Prior to purchasing a property, it is the responsibility of the buyer to perform a thorough inspection of the property, often referred to as “due diligence.” Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, a real estate firm, recommends that due diligence is always performed as the primary step when purchasing property as it will save time and money in the long run.

In order to ensure due diligence, a buyer must perform 4 inspection tasks. Although a buyer can perform these inspections on their own, it is wise to enlist in the services of a professional real estate attorney. Philadelphia residents who are interested in purchasing property should consider the following:

  1. A buyer must obtain and review the title report and underlying exceptions

In its basic form, a title description contains the status of a property.  A title report is one of the most important documents a buyer can receive from the seller as it includes written descriptions of the property, such as the name of the titleholders, the type of tenancy, tax rate, encumbrances, and property taxes. By obtaining and reviewing this information, buyers can ensure that there are no outstanding factors that can prevent them from legally purchasing the property.

  1. A buyer attain a Phase I Environmental Inspection

In addition to assessing the property themselves, buyers must attain a Phase I Environmental Inspection report that will identify any problems or environmental contaminations. This precaution is intended to protect the health of individuals who move into the property. For example, a toxic condition could potentially be deadly to anybody who plans to spend an extended period of time on the property.

  1. A buyer must review any leases currently in effect

If there is a contractual agreement, or a lease, currently in effect it could prevent the buyer from purchasing the property. Although there are certain conditions in which a lease can be terminated sooner than its end date, this may cause too much of a hassle for some home buyers.

  1. A buyer must review the zoning jacket and inspect the structure of the building

Depending on the municipality, each state in America has its own set of zoning laws that affect land use, lot size, building heights, density, setbacks and other factors. Buyers should make sure they have reviewed the zoning jacket and compared it with their inspection of the property’s structure.

If you are currently in the process of buying property but have yet to perform due diligence on your prospective home or building, consider contacting a real estate attorney. Philadelphia’s Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel attorneys specialize in real estate as well as other areas of law including, family law, tax law, and estate planning. To learn more about how Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel LLP’s other legal services visit http://www.astorweiss.com/ or contact one of their offices.