Buying a home is a lot to take on, especially if it’s your first. Unfortunately, many people aren’t prepared and jump into purchasing a home that fits all of their needs. If you’re trying to buy a home that includes everything you want: here are some questions to ask your realtor.
Although not all of these questions may apply to your specific case, you can use them as a jumping-off point to get your dream home.
1. What Updates Will Be Needed
Once they buy a home, the last thing anyone wants to do is invest tens of thousands of dollars into replacing an old slate roof or leaky windows and doors. Ask your realtor if any updates are immediately necessary and any that may come up within the next five to ten years.
In some cases, these updates may be worth it if the price of the home is low enough, but if it’s not, try talking to the seller to find out if they’ll negotiate the price so that you can afford the repairs.
2. What Is It Close To
Location matters. Ask what shops and restaurants it’s close to, and try to find out how far from your work and other important locations it is. If you like to be close to your family, buying a home that’s a half-hour drive away may not align with this lifestyle. Instead, try to find a home that fits somewhere close enough to the things that matter in your life.
If you notice that no homes you’re being shown are in the area you need to be, it’s a good time to research if you need to rework your budget or cut down on the extras you want. Unfortunately, house shopping is a balancing act between wants and needs.
3. What Features Does It Have
Does the new have new faux wood floors or a fantastic view from the back of the home? Ask your realtor what perks and interesting details the house has that might interest you. Even if the home doesn’t have all of the features that you want, some of the others may surprise and interest you. Then, weigh these features against whatever downsides there are, like increased price, or not having the five-piece bathroom you want, and decide how much you’re comfortable with.
4. Is There An HOA
An HOA may not be a deal-breaker for some, but for others, it’s very polarizing. Some people seek out HOAs because they hope it will increase property value or because they want to be sure that their neighbors will also take care of their lawns. Others hate HOAs because they don’t want to be told how to care for their property, or they don’t like the idea of pouring hundreds or thousands into paying the neighborhood for aesthetics. Ask if there’s an HOA, and if there is, consider asking how much it costs.
5. Why Are They Selling
Not every seller will volunteer this information: but it’s good to know why they’re selling. Is the house on the market because they’re downsizing, or did they have a dispute with the neighbors and want to get away from the situation? This can often be as important to know as looking up garage door replacement costs if it’s looking shabbier. If they don’t want to say, don’t pressure them into it.
6. What’s Included In The Sale
If the price is higher or your budget is extremely tight, consider asking what comes with your purchase. Some homeowners will allow a home to sell fully furnished. Some will want to take their things after it sells. You can discuss whether it’s possible to have the sellers take on the closing costs or if they’d be able to include more items within the house if you were willing to pay the current price. If you can bargain with them enough, you may be able to get them to take off the cost of putting in a new type of house siding.
7. How Has The Property Value Changed
Look at how property costs have changed in the last ten to twenty years. Do you see trends of the home’s value going up steadily, or did it have a severe uptick recently? Ask your realtor what might have affected the price changes. Discuss whether you think you can talk the price back down from that.
Get The Full Picture Before You Buy
It’s important to know everything about what you’re buying before you buy it. Although you can always upgrade and buy another home in the future, you should try to get as close to your goals as possible with this home. Your realtor is there to guide you through this process, so listen to them and ask questions.
Your Castle Real Estate does not directly endorse any of the vendors stated in the article.
About The Author
Andrea Erickson is a contributor to Innovative Building Materials. She is a blogger and content writer for the real estate industry. Andrea is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that increase property value, maximize energy savings, and turn houses into homes.