You’re convinced. This home is it. It’s the one.
But wait - is it? Here are 10 questions you’ll want to ask yourself before buying a home:
1. How old are the roof, windows, siding, guttering, and other replaceable structure pieces?
You’ll want to find out. When will you have to fork out that money to replace them? It’s a good thing to know, especially when it comes to financial planning (and especially when you’re already spending money on the home itself). "This is something we see far too often," says Allan Lewis of Search Cape Coral Homes, "buyers not paying attention to items they may need to replace in a few years. It can become a large burden down the road."
2. How old are the systems and major appliances?
Another aspect you’ll want to know before sealing the deal. Old HVAC systems could mean that you end up paying more for those monthly bills. Be in the know and do your own research as well.
3. Has work been done on the home?
Are there any major renovations that have been completed? When? What were they? Have any additions been made to the structure? Is there documentation supporting these renos? And are they approved (as in you won’t have to tear them down at some point if they aren’t to code)?
4. Does the home have any water damage or issues?
Water isn’t fun to deal with. It creates mold, amongst other problems. Inquire into if there has been any regular issues with the plumping, pipes, and sewage. If so, look for any water damage that may have occurred due to these issues.
5. How many previous owners has the home had?
An old home will undoubtedly come with a long list of previous owners. The red flag comes in when this list of homeowners includes various short-term ownerships. It may indicate problems with the house or area that you aren’t aware of.
6. What is and isn’t included in the sale of the home?
Sometimes, owners will leave items, such as curtains and light fixtures, and other times they won’t. Find out what is being left behind and what isn’t.
7. What is the property worth versus what is the asking price?
If these don’t match up, it might not be your perfect match. Or it may significantly impact the offer you put forward.
8. Are you allowed to ask questions of the previous owners?
If you can talk to them, they may be able to provide you with a little more insight than the real estate agent.
9. What is the history of the house (besides previous owners)?
If any crimes have been committed in the home, you should be made aware of these negative past events.
10. Do you love the house?
This one’s just for you! If you don’t love it, don’t buy it. Remember, you’re the one that has to live in it. And buying a home is a huge investment. Don’t waste your money on a place you aren’t entirely sure of.