The Huntsville Real Estate market has been blessed the last few years during the current economic downturn in that there has been a steady stream of new-comers moving to the area. The US Army BRAC move of some 4,700 jobs to Redstone Arsenal is well underway and this has only strengthened an already growing local economy. Moreover this scenario will likely continue through 2011 and perhaps beyond with well over 50% of these jobs being filled by people moving from outside the Tennessee Valley.
Many families are moving from states where local Real Estate Law has evolved from a traditional Buyer Beware (caveat emptor) model to what can only be characterized as Seller Beware (caveat venditor). Alabama Real Estate Law has made no such transition and Alabama remains very much a Buyer Beware state when it comes to Real Estate transactions.
One of the big differences new comers are experiencing is a lack of local seller disclosure laws. In many states the seller of Real Estate is required by law to make a formal disclosure of all known material defects of a property and disclose all covenants and restrictions effecting the property including specific Home Owner Association Bylaws. Such is not the case under current Alabama Real Estate Law.
However just because Real Estate Law differs from State to State does not mean that buyers can not protect themselves, thus it is imperative that agents guide their clients through some Best Practices while navigating the waters of a Huntsville Home Purchase. Three items that are key in a buyer beware state such as Alabama are as follows:
- Independent Home Inspection – While you or your agent (if they are a good) may pick-up and point out visible defects as you view various homes, it is an essential element of an Alabama Home Purchase to make every offer contingent upon a satisfactory outcome of your own independent home inspection.
- Seller Disclosure – While home sellers in Alabama are not legally required to provide a disclosure of known latent defects, it is a best practice to request such a disclosure. It is not uncommon to make a review of a seller’s disclosure a contract contingency and a good buyer’s agent will have such a form readily available.
- Covenants and Restrictions – A detailed review of the existing covenants and restrictions including Home Owner Association Bylaws should be undertaken prior to making an offer on a home and if such documentation is not readily available, a satisfactory review of this documentation should also be made a contract contingency.
If you are planning or are in the midst of relocating to the Huntsville area we can help you navigate these issues and provide additional information so give us a call at (800) 531-5907 or (256) 425-1659 or simply email us at your convenience.