Alabama is a buyer beware state what exactly does this mean for Pelham Alabama homebuyers?
According to the Alabama Real Estate Institute, this means you must notify the buyer that it is their responsibility to have the proper inspections performed on a home before they actually close on the sale. The buyer is not to rely on the seller to disclose all imperfections of a property when making a decision whether to buy or not to buy.
This basically means "buyer beware". It is an interesting time for a buyer to beware in the state of Alabama right now especially Pelham Alabama.
Pelham Alabama experienced a significant flood in October 2021. As these properties are being repaired. many are being sold. This can be challenging since it is a buyer beware state. It's especially challenging because of the crazy real estate market right.
So is there any way to protect yourself as a buyer to determine if a property has flooded? Yes, there are a few things we are going to discuss that can help you.
We are going to look at inspections and ask the right questions
Home inspections can play an important role in determining if a property has had water damage. About a year ago my wife and I were looking at properties to purchase. We were actually able to use the home inspection report to determine that water had actually entered the property causing damage. The inspection has helped us see that the issues that caused the water damage had been fixed.
Asking the Right Questions
Protecting yourself as a buyer can come down to asking the right questions. This is why it is always smart to work with licensed real estate agents when asking property owners questions about a property. Many times a real estate agent knows what questions to ask because of their experience in dealing with property sales.
The home buying process can be tricky if the right questions are not asked. One of those questions should be has the property flooded since you have owned it or lived in it?
When doing a real estate transaction it might be that it's an investment property where the property owner has never lived in the property.
This is the case with many Pelham Alabama properties as many properties are smaller homes or even townhouses.
It's also important to understand the flood zone and flood risk of the property. Mortgage companies will run a standard flood zone determination to determine if the Pelham Alabama property is in the special flood hazard area, If it is in the special flood hazard area then the flood zone is generally going to be flood zone A or Flood zone AE. You can learn the difference in the video below.
If the mortgage company comes back and says it is not in a special flood hazard area that is great it means that flood insurance will not be required. However, that does not mean that the property will not flood or has not flooded.
Many Pelham Alabama properties that flooded in October 2021 were not in high-risk flood zones they were in low-risk flood zones also called flood zone x.
Finding out if a property has flood claims on it can be difficult since these losses generally can only be disclosed to the current property owner. So these questions can be very important it's also important to ask the owners of adjacent properties if they have ever experienced flood damage since living there.
As a buyer of course there are only so many questions you can ask. So you really have to do your due diligence to understand everything during the diligence period. Working with a buyer's agent or sometimes a single agent is one way to do that.
One thing is to get flood insurance quotes for the property through the National Flood Insurance Program and private flood insurance companies. You can watch the video below to learn about the difference.
So are there any exceptions to the buyer beware law in Alabama? There can be some things that fall under health and safety and if you are lied to about a certain question. We are not licensed attorneys so we can not advise on these things.
However, if you have questions about understanding your flood risk, how to reduce it, or different flood insurance options then we can help you.
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