You can read every book ever published about buying and selling real estate.

Even with all that knowledge there are still specific issues that deserve special attention. Asking the right questions can yield invaluable information needed to make a personal real estate commitment. Here are some suggestions you may want to consider:

1. Talk to neighbors on both sides and across the street. Let them know you are considering purchasing the house next door. Ask them how they like the neighborhood? Have they had any incidents of theft, burglary, or harassment? Are they aware of any neighborhood incidents of a similar nature? Do they know of anything specific to the property that is for sale that should be of concern? Are there any traffic, noise or neighbor issues that you should be aware of? The best question of all is to ask them…What don’t they like about the street and the neighborhood?

2. Talk to the local police department; ask for the crime statistics for the specific area. Request information regarding the number of incidents occurring in the area compared with other areas that you may have considered. Find out if there is a Neighborhood Watch, a homeowner’s organization, or a safety patrol in the area and seek additional information from them.

3. If you have children, interview the local school principal and spend some time at the school. Find out all you can about the level of education your children will be receiving, about previous test scores and if possible, meet other parents or go to a PTA meeting and ask their opinion of the school.

4. If buying a townhouse or a condo, speak with the HOA president and treasurer. Ask about cash reserves, upcoming assessments, lawsuits, and the age of roof, pool equipment, elevators, etc.

It may not always be necessary to ask these questions, but if you are concerned, the answers could save you some headaches in the future.

You can read every book ever published about buying and selling real estate.

Even with all that knowledge there are still specific issues that deserve special attention. Asking the right questions can yield invaluable information needed to make a personal real estate commitment. Here are some suggestions you may want to consider:

1. Talk to neighbors on both sides and across the street. Let them know you are considering purchasing the house next door. Ask them how they like the neighborhood? Have they had any incidents of theft, burglary, or harassment? Are they aware of any neighborhood incidents of a similar nature? Do they know of anything specific to the property that is for sale that should be of concern? Are there any traffic, noise or neighbor issues that you should be aware of? The best question of all is to ask them…What don’t they like about the street and the neighborhood?

2. Talk to the local police department; ask for the crime statistics for the specific area. Request information regarding the number of incidents occurring in the area compared with other areas that you may have considered. Find out if there is a Neighborhood Watch, a homeowner’s organization, or a safety patrol in the area and seek additional information from them.

3. If you have children, interview the local school principal and spend some time at the school. Find out all you can about the level of education your children will be receiving, about previous test scores and if possible, meet other parents or go to a PTA meeting and ask their opinion of the school.

4. If buying a townhouse or a condo, speak with the HOA president and treasurer. Ask about cash reserves, upcoming assessments, lawsuits, and the age of roof, pool equipment, elevators, etc.

It may not always be necessary to ask these questions, but if you are concerned, the answers could save you some headaches in the future.