Buying a home is one of the biggest financial transactions you will make in a lifetime. As such, it’s one you shouldn’t enter into without being fully informed. By being armed with knowledge, you’ll make better decisions and feel more confident. Here’s your checklist of must-ask questions you need to pose before buying a home. Your Realtor can work through these with you so you have all the information you need to make the best decision for YOU!
How much house can I afford?
When calculating how much you can afford to spend on a home, you need to take into consideration more than just the listing price. You’ll also need to budget for repairs, renovations, closing costs, and homeowner’s insurance. Find out how much you can really afford by using an online calculator.
Are my finances ready?
The smartest thing you can do before buying a home is get pre-approved for your loan BEFORE you start looking to signal to a seller that you are a serious buyer. We can introduce you to local mortgage lenders who can help you with this step. Have you ordered a copy of your credit report? If not, you need to do that as soon as possible. Many credit reports contain errors, and it will take time to have them removed. The lender(s) you speak with can do this for you as well.
What Realtor should I partner with?
Practicing Real Estate is more than just opening a door and letting you see a house. Who you work with can make all the difference in your purchase experience. Many buyers wait until they find a house they love to find a Realtor to work with. Would you hire just any attorney or doctor without knowing their credentials first? Interviewing Agents should be one of the first things you do. It’s so important to work with a Realtor who is experienced, professional and knows the areas where you are searching. It’s not one-size fits all. The first thing we do with our clients is sit down and talk about how we work, what you should expect of us and what we expect of you. The best relationship is a trust-based partnership. Want to find out more? Contact us!
What is the history of the home?
Once you start your home search, it is important to understand the history of the home. When was the last time the house sold, and for how much? Have there been any recent renovations, additions or major repairs? How old is the roof? Have there ever been any broken pipes? Are there warranties on any of the appliances that are staying with the house? Has anything strange ever happened there? The more you know upfront, the less likely you’ll be surprised by issues that might come up in the future. Your Realtor has access to all the accurate information about the house and can get any other questions you have answered.
Is it in a good location?
Location is paramount when it comes to real estate. You’re not just buying a home – you’re buying the neighborhood, too. What is the crime like in the area? Are there any registered sex offenders? Are the streets dark at night? Are there sidewalks? Is it near amenities, like restaurants, gas stations and grocery stores? How well do the neighbors keep up their properties? What are the schools like? Is the neighborhood noisy or fairly quiet? Explore some of our local areas in Montgomery County Pennsylvania here.
What are the costs of living in this house?
Not only will you be making monthly mortgage payments, but you’ll have other expenses, too. How much do the utilities generally run? What are the annual property taxes? How much will you spend commuting back and forth to work? Will you need to replace any appliances soon, or make any major repairs? How much are HOA fees?
How much should I offer?
Once you’ve found the house you like and asked all the questions you need to about it, it’s time to consider how much you want to offer. If your offer price is too low, you might get outbid. However, if you offer too much, the house might appraise for less and you’ll have trouble securing your mortgage. Your agent should develop a comprehensive Comparables Report to help you make an informed decision. Be prepared with your counteroffer if you’re buying in a competitive market. Click here for tips to win a bidding war.
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