A research tip for Boston condo buyers in 2021 (You’ll be glad you did this)
It is a common misconception that a downtown Boston real estate broker can recommend a neighborhood. Recommending a neighborhood is a fair housing violation.
I can’t imagine choosing a school based upon a downtown Boston agent’s recommendation. Most of us are not experts when it comes to education but since you asked I know children that did well in the Boston public schools but they learned a lot at home too.
Often Boston real estate buyers will ask if a condominium is in a “decent” neighborhood. REALTORS can not answer that question, and “decent” is pretty vague. There are people who tell me that a neighborhood is “bad”. Like “decent”, “bad” can mean just about anything.
There are homebuyers who choose neighborhoods based on what they can afford or how close it is to where they work or to family or to a place of worship.
Some homebuyers can choose any neighborhood while others can only afford the houses in a couple of neighborhoods. People with more money have more choices.
There are people who want to live in walkable neighborhoods but I have found that definitions of walkable vary considerably. For me, anything within a mile is within easy walking distance. If I didn’t have a car I could get by pretty easily on foot, or by bike or public transportation, or Lyft.
REALTORS can not “steer” people into a neighborhood or recommend a neighborhood.
When buying or selling Boston real estate, it’s good to have as much information about properties as you can. Searching public property records may just bring you the answers you’re looking for. Information about real estate transactions, deeds, tax payments, and more must be made publicly accessible, which can be beneficial for you.
When making one of the most significant purchases of your life, you need to be sure to gather all of the available information. If you’re in the market to purchase a new downtown Boston condo, public property records can be terrific tools for your decision-making process.
When you have a list of Boston condos for sale that might be a good fit for you and your family, you can find out more about the properties and neighborhoods.
For a specific property, you can check property records to see how much it sold for in the past, how much the property taxes were, who previously owned the property.
You can also find out about other homes in the neighborhood that are similar, also known as “comparables” or “comps,” by looking at their price and tax histories.
If you’re interested in purchasing a property for rental income or price appreciation, public property records can provide a wealth of useful information.
Public property records can help you find investment opportunities. You can use them to learn more about the owner, the deed, the price and tax history, any mortgages, assessments, judgments, or liens, and more.
For example, if a property is in foreclosure, there will be a lis pendens notice recorded which must be made publicly available with the deed. Lis pendens is Latin for “suit pending”.
You can find public property records in most county tax offices or deed recorder’s offices. If you’d like, you can actually visit these offices to see deeds and other information for yourself, but it’s usually much easier to simply search online. Go to NETROnline for a directory of county tax and recorder’s offices. Most county databases allow you to search by property address and/or by the property owner’s name.