March 4th, 2011 Categories: Questions and Answers
Q. As a military transferee relocating to Maryland, I’m very frustrated about the way you beat around the bush when I inquire about different neighborhoods and schools in Crofton and throughout the D.C. area. Why won’t you answer my questions?
A. Fair Housing Laws forbid real estate agents from providing information to consumers that could be interpreted as “steering” – i.e., directing a client toward OR away from a particular property in a discriminatory manner. In other words, my non-answer should not be interpreted as hiding negative information; the answer could be exactly what you want to hear.
Ten years ago, I probably would have suggested that you visit local schools and talk to individuals who live in neighborhoods you’re considering. Today, however, I can refer you to websites that provide statistical data that may provide you with the peace of mind you’re looking for. This will be particularly helpful for you, coming from another part of the country.
- U.S. Census Bureau Quick Facts – Maryland (Search by county and/or city)
- U.S. Census 2010 Data (Click on the state)
- EPA Community Search (Search by zipcode)
- Pollution Scorecard (Search by zipcode)
- Crime Reports (Search by city, state, or zipcode
- Family Watchdog (Search by city, state, or zipcode)
- Maryland Sex Offender Registry (Search by zipcode)
Before you buy a home in Crofton or anywhere, it’s important to be familiar and comfortable with the neighborhood and broader community, as well as any individual home. So don’t hesitate to ask questions because I may be able to suggest additional helpful websites.
Yet it’s still not a bad idea to do some research the old-fashioned way when you come for your house-hunting trip: make a personal visit to neighborhood schools, shopping, dining and recreation facilities BEFORE you buy a home.
And please understand that I’m not trying to be coy when I don’t give you a straightforward answer to your questions. I’m trying to follow the law.
Focus On Crofton was created to attract relocating home buyers to the greater Crofton area and provide information to current residents about local real estate and community information. Please feel free to contact me with question, news items, or photos.