This is especially true when you are looking to buy a home because every city, and even neighborhood, has different regulations and items you need to watch out for.  Make sure you discuss the different things you need to know with your real estate agent. He or she is the local expert in your future neighborhood and will know what you should look for and consider before writing an offer.

However, in our area, you want to ask about the list below.

Radon Gas

In our region, you always want to make sure to test the radon levels of a house before you make an offer.


In certain neighborhoods, you want to make sure that you ask for a sewer line inspection. Orangeberg pipe was used until 1972 and it often results in clogged pipes – or worse – eventual pipe collapse. Finding out if this is an issue before you purchase can save you thousands of dollars in eventual repairs.

Flood Zone

You want to research whether or not the home you want to purchase is in the flood zone. This will affect your insurance, and you want to know sooner rather than later, so you can make appropriate decisions. A great resource is to consult the FEMA flood map service center.

Know the Market

Your local trusted real estate adviser can help you but you want to understand your local market. Supply and demand dictate the market, and you can learn more about local trends here. Pay attention to the original listing date of the properties you look at. Sellers tend to be more flexible the longer the home has been on the market. Don’t be fooled by Days on Market. Be sure to have an agent check the listing history as the Days on Market field displayed may not be the cumulative days on market including previous listing periods.

Consult Local Resources

Check out the local chamber of commerce or city website for the communities’ future plans or more information. Discover more about our local regional communities, including their histories and attractions. 

Looking for more tips about buying a house? Here are 16! 

Check out the rest of the Buying Guide.


Contact Me

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Susan Rekward

Licensed In IA
  • C.
Iowa City Office

1075 Highway 1 West
Iowa City, IA 52246