Buying a home is a big investment, and you want to be prepared with questions that will ensure you get your money’s worth. Here are 8 crucial questions to ask before making an offer on a home, that will provide both peace of mind and investment security.
Have there been pest infestations?
The seller must disclose information about past pest treatments and provide proof of pest control. However, just because it has been previously treated for pests doesn’t mean that these beasties have been eliminated from the home or that neighboring homes don’t have pest problems.
What are monthly utility costs?
It’s important to know what you’re up against as far as budgeting for monthly utilities is concerned. Get an average cost, not the amount of the lowest bill, and ask about peak months. You will also want to know the kind of energy sources appliances use in the event that you decide to make upgrades to more energy-efficient ones.
How old is the roof?
If you know the approximate age of the roof, this will give you a good idea on how soon it will need to be replaced. Investing in a new roof is a big investment, and the most common type of roof asphalt shingles need to be replaced every 15-20 years.
Does the seller owe a lot?
In the event that the seller of the home owes more than the price they tagged for their home, you may be looking at a short sale. This means that the buyer may have to bring cash to closing. If this is the case, it is highly unlikely that the seller will agree to paying closing costs or pay for any repairs. You really want the seller to have a lot of equity.
What is the average selling price of similar homes in the neighborhood?
Knowing how much other homes are being sold for in the neighborhood is your best indicator of a fair value. Your bank’s appraiser will look at comparable sales to assess the value of the home. Your real estate agent can also obtain a list of recently sold homes.
What is the foundation?
Homes with raised foundations or basements provide access under the home to reach electrical and plumbing. Slab foundations are most common in new construction, so you will need to know what existed before the house was built in case problems arise in the future.
Are there nuisance factors?
You don’t want to be driven crazy by traffic due to nearby freeways or barking dogs. Also, consider if the home is located in an area where seasonal events, such as festivals or concerts, might cause unwarranted clamor.
Is there documentation on warranties?
Find out if previous owners were conscientious about keeping warranty information and appliance manuals. Look for purchase dates on major appliances to estimate their life expectancy from purchase. This information will also be helpful if you decide to upgrade to more energy-efficient appliances.
These important questions are a strong start for making a good investment on a home. Just remember to be proactive with your research and assertive with questions that concern you.
If you are looking at homes for sale in Colorado, look for one who can give you the best home options and advice. Call me, Anne Dresser Kocur, at (303) 229-6464 or send an email to adresser(at)livsir(dotted)com.