Becoming a homeowner is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your lifetime. So it stands to reason that you need to put plenty of thought into that decision, especially since it can be hard to walk back from purchasing a home if you discover some issues with it later on. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at some of the main questions that all prospective home buyers should be asking before they sign the deed:
- How is the house’s condition?
Probably the single most important thing to keep in mind when purchasing a new home is the old saying concerning a book and its cover. Most homes get dolled up for potential clients, so you’ll rarely see anything wrong with their appearance at first glance. But dig a little deeper and you may discover a number of problems, including plumbing, insulation trouble or roof issues. In order to avoid running into these issues in the future, be sure to check every nook and cranny, and consider bringing in an expert for the more technical aspects of the verification process.
- Is there any documentation on work done to the house?
All homes need repairs from time to time, but when it comes to buying one that you’re interested in, it is important to know exactly how and why these repairs were made. Some owners are pretty lax in this department, commissioning friends and family or even doing the jobs themselves. While this can sometimes be acceptable, in many instances it does lead to some shoddy workmanship. What you want is to see paperwork that documents the repairs and what they sought out to achieve, and this can only be done if they were properly commissioned and accounted for.
- Does the house’s location fit your needs?
Just like a home’s appearances can be deceiving, its location is not just limited to how close your future residence is to your place of employment. There are other factors to take into consideration, from its proximity to shopping malls, schools (if you have or plan on having children) and medical services. Some homes may be beautiful to look at and great to live in, but if they’re located way out in the boondocks you may find yourself wishing that you’d opted for a shorter commute before long.
- What is the real market value of houses in that neighborhood?
One of the most important things you’ll need to do prior to buying a home is to assess the market value of the neighborhood it’s based in. After all, you don’t want to dramatically overpay for a property when you could find a similar one for closer-to-average prices. Thanks to the fact that lenders and brokers from all over have fully embraced the online revolution, you don’t even have to get out of your living room to be able to get a head start on evaluating your financial potential online. Numerous companies now offer tools and calculators with which you can ascertain exactly how much money you’ll need to borrow in order to make your homeownership dreams become a reality.
- Is the location attractive for renters?
You never really know where life takes you. What might start out as your home for an indeterminate amount of time may eventually turn out to just be a stepping stone in your existence. That’s why you always need to invest with an eye out for potential renting situations. In this regard, not all properties are equal, as some may be more attractive to renters than others, depending on things such as location and amenities. You can find an online rent report for your desired location to research pricing trends and be sure one day you might have a decent income from renting your house.
- What are the neighbors like?
Last but not least, you definitely don’t want to move into a property that has had issues with the neighbors in the past. It’s impossible to completely control this aspect, but you can still ask the current owners about the neighbor situation. Be on the lookout for evasive or vague answers, as these are often tell-tale signs that things are not as they appear. Having bad neighbors can quickly put a damper on your homeownership experience and may even negatively impact property values, so don’t hesitate to move on to better offers if this aspect sets you back.
That concludes our quick overview of the six basic questions any prospective home buyer should ask prior to the purchase of a house. As always, do plenty of research before committing to any property, and strive to be on the same page with those who will be sharing the home with you once all is said and done.