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If you have a few hours (or days), go down the your County Courthouse and research your own title.

I agree this can be interesting for older properties, and in fact deeply researched a rehab I did that is now about 275 years old. That was fascinating, requiring me to go to the historical society and search the tax records on the micro fiche. But this place was built in the 1970's, with the transfer of river access permission that was not his to give in the '90s. Just should not have happened.

More on do your leg work before paying for things like inspection and appraisals: was interested in a property high above a river. This area got hit a couple of years ago with flooding 16' higher than previous record when Tropical Storm Lee stalled over them for about 3 days, and the property only got a bit of water in the basement which the sump pump dealt with. Owners relayed that they paid $300/year in flood insurance, but contacting an agent for a quote returned an annual premium of $2,550/year. That adds about $200/mo to the PITI, whereas giving the sellers the extra $20K they wanted over our original offer would have raised our PITI only $75. The property will be so hard to market with that millstone around it's neck.

Flood maps have changed considerably in the past several years. When I was still a Realtor, many properties were all of the sudden subject to flood insurance, even with no history of flooding or water in sight. Can't assume it won't be required.

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