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10 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Home

Searching for your next home is exciting, and it can be tempting to just follow your heart. But there are certain questions you should always be sure to ask. If you fail to ask the right questions, you could end up regretting your purchase decision.

Here are the top ten questions to ask when viewing a property, to make sure it’s the right house for you.

1. Why is the property being sold?

Always ensure you ask the reason for the sale. It could be that the seller is looking to downsize or upsize, move because of a new job, or it could also be indicative of a problem with the property or the neighborhood.

2. Is there a chain?

It’s important to ask whether there is a chain. This will tell you how keen the seller is to move and where you stand. The sellers may have already found another home, they could still be looking, or the house could already be vacant. If the sellers have their hearts set on a property, they may be willing to negotiate a lower price for a quick sale. If you have to wait until they find a new home, it adds to the uncertainty and you have the risks associated with being part of a chain.

3. How old is the property?

It’s always nice to know when the property was constructed, but it’s also important to be aware that older properties may require more money for upkeep. Consider whether the property may need repainting, re-roofing, re-wiring or replacement drainage or guttering, as these can quickly become expensive.

4. What type of insulation does the property have?

The costs of cooling your home will be greatly influenced by the type of insulation that is installed, so don’t forget to ask this question. A poorly insulated home can cost you a lot of money over time.

5. Which way does the property face?

If you enjoy a lot of natural light, or sunbathing, you don’t want to forget to ask which way the property faces. An east facing home will benefit from direct sunlight for most of the day. With a west facing home, you’ll lest sunlight entering your home. If you prefer the shade, a west facing home could be the best choice.

6. What is included in the sale?

While looking for your dream home, it’s also important to ask what is included in the sale. Many sellers will leave behind built in appliances, smart home controls, furniture, and possibly a shed. However, other sellers may be looking to take everything with them when they move out. Although it probably won’t affect whether or not you decide to buy the house, it will give you an idea of what items you will need to buy when you move in.

7. Has any structural work been done to the property?

It’s crucial to ask whether any structural work has been done to the property so that you can make sure the right legal permissions have been sought and that the work has been done to the correct standards. Ask to see building permits and vendor contracts to ensure that the work has been done legally and safely.

8. What local amenities are available?

Although you can research this yourself, it’s always good to hear first-hand what shops, schools, and amenities are available. See what’s nearby. This includes stores, parks, and schools.

9. Have there been any other offers on the property?

A real estate agent won’t usually tell you how much another buyer has offered, but they may drop hints as to whether it is above or below the asking price. Knowing whether there has been any other interest in the property will help you to gauge how much you should offer on the property and whether an offer below asking price is likely to be accepted.

10. Can you afford the home?
Probably the most important question to ask yourself prior to bidding on a home, is can I afford the mortgage? Make sure prior to searching for your new home that you and your spouse discuss what you can afford. Go to a bank and get pre-approved prior to starting your property search. Also try to plan for contingency fees in the event the home you want to purchase needs updates or repairs.   

Buying a new home can feel daunting, especially if you haven’t done it before. By making sure that you ask the right questions, you’ll know that you have all the information you need about the property so that you can make an informed decision. 

Summer House Realty Can Help

If you are in the market to purchase a new home you will want to ask the above questions to help you make an informed decision. At Summer House Realty we help every one of our clients understand the pros and cons of each property. We also do a lot of the leg work to make sure you are putting your money in a good investment versus a money pit. If you would like to talk to one of our expert real estate agents, contact us today at (904) 557-3020.

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