If you ask us, buying a home is one of the major life decisions. The funny thing about it, though, is that it appears as if many people don't see it that way. To give an example, statistics show that people do more research when they plan to invest in the stock market than when they plan to buy a new home.
This is rather unusual since when we are buying a home, we are rising much more than by investing in stocks.
However, there is an explanation for this, especially if you are buying a home for the first time! Buying a property is exciting in general and even more so when you enter this process for the first time. For many people, the most important things are appearance and the cost. As they focus on searching for the type of home they like and can afford, they rarely think about some of the critical things they need to ask the realtor.
Whether you somehow do have the kind of cash required to purchase a home or you need to take a bank loan, you cannot deny that buying a home is one of the biggest investments you are going to make in your entire life. It is only fair to say that it is not a decision that can be made lightly. On that note, it is important to say that there is a myriad of questions that you need to ask the realtor before you decide to put down an offer.
Now, if you are a first-time buyer, it wouldn't be reasonable to expect that you can think of all questions to ask when buying a home. So we decided to do research and compile a list of important things every further home maker should consider.
Alright, so you spend some time looking at ads and finally found what you think can be your dream home! Fantastic! Now, it is time to get informed about what to look for when buying a home and be well prepared when you meet the real estate agent.
1. Why Is the Owner Selling?This is an important question to ask when buying a home because the answer can tell you a lot about how much you can negotiate. There are plenty of reasons why someone decides to sell their home, and some of them are logical – they got a job in another state, they need a bigger house, etc. Other reasons might not be so obvious, but if you have a good agent, they will do everything in their power to get all the information you need to have.
2. How Long Has It Been on the Market?This is another question that can show if you are the one holding the cards. If the seller is trying to sell for some time, they will be much more likely to be motivated to make a deal. If the price was too high initially or there is a drop in demand, the house will probably stay on the market for a long time regardless of how beautiful it is. At the same time, there could be other reasons why it takes a longer time to find a buyer – there are big problems that need fixing, the neighborhood is problematic, etc. In any case, the house that has been on the market for some time will probably have a lot of price reductions, which opens a possibility for you to negotiate a better deal for yourself.
3. What Are All the Costs?When you are buying a home, something to remember is that the price you see in the ads and real prices is the same. Even if you are cashing out the entire amount, there will be some other expenses that you need to include in the total budget for the house. And bear in mind that it is rarely possible to predict all of the closing and prepaid costs when buying a home. However, some things can give you an idea of the total cost. When talking about prepaid costs, you must understand that they are related to the property and not real estate transactions and most commonly include taxes, homeowner's insurance, and mortgage interest.
On the other hand, closing costs are expenses that need to be paid for the transaction itself. They also include payments to people who have been involved in the process. Keep in mind that it is you who needs to pay all of this and not the seller.
4. What Is the Neighborhood / Neighbors Like?Of course, just by doing online research, you can easily find out whether the neighborhood is safe or not. But this is not the only important thing when you are planning to live somewhere. You should ask the owner to tell you more about the neighborhood itself and the neighbors to understand how it is to live there. There is a common idea that people who don't tell you much usually don't have anything nice to say. This can be a signal that there is something wrong in this neighborhood. However, it can also be that the seller is a reserved or grumpy person who doesn't enjoy interacting with neighbors.
5. Are There Any Problems With the House?Even if you are already experienced and buying a second home, this is a good question to have in mind. Asking about problems, in general, can help you find out about some things you may forget to ask about. Additionally, there are things that the owner is not obliged to tell you if you don't ask, so this is a good way to learn about them. If there was some damage, it is recommended that you asked for the contact of the company that repaired it. In case the problem reoccurs, you can call the same company to fix it.
6. Prices of Similar Houses on the Market?Before deciding on whether you are going to make an offer, among the steps to buying a home, one is to check how the price of the house you are interested in compares to prices of similar homes. Your agent should be able to provide you with this information without any problems. Having insight into the competitive market analysis will give you a clear idea about whether the seller put a realistic price.
ConclusionWhen you are buying a home, the bottom line is that there shouldn't be a question you are afraid to ask. Bear in mind that this is an enormous investment that will bring autonomy and joy in years to come but will put an enormous strain on your budget. Unless, of course, you are a millionaire, but that is another story. Being well prepared is important since it prevents you from having regrets later. If you plan to buy a home and are interested in related topics, you might find it useful to read about buying a home with bad credit. What do you pay attention to when looking into new homes?
Alex Green is a copywriter with 3 years of experience. He is fond of healthy living and knows everything about home improvement. In his spare time, Alex likes walking with his golden retriever, meeting with friends, and attending the gym.