Important Questions to Ask Before Buying a Home

When it comes to important questions to ask before buying a home, this is a great place to begin. If the house has been on the market for three months or more, then you need to ask why. Is there a problem with it that you haven’t discovered yet, but others have spotted?

Surveys will discover any potential issues but it’s better to find these out before you get too attached to the idea of buying a property.

It is easy to become overwhelmed when you enter the home buying market. Friends, family, colleagues, and even acquaintances will give you their opinions if you are a first time home buyer. While most of them are looking out for your best interest, they are not fully aware of what is happening in the housing market.

It is important for you to be prepared and have your own questions ready. No matter what other opinions you are getting, you are the one buying the home and your comfort level will help make your final decision. Here are important questions to ask before buying a home.

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Important Questions to Ask Before Buying a Home

Buying a house can be daunting. Even if you’re not a first-time buyer, chances are it’s been some years since you last went through the process. Take note of these important questions before buying a home for yourself:

1. Why You’re  Buying a Home?

Regardless of the finances, it is important to think about what made you want to buy a home in the first place. Usually the reasons don’t have to do with money. Instead, home buyers are focused on how the house will impact their family in the future. A study done by the Joint Center for House Studies at Harvard found there are four reasons people buy a home. Those reasons include schools for your children, a safe environment, more room for your family to grow, and control of your own space.

These factors are the most common reasons people look to buy a new home. When you ask yourself why you are looking to purchase a home, do any of those factors come up? Spend time with your spouse or family members who are involved in this decision and determine why you want a home in the first place. Creating this list will help when searching for a home and can help your real estate agent find the best home for your needs.

2. What is the Trend with Home Values?

Our current economy and housing market is strong. That means home values and mortgage rates are increasing. If you are looking to purchase a home but want to stay within a budget, it may be in your best interest to move quickly. It is forecasted for these trends to continue in an upward motion, causing home values to continue to increase.

3. What About Current Mortgage Rates?

The ticket price is not the only thing you should be concerned with when purchasing a home. Mortgage rates are always changing and can have a huge impact on your monthly payments. Current trends show mortgage rates are rising. This is something to consider if you are debating the right time to purchase a home, since the rates may be even higher down the road.

4. Why is the owner selling the property? 

This is vitally important. The owner might just be moving to a different area or a bigger property, but there could be plenty of other reasons that are unappealing to a prospective buyer. Is the property too near a noisy road? Are they tired of the upkeep? Food for thought.

5. What’s the area like? 

Would the estate agent be happy to live in the area themselves? Even better, try to ask the seller about the area if they’re present when you view the property.

Most importantly, do your own research. Keep in mind that any house can be renovated but it can’t be moved.

6. Is the property leasehold or freehold? 

With a leasehold, you own the property (subject to the terms of the leasehold) for the length of your lease agreement. The freeholder of a property owns it outright, including the land it’s built on. The listing should also display this clearly.

7. How much is the service charge? Are there any issues with the management company?

If the property is leasehold only, you’ll need to be aware of further service costs and potential admin fees. The service charge should be advised at your first viewing of the property, whether this is charged monthly or annually, and what it covers. It’s also worth noting that many new build estates may also service charges or management companies tied to them.

8. Which way does the property face?

If you have a garden or terrace then you’ll want to make sure it gets the sun when you want it to, whether you like to wake up with the light streaming through the windows of your bedroom or you prefer sunny summer BBQs in the late afternoon. So, if you like a sunny property, look for a southerly-facing garden.

9. When do the current owners need to move by? Have the sellers found somewhere new?

Being in a chain can create complications for buyers as any delays or complications for the sellers will have a knock-on effect.

The ideal situation is that the property is chain-free but, if not, knowing that the sellers are organised and keen to move quickly can bode well for an uncomplicated sale.

10. Has the property been painted or redecorated recently? 

A fresh coat of paint could mean the sellers are covering cracks or damp. Lift rugs to make sure they’re not hiding anything unsightly. Keep your nose trained for the musty smell of damp. Also check where the walls join with the ceiling and inspect window seals and exterior walls.

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