Why check into the registered offenders database

Imagine buying your dream home, at the perfect price, in the perfect location.  And once you move in and meet the neighbors, they politely mention to keep your kids away from your next door neighbor. But why?

Do your homework before you buy a home

Do your homework before you buy a home

Well, he’s a registered offender.


How come nobody told you about this when you were first looking at the home?

Why do you find out about this issue now when you can’t do much about it? (Other than putting up your new home for sale?)

And shouldn’t the seller of the home have disclosed this fact?

Surely there must have been some wrong-doing here! Well, maybe. But most likely, no.

Virginia requires disclosure of a link for buyers to check the registry themselves

Virginia law requires sellers and real estate agents to point buyers toward the link and the phone number of the offender registry database.

Other than that, finding out about offenders in the general vicinity of a home is part of the purchasers’ due diligence. After all, each purchaser has their own tolerance to risk (in this and many other circumstances).

Each purchaser has a different tolerance for risk in this situation

For example, how far away is it ok for a person to live from a registered offender?  Is next door ok, how about in the same neighborhood, or within a mile, 3 miles, or 10 miles?And what kinds of offenses are more permissible than others to each person?

This is the unfortunate story of a 17-year old kid who was caught “in the act” by his preacher Dad with a 15-year old girlfriend: Dad reported him and, unfortunately, 20 years later, the “kid” has been having to register his whereabouts ever since.

If this is the kind of offender living next door, it might not be as big of a deal to a certain buyer as other kinds of offenders… so really, it depends on the situation.

Each purchaser must check the registry themselves

Bottom-line: each purchaser must check the registry themselves and make a decision of whether the situation is ok for them – or not.

Stay safe by staying informed

Click the link below to the Virginia State Police website and select the link to the “Offender Registry” on the left-side of the page.


Grandma image by paulhami on flickr

Your turn, what do you think?

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