When buying a home, you need to ask questions. Is there an HOA fee? Is there a pool? How about a walk-in closet? Yes, yes you can ask those questions and they may be features you’ll be looking for, but we’re talking about more serious questions.
So before you go out house hunting, lose your inhibition, and fall in love with what you think is your dream home, ask yourself, and your real estate agent or the homeowner, the following important questions:
Where is the house located?
The location of a house can make or break a deal. Consider the commute time between work and family, neighborhood amenities, and the landscape. The location of the home also dictates the price. Have your agent show you homes in locations that fit your budget before walking through any front doors. A bad neighborhood could make resale difficult. Know what you’re getting into before visiting.
What is the asking price of the house?
The price of a home can affect many things including your budget, your monthly mortgage amount, and your interest rate. Ask the price before you pay the price. Keep in mind that the asking price of a home is often negotiable; so don’t be afraid to view homes that are up to or just above your budget. You may find an eager homeowner who will work with your budget to sell. Do some homework and research prices of similar homes in the same neighborhood. When you’re ready to make a bid, base your offer on the sale price of comparable homes in the area, not on a seller’s asking price for their home. These two numbers will often be different and can influence your decision.
What is the condition of the house?
An in-person, visual tour of the property is always a good idea, but you’ll probably miss many things the professionals won’t. We highly recommend you tour the home with an expert just as you would have a mechanic inspect a vehicle you’re interested in purchasing. Ask the expert about both foundational and cosmetic issues and repair costs. They should be able to provide you with a list of repairs and renovations to consider before making an offer. You can present this list to the homeowner, but remember that the asking price may already be adjusted to factor them in.
After you’ve asked these three key questions and have narrowed down your list, feel free to ask more. The more questions you ask, the more information you can base your decision on.
We suggest you create a checklist of questions to ask when buying a house. Keep this list handy and write down the answers before you forget.
Here is a list of other questions you can ask:
- How do the local schools rank and what grade levels are offered?
- Is the home prepared for adverse weather conditions?
- How old are the appliances?
- Does the home come equipped with a security system?
- Why is the homeowner selling?
- Is there any noise in the neighborhood?
- Will my car fit in the garage?
- How does the house look at night?
- Is any of the furniture staying or for sale?
- What are the costs due at closing?
- How old is the roof?
- Is the home pet-friendly?
- What are the average monthly utility costs?
- What will home insurance cost?
That’s a pretty good list of questions to get you started, now add some more. Think of what you have now that you want in your new home and what you don’t have that you want. Have fun and enjoy the experience!