If you want to find out what people know about the house you are considering buying, ask the neighbors. You can ask if there has been any construction or problems at the house or anything unusual. The time to ask is BEFORE you buy. Afterwards, the neighbors will excitedly come to you to reveal what you never asked them.
Neighbors of a house being sold sometimes know quite a bit about what damage or construction has occurred there. At my neighbors house, I knew he had remodeled his den and tried but never finished remodeling his master bathroom. If you are considering purchasing a house, you should canvas the neighbors on either side of the property and behind it. Often times, they see activity that has occurred and neighbors are always curious about what is being done because they wonder if they will have to do it as well.
If the neighbor saw termite treatments occur repeatedly or often that would be useful especially if it didn't jibe with the Sellers' Disclosure Notice.
In another case, a neighbor came over after purchase and revealed that the seller had been crazy about keeping bugs out and her home smelled so bad of pesticides, he had to step outside in the middle of helping her just change a light buld. Later, ethyl parathion was found in large quanitities in the house. Ethyl parathion is not allowed in homes and was extremely toxic. It was used as a pesticide sprayed by crop dusters for cotton crops.
In a case in Houston, the neighbor approached my client who had bought and moved into his house and asked why he bought it knowing about the flood. The Sellers and their agent said that there had been a foot of water in the garage. The neighbor replied, "A Foot of Water?" and immediately went to his house and returned with photos showing the house with four feet of water running through it like a river. He then produced a videotape showing the sellers walking through waist deep water with life vests on while rescue boats and helicopters evacuated people out of the neighborhood.
ASK the Neighbors!!!!!