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Buying a House in Harrisburg PA – 6 Reasons to Google the Address

Buying a House in Harrisburg PA –
6 Reasons to Google the Address

With virtually any type of information imaginable online, it makes sense when buying a house to do regular internet searches for the home’s address.

If you are considering buying a house, there are at least six compelling reasons it makes sense to do so, especially if it’s an address you’re thinking of renting, buying or selling. Smart homeowners would do well to search for their addresses, too, and here’s why:

Buying a House in Harrisburg PA - Google the Address

1. When Buying a House:  See If Megan’s Law Registrants Live Nearby

There is plenty of information available to the public when buying a house regarding registered sex offenders in their neighborhoods. Nearly every state that has a Megan’s Law-­type sex offender registry has an online version that serves up the names, addresses, sex-offense history, and even photos in many cases, of convicted sex-offenders.

So, when considering buying a house, Googling the address and “Megan’s Law”-or even the city or ZIP code and “Megan’s Law”-­will turn up a quick list of nearby registrants.

2. When Buying a House: Find Crime Reports and Data For The Home and Environs

When buying a house, consider that City, County, and State law enforcement agencies all post crime data online, but a Google search for the address or city and “crime reports” is most likely to turn up the local police office’s crime map. Or, you can check out Trulia Crime Maps when buying a house for a crime map of recent incident reports for the whole city, ZIP code or neighborhood. The map is color-­coded to represent the intensity of crimes in each area.

3. To Detect Scammers Trying to Rent or Sell Your House

Internet scammers have taken to ripping off home information and putting together fake listings offering other people’s homes for rent, or lease­to­own. They often list the home on extremely cheap and easy terms, and then ask the would-­be-­buyer or tenant to please wire or send the deposit money overseas. These scams often come to light only after the homeowner or current resident notices bargain-­hunters checking out the place.  If you start getting an inordinate amount of foot-traffic to your home, or someone knocking on your door asking if they can see the place, you may want to Google your address. If you find a fraudulent listing, identify yourself as the home’s rightful owner and ask the offending site to take the scam posting down stat!

4. When Buying a House:  See What the Neighbor’s Place Sold For and Possibly Lower Property Taxes

In real estate, the value of a home is largely driven by what is similar or how much nearby homes have sold for. When buying a house, search the address.  Trulia will first surface some sort of image of the home, a map, the basic property details from the public records (see No.5, below), and recent sales data for the home before listing out the comparable homes with similar numbers of beds, baths and square feet near yours, and what they recently sold for. When considering buying a house, if you see a pattern of homes selling for lower than the home’s assessed value, you can use those comps to petition the county to lower the property taxes!

5. When Buying a House:  To See the Home’s Property Records (attn: Homeowners, too!)

When buying a house, did you know that the home’s records online are populated from the public records? However, some of these are either so old they don’t include upgrades and additions, or they’re just flat-out wrong. If you Google the address, or search for it on Trulia, and find that the home’s description is riddled with errors, contact your county public record agency to correct them and edit your home facts on Trulia. This is particularly important if you’re planning to sell your home anytime soon.

6. When Buying a House or Selling a House:  See Your Home’s Google Street View

When you’re selling your home or buying a house, it’s especially critical to see everything that prospective homebuyers will see. That means checking out how your home’s listing looks on all the online real estate sites (yes, even on Trulia), checking out the flyer,  even stopping by to check out any staging your broker or agent did if you’ve already moved out.  One thing even the most savvy sellers don’t check out is the way Google Street View depicts your home. If you’re about to sell your home and you notice that the street view is outdated, mention it to your agent, and ask them to make a note of that fact in the listing information.

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Harrisburg PA Real Estate Expert

Ken Huebsch is your premier real estate agent in the Greater Harrisburg area.  I am a specialist in Harrisburg real estate as well as the communities of Palmyra, Hershey, and Hummelstown.  My wife Leslye and I have a combined 40 plus years experience serving our clients -We KNOW Harrisburg. When you plan to buy or sell Harrisburg area real estate, allow us to work for you.  We are dedicated professionals and are here for your success.  For more information on how we can best serve your real estate needs, please complete our online contact form or give us a call.  Also, check out what our fabulous clients have to say about us on our testimonials page!

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