Helpful Mortgage And Real Estate Advice

What Questions Should I Ask When Looking At Homes?

By on November 11, 2013 in Home Buying Advice, Mortgage Videos

Buying a home is the largest purchase most people will ever undertake, and for the first-time home buyer there are a number of essential questions to ask the real estate agent and the owner. There are the obvious questions, like the asking price, as well as questions that aren’t so obvious, like the amount the home sold for the last time it was on the market.

Consider the following questions to figure out whether a house will be the family’s new dream home:

1. Are there any major problems?

A home doesn’t have to be in perfect condition when it’s sold. Perhaps the foundation is tilted, or the sewer system needs major repair.

2. What is the age of the roof?

Replacing the roof is a major project and a home with a roof that needs replacement could represent a bad investment for a family.

3. Does anything cosmetic need replacement?

The carpets might be stained and old, or the paint might be chipped and cracked.

4. What are the age of the appliances, and do they come with the home?

20-year-old appliances suck up an incredible amount of energy and might need to be replaced.

5. What’s the crime rate in the neighborhood?

This question might warrant independent research since a seller might not be so forthcoming.

6. What’s great about the location?

Amenities might include nearby freeways for commuters, or parks and pools for recreation with the family.

7. What was the selling price for similar homes?

The offer price usually depends upon market conditions and how much similar homes sold for in the immediate vicinity.

8. How long has the home been on the market?

A home on the market for several months could have desperate owners who are willing to make a great deal.

9. How much does the owner owe on the home?

The type of price negotiation might be influenced by an owner in an underwater mortgage (this occurs when an owner owes more on the mortgage that the home is worth).

10. Are there any environmental annoyances or nuisances nearby?

Although it’s nice to be near a school for the kids, owners of a home right in front of an elementary school might have to deal with lots of buses, kids, and traffic.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it should give any future homeowner some solid answers regarding a potential home purchase. Always make a list ahead of time and keep asking questions until all concerns are answered.

Another helpful tool is the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) scorecard. These government statistics on the state of the housing market will help a family make an appropriate offer on a new home.

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About the Author

About the Author: Jessica Lucas is the managing editor for Mortgage Home Base, a top real estate finance blog dedicated to helping borrowers and home buyers understand the home loan process. Follow Jessica on Google +, and share your comments here. .
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