Finally, there is a new resource to get real property disclosure for home buyers. Home buyers can access property information that is not always readily available or hard to find. A July 19th RealtyTrac (realtytrac.com) press release introduced Attom Data Solutions, their new parent company. The introduction described what the company offers to the real estate industry and consumers. Attom Data Solutions’ (attomdata.com) self-stated mission is: “to increase real estate transparency by arming businesses and consumers with the property and neighborhood data needed to make wise decisions.”
You may recognize RealtyTrac as being the go-to resource for foreclosed homes. But what you may not realize is, like other real estate websites it is an aggregator of information. RealtyTrac describes itself as “the leading provider of comprehensive housing data and analytics for the real estate and financial services industries…” by providing information on over 125 million properties.
So the idea of aggregating property information is not new. However, until now, there has not been this amount of information available for each property located in one place. The size and scope of Attom Data Solutions’ aggregated information is mindboggling. RealtyTrac’s press release revealed that the new parent company’s database of property information (called “ATTOM Data Warehouse”) holds more than 9 terabytes of information! (One terabyte is 1 trillion bytes). Putting the jargon into perspective, the data represents 99% of the U.S. population. And it features “enhanced and standardized data for more than 150 million U.S. property parcels.”
Before the ATTOM Data Warehouse, you would have to check a number of websites and make inquiries to several local agencies. The aggregated info includes: a property’s historical and current public records, ownership, mortgages, foreclosures, neighborhood information, demographics, environmental issues, natural hazard information, potential health hazards, and property features and neighborhood value information.
Besides being able to help you decide on which home to buy, Attom Data solutions’ reports may also help you decide on price. Additionally, home sellers may find the information useful as a form of disclosure, to answer many of the questions that are often difficult to find. Attom Data Solutions is reportedly offering data licensing to the industry, however the information is also available via their consumer websites RealtyTrac.com, Homefacts.com and HomeDisclosure.com.
The idea of consolidating property information into one location has been trending for several years. There have even been hints of creating a national MLS. Several years ago, the National Association of Realtors® created the Realtors Property Resource® (narrpr.com) to assist Realtors® in providing detailed reports to home buyers and sellers. Besides offering details on neighborhood comps, the generated reports incorporate data from various sources. Buyers and sellers are informed of analytics, trends and other factors. Of course, RPR is exclusive to Realtors®. But if you receive a report from your agent, they can help you with the analysis.
The amount of information about any given property seems to be ever increasing. However, an ongoing issue echoed among professionals and consumers is that the data is not always reliable. Even information that is pulled from public records are not always current. Verify the veracity included in any property report by cross checking several resources.
Copyright © Dan Krell
Disclaimer. This article is not intended to provide nor should it be relied upon for legal and financial advice. Readers should not rely solely on the information contained herein, as it does not purport to be comprehensive or render specific advice. Readers should consult with an attorney regarding local real estate laws and customs as they vary by state and jurisdiction. Using this article without permission is a violation of copyright laws.