Caveat Emptor is a real estate term that means "Let the Buyer Beware" and is an important concept when buying a home in Virginia. Unlike most states, Virginia does not require sellers to disclose much about what is wrong with the house that is being sold. In Virginia, sellers are required to give buyers a "Residential Property Disclosure Statement" which basically states that the seller is not guaranteeing anything about the home and that it is the buyer's responsibility to discover any issues. So if the home is in a historic district, in an neighborhood with sex offenders, across the street from a manufacturing plant that is currently being built, etc..., it is the buyer's responsibility to due their research to find all of that out. Therefore, it is vital that you work with a good REALTOR® who will help you uncover any problems with your future home. Also, if you are truly serious about buying a house, talk to the neighbors to learn more about the neighborhood and area.
It is important to note that while sellers do not have to disclose issues with their home, they are not allowed to lie or cover up any problems. To read and learn more about the Residential Property Disclosure Statement, click here.