I decided to check out this website he dealt with and there are numerous complaints against them. You should always deal with the contractor and not a website. There is nothing more satisfying than one-on-one business dealings.
Here are some things to consider when you want to hire a contractor. First, and probably most importantly, ensuring compliance. Check to see if they are properly licensed in the type of work that needs to be done, Verify their insurance certificate, and ensure they have workers’ compensation insurance for their employees.
Ask for references from their previous jobs. You could also ask to see completed jobs. Remember, you should never buy a car without test driving it first. Give the same thought when investing money into projects.
You could always hire a private investigator to conduct a background check on the prospective contractor you want to hire.
At TEA2SEA LLC, we can help give you a piece of mind by conducting a background check for you. We exercise due diligence in every aspect of the investigation and verify all information afforded to us. Let us bridge the gap between your needs and satisfaction. We look forward to hearing from you.