It is important to understand that what you really need to know about a house often may not be visible to your eye!
It goes without saying that no house is perfect; features that one buyer may absolutely love may send the next buyer running right back out the door. Understanding this is critical when you begin looking at homes for yourself. It’s important to know what you like, what you are looking for, what features you must have and what features you would like to have and conversely what features you can live without or are just not important to you. Here are seven tough questions you should arm yourself with and ask about each home that you look at:
Q: Has this home ever been damaged in a fire or other major disaster like a flood or earthquake? Just like a car that’s been part of a major accident, a house that has been damaged requires repairs and the quality of the home is a direct result of the quality of work done for the repairs. Some of these repairs may lie behind covered walls and you should at least understand what the house has been through. Don’t forget to ask this about other structures of the property as well like detached garages or swimming pools.
Q: Is there and HOA (Homeowner’s association), tax assessment district or any other entity? These entities can have collect dues, charge fees, set fines, and limit what a homeowner can and cannot do with their property. You want to know if you have to deal with one of these and what the cost are. It’s another expense that you have to put into your budget. Not paying them can lead to liens placed on your property!
Q: Have you experienced any nuisances such as noise or other problems in the area or with neighbors? There are a lot of noises in a neighborhood, some people like the sound of the city some don’t, if you don’t like loud engines and you find out the neighbors kid rides motorcycles and he and his buddies frequently get together Saturday morning to work on their bikes and engines that may just be a problem for you. It’s best not only to ask this question but in addition visit the neighborhood at different times of the day and night week days and weekends so you can see it for yourself and also take note of traffic patterns during this time.
Q: Have there been any serious crimes in the neighborhood like burglaries, car thefts, or crimes against people? Few places are completely free of crime yet some places due tend to have more crime than others. You want to know this if car thefts are common then a garage to keep your car off the streets may be very important if you want to live in that location.
Q: Have there been any renovations to the home and if so were they completed with or without a permit? It’s true that many older homes will have experienced some upgrades and remodeling and that’s just fine. What is important to find out about these changes is where they permitted? If they don’t comply with county codes authorities can force homeowners to bring them up to code or take them down. If there were structural renovations done it’s always good to ask for a copy of the permits.
Q: Has this home been vacant or occupied by tenants and if so for how long? Occasionally a home that was occupied by a renter may not have been well kept or if it has been vacant for awhile it may have other problems. Make sure that if it has been that the owner of the property has taken responsibility for repairs and keeping the property excellent condition. Also take note of the neighborhood and see if there are many vacant homes around there.
Q: Is there any additional information that you can share with me about this house? This is a “catch-all” question that can help you to discover other facts about the home that you may not have found out otherwise.
The home buying process is one filled with many excitement moments and the more you know the better off you will be. As always you should also surround yourself with professionals that know how to get the job done, and of course that’s where we come in. We have been doing this for years and helping individuals just like you achieve the homeownership dream time and time again. The only thing stopping you from realizing this dream is… You picking up the phone and calling us at 1-888-210-6134. Don’t wait any longer, get on the path now and realize the dream!