How Old Are the Appliances?
Large home equipment is built to last, but you do not want to purchase a home full of appliances on their last leg. Ask about any major appliances that require replacing soon, from the water heater to the HVAC system.
Is the Flooring in Good Shape?
Bad flooring is a deal-breaker for many potential buyers, and with good reason. If the carpet seems shabby, ask about having it replaced. Broken tile and scratched flooring throughout the house could indicate that it is poorly maintained.
Can I Afford This Property?
Finances are a huge consideration, so calculate your budget well ahead of time. Determine your bank financing, and then roughly estimate all expenses. Include everything from the mortgage to the homeowner’s insurance property to make sure you can afford your home of choice.
Does It Have a Clean Title?
Part of the home-buying process will likely include a title search. Running a search and having title insurance during closing will ensure that there are no issues with the ownership of the property.
Does It Pass a Home Maintenance Checklist?
How well has your future home been taken care of over the years? As you examine the property for the first or second time, mentally run through a home maintenance checklist. Is the lawn well maintained, and are the house’s siding, paint, and roof in good shape? Is there any evidence of water leaks inside the home? Think of anything that you might have to repair in the future, and ask about its condition now.
Does Water Gather When It Rains?
You can pose this question directly to your Realtor, but you should also look for signs of past water pooling during a visit. Possible evidence could include:
- Ground that slopes toward the home
- Water spots on the basement walls or floor
- The smell of mildew anywhere throughout the home
- Any swamp-like ground near gutter drains.
- Ground-level windows with no evident drainage system
Are There Any Deal-Breakers?
Deal-breakers could come from the buyer or the seller. Are you allowed to keep pets in the house? Is the seller willing to pay for certain repairs before closing? Who will absorb the cost of a new water heater? Make a list of your potential deal-breakers, and check with your seller about his or hers well before closing.
Considering these questions in advance and throughout the buying process can help you find the perfect home with no surprises after closing.