1. Avoid the realtor acting as a “dual agent” for both the buyer and the seller. Choose an experienced realtor to represent “your interests only” in the transaction.
2. Obtain home inspections by a qualified inspector and consider separate inspections for the roof, the pool and other major items not covered by the general inspection.
3. Be informed of what is on the market around you and in addition what has sold.
4. Pay attention to square footage, lot sizes and easements on properties that are one of a kind homes, as opposed to tract homes with verifiable information.
5. Review carefully the mandatory Transfer Disclosure Statement from the seller and make sure all disclosures are completed and that there are no “add ons” without permits.
6. Review and understand the restrictive covenants and HOA rules, if buying in a development covered by a HOA, as well as the monthly costs.
7. Be aware of existing lawsuits and construction defects. You can go to the Indio Court and run a civil index on both plaintiffs and defendants to see if their name comes up as parties in any lawsuits. In other words, are the parties you are dealing with overly litigious?
8. Review loan costs provided in the lender’s estimate of costs.
9. Consider Estate Planning and tax implications on how title is to be vested in a grant deed. In other words, should you setup and purchase your home through a family trust?
10. Keep your loan contingency until this sub prime market problem is rectified and have a lawyer review all your documents before you sign off.