Have your sellers told you everything they know about their house?

It’s a beautiful old house across from a large park. It was only after the price had been agreed to that the buyers found out that the park was actually a dump.

If that kind of surprise isn’t what you had in mind, here are some questions you should ask your seller before you make an offer. Are there any gas stations, dry cleaners, paint stores, factories, commercial or industrial properties within a 1-mile radius of the house? Are any planned?

Ask if the house is located in a flood plain and then ask specifically if the basement has ever flooded. If it has, ask the seller how he plugged the leak.

Your new house won’t be worth much if the community builds a 4-lane highway in your backyard. Make sure the village doesn’t have any construction plans that might change the look and feel of the neighborhood.

Write out a list of questions before you sit down with the sellers. That way you won’t forget anything.

May 6, 2002.