Finding the history of a home

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By Saul F. Rosenthal
Special to The PREVIEW

Q: How can I find information about the history of a home I am considering buying beside asking the current owner?

A: If you’ve bought a used car in the last few years, you are probably aware of a service called CARFAX. In just a few minutes, you can get a pretty thorough history of a car, including serious accidents and structural damage, the number of previous owners and other information which may help you decide whether or not to buy the car.

When it comes to buying houses, the real estate version of CARFAX is not yet available — though Realtor.com and other leading real estate organizations are working in that direction. Until there is a reliable national or state database about every home for sale, buyers will need to rely on real estate professionals and their own ability to ask important questions.

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