Buying a Home? 13 Questions to Ask When You Think You’ve Found The One

buying a home

So, you think you’ve found The One: the perfect house in a stellar neighborhood with the cutest little front porch and the most amazing backyard and the biggest closet you’ve ever seen and holy mackerel the bathroom in this place and it’s totally in your price range and…and…and…

And… slow down for just a second.  Given how tight the housing market is right now, it’s great that you’ve found a place to love. But before you make any offers, there are several questions you need to ask.

  1. What’s this house worth? Don’t assume the listing price is reasonable. Ask your realtor to look at the home’s sales history—including how long it’s been on the market. Also, check out recent, comparable home sales in the neighborhood.
  2. Why is the place for sale? The seller’s agent’s job is to, well, sell the home—so they likely won’t disclose any major concerns their clients have about the neighborhood, school system, and so on. Ask the question anyway, and watch for hesitation or awkward responses.
  3. Has the plumbing ever failed? Burst pipes and sewer backups can do significant structural damage to a home. It’s also relatively easy to hide that damage with new floor coverings, paint, and ceiling tiles. Don’t assume nothing’s gone wrong just because you don’t see any obvious issues.
  4. How old is the roof? How about the HVAC system? It’s great that your dream home’s in your price range, but have you left any wiggle room for significant repairs? If not, you’ll need to know the lifespan of major components: roof, HVAC, windows, water heater, and so on. Also, ask for documentation of any warranties on appliances and systems. [Read the guide to decoding real estate acronyms]
  5. Have you done any renovations? If so, who did the work? Most sellers are happy to talk about upgrades and renovations, because that typically increases their selling price. What they may not readily tell you is if the work was done legally—by licensed contractors and with permits.
  6. How big is the garage? This may seem like a minor detail, but how mad will you be if your favorite truck won’t fit in the “awesome” garage at your “perfect” house?
  7. Does this house have any baggage? When it comes to homes for sale, baggage might include a violent crime or a reputation for paranormal activity. Even if that kind of history isn’t a deal-breaker for you, it’s nice to know up front if you’ll have an occasional gawker on your lawn.
  8. Is the home in a flood plain? Much like replacing a worn-out roof, flood insurance can bust your budget in a heartbeat.
  9. Are there any pest concerns? Most states require sellers to disclose prior insect and rodent infestations, but it’s good to ask for details. Depending on the age of the home, it’s wise to ask about mold, too. [Read 9 ways to make pets invisible to potential home buyers.]
  10. What are the average utility costs? This is a particularly important question if you’re considering a historic home.
  11. How much are the property taxes? Forgetting to budget for property taxes can crush you financially. Be sure to have a complete picture before deciding if a property is actually in your price range.
  12. What’s included in the sale? Although most sellers leave kitchen appliances behind, don’t assume that all of them do. Find out who keeps window treatments, too. [Get the facts about contingencies!]
  13. What’s the neighborhood like? If you’re a social butterfly and your neighbors are in bed by 7 pm, you’ll have no one to enjoy that “cutest little front porch” with you.

Believe it or not, there are more questions you should ask before moving forward with a home purchase, and the experts at VegasOne are ready to help. Learn more about our team.

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Vegas One Realty

4035 S. Tenaya Way, Suite 200
Las Vegas, NV 89147
Phone (702) 768-1115
Fax (702) 242-6680

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