10 Questions To Ask When Buying A Home
By Kurt Real Estate Nov 23, 2019
When you’ve finally found it – the home of your dreams – you’re so eager to get it you could overlook some important factors. Buying a home is a huge investment and, though you may be head over heels for a place, you need to be sure you’re making the right purchase and protecting yourself along the way. Before taking the plunge, we advise that you ask a few essential questions.
1. What’s the sales history? When was the last time it sold and how much did it go for? The previous sales price will give you an indication of what the current owners would expect you to pay (based on the true market value at the time of purchase).
2. Were any major renovations or additions made? Knowing whether they remodeled the kitchen or added a bedroom (and seeing receipts of said work) will help you to know how much money the sellers have put into the house and, in turn, give you a better idea of what they’re looking to get out of it. “Home improvements generally reap a 64% return on investment” (Mandell, L.J., Realtor.com).
3. How much are property taxes? You’ll want to know what the property taxes are that the seller is currently paying to get an idea of how much you should expect to pay in relation to the purchase price. This added expense can be significant, so take the time to do this. The property taxes should be provided on the listing detail page and can always be requested from the seller.
4. What are the monthly maintenance and utilities costs? Is there an HOA? What kind of power does the house use and what does that bill look like on a monthly basis? Again, these are overhead costs you’ll want be prepared for.
5. Has there ever been a broken pipe or sewage issue? “According to the insurance information institute, broken pipes account for an estimated 22% of home insurance losses” (Mandell, L.J., Realtor.com). This is where hiring a good inspector becomes invaluable.
6. How old is the roof? Replacing a roof can cost upwards of $5,000. It is good to know whether this could be an expense you may incur in the future.
7. Have there ever been pest infestations? You’ll want to make sure any pest work is done prior to move-in and you should request documentation of all previous pest work. Just because pest work has been done in the past, does not mean the house is pest-free.
8. Are there any warranties on appliances? Ask for documentation of any and all warranties. This could save you a lot of money in the long run if, say, a built-in, sub-zero fridge breaks down on you unexpectedly.
9. Are there any parking restrictions? Do guests need permits? If so, how many permits can be obtained? Where are guests permitted to park? These are all questions the seller will be able to answer for you and can probably advise as to what your best options are.
10. Is there any unusual history of the house? Many states legally have to disclose if a death or major crime occurred on the premises, but you should also interrogate what other uses the house may have had. For example, if it was used for filming a TV commercial or used in a movie, this could lead to abnormal and unwanted foot traffic to your house.
When buying a home, many are quick to jump the gun soon as they find that “perfect house.” Don’t be one of those people. Do your research and ask all of these necessary questions so you can rest assured that you are making an informed decision and a smart purchase.
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