Tom Kozak wrote:Hi All
My wife and I are considering buying a homestead and have made an appointment with a local real estate agent to visit a potential property. What questions should we have prepared in advance to ask her? What should I be looking for?
You look busy, do you mind if I continue to look around after you leave?
Peter Ellis wrote:Some more things to have in mind when you are looking for real estate.
The GIS system - while not every place in the US is covered, an amazing amount of it is. You can pull up current owner, previous sale prices, taxes, zoning, aerial photos. Useful stuff. Has elevation lines as well.
Check the national superfund listings. I had a line on 70 acres in southern Michigan for under $80,000. But the parcel across the street turned out to be a superfund site. Dug deeper and both sides of the road belonged to the same series of companies. Considering one of the owners of one of the past companies had gone to prison for the way they had mishandled hazardous substances on the property.
Make sure to check the zoning. It may be on the GSI details, which would make things easy. Or it may take a call to the town offices to check with them. But you want to check. You do not want to rely on the realtor to give you that information.
When you think about what you want to do on the property, think about what regulations may cover what you want to do. Do you want to sell produce from the property? Are you allowed to do that? What about livestock? Raising, selling, slaughter? Do you want to run classes? Can you have students stay on your property in tents? And so on.
Wetlands designations. There can be serious restrictions on what you can do with designated wetlands areas. If someone can give some guidance on how to find good information on wetlands I would appreciate it, my research has not been very successful in finding good data.
John Polk wrote:Not a question for the realtor, but something worth looking into:
Every county has its own Assessor's office (the guy who assigns property values and taxes on the property).
These records are public. You can usually access these online.