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Be Your Own Detective

June 23, 1996|Harriet Modler

Instead of spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on a private investigator, you can do the basics yourself. "I always tell my clients, when they ask about the neighborhood, to make their own investigation," said private detective Janis Gabbert of Gibson & Associates in Studio City.

Here are some suggestions from private investigator John Nazarian:

* Go to the house without a real estate agent and look around on your own, so you're not pressured.

* Visit the property at different times. Check out the weekends; pay a mid-evening visit on a Saturday. Go once or twice during the week and observe the activity levels.

* Check with the police department. Ask to speak with the commander and find out the number of calls for your neighborhood. Or ask the officer on duty what's happening on that street.

* Walk around and talk with the neighbors. Find out why the house you're interested in is for sale. "Find out who hates who," Nazarian said. "If you get three different stories from three different neighbors, that's not good, but if you get common stories, it's OK."

Added private investigator R.W. "Pete" Peterson: "If you can find a renter, he'll be much more candid, because he's not planning on being there forever."

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday June 30, 1996 Home Edition Real Estate Part K Page 3 Real Estate Desk 1 inches; 27 words Type of Material: Correction
Detective work--A story in the June 23 Real Estate section ("Be Your Own Detective") incorrectly identified Janis Gabbert. She is a real estate agent with Gibson & Associates in Studio City.

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