Important Questions to Ask When Buying a Home
Buying a property is a huge commitment and that is why every buyer must be diligent in conducting his research before making an offer to a property. With the advancements in technology these days, information is easily accessible to buyers but given the size of investment one commits to when purchasing a property, it is also important for a buyer to know the right questions to ask their real estate agents when scouting for “the one”.
In this article, we go through the key questions every homebuyer must ask in order to fully equip them with the information needed to make a sound decision before making an offer on a property.
1. What’s my total housing budget?
The first thing to consider when buying a home is the buyer’s budget. Before asking for additional information from the seller or real estate agent, this is the first question the buyer must ask himself. On top of the sales price, there are a lot of the expenses included in the sale of a home. Additional expenses such as association dues, taxes, and insurance are things to consider when computing the total housing budget.
2. What is the reason for the seller leaving?
Asking why the seller is leaving the property is a great question for two main reasons. The first being that it can give the buyer a better idea of the property and if it is a right fit for him. Some of the most common reasons a seller is selling their home are job relocation, downsizing, moving closer to family. While other reasons may be due to the neighborhood or education. The second reason is that this bit of information can help you gain a better understanding of the seller and their need or desire to sell the property. This therefore can give you a better strategy when negotiating for the price of the property.
3. Is the home prone to natural disasters?
Depending on your location, the property may be prone to natural disasters. Whether it be hurricanes, earthquakes, or flooding, this can put a big dent in your total budget. In California, earthquakes are extremely common which is why it is a great tip to invest in earthquake insurance.
4. How old is the roof?
A property’s roof is an essential part of any house and it is as expensive as it is necessary. A roof typically has a lifespan of around 20 years. If the property’s roof is near the end of its lifespan, the buyer may find himself having to repair and replace the roof just a few years after moving into the property. Replacing a roof can cost several thousands of dollars and is definitely something a buyer should take into account.
5. How old are the appliances?
The same goes for appliances. When you’re purchasing a home, it is important to take into account the age of the appliances in the property. From kitchen appliances such as stoves and refrigerators to bathroom appliances such as water heaters, if these appliances are reaching the end of their lifespans, the buyer may have to shell out additional cash to replace them.
6. When was the house placed on the market?
This is another great question to help the buyer negotiate better. Asking for how long a property has been on the market can provide the buyer with a better idea for the seller’s desire to close the deal. If the property has been on the market for a considerable amount of time, then the seller might be more desperate. It may also be an indicator that there is something wrong with the property. This, however, may not always be the case. It is also possible that the market is just slow in that area which is why it’s best to consult with a real estate agent regarding the trends in that specific market.
7. How is the neighborhood like?
A house comes with its neighbors and neighborhood. Although you can always fix anything that you dislike in a house, the neighborhood is a different story. A buyer may find a property that he likes but he must first evaluate the neighborhood as well. If there are things in the neighborhood that a buyer may not like, this should be a cause of concern as they will be living in this environment for the next couple of decades. A good tip is to try and do your research before asking the seller or the real estate agent; check the local schools, parks, or even malls in the community.
Whether you are a first-time buyer or not, these are some of the questions you must ask the seller or the real estate agent in order to make a well-informed decision.