When it comes to buying a house, it can become very tricky, however, what is even more tricky is how much effort it takes to find the right one. Luckily, there have been many tips on house hunting put together over the years to make your house hunting experience right the first time without worry or stress. If you are a first-time house hunter, it is always good to keep in mind that shopping for a house requires complete devotion to the entirety of the process.
It requires you to put your whole being into research and careful preparation, as well as accurate assessment. This is the only way that you will find and secure the house of your dreams in a quick and efficient manner. The first big question people tend to ask themselves apart from ‘am I ready to buy a house?’ tends to be something along the lines of whether or not they want to use the services of a real estate agent or whether they just go straight to the buyer.
It is always good to figure out a list of things you do and don’t like, the pros and cons of the property, and just a general list of what your house must have. This way, there is little to no room for error. This great list of tips should help you out and get you into your ideal home as soon as possible.
- Why are you selling?
Firstly, we have one of the most important questions to ask when looking at a potential home. It is a crucial part of the process to be able to understand the reasons as to why the owner is moving out and deciding to sell. It will also allow you a significant insight into any possible house or neighborhood issues.
If the seller plans to move quickly, it may be an opening for you to gain the upper hand and negotiate a lower price.
- How long have you lived here?
If the property you are looking at has been passed around several times and had multiple owners within a short timeframe, this is usually a red flag. It could raise several issues such as a bad neighborhood, loud neighbors, and even house problems. This may not always be the case, but usually, it is something along these lines.
It is very important to weed out important information so that you can understand any hidden issues or information that the owner is withholding from you knowingly.
- What is the current condition like?
Usually, owners have an obligation to inform a potential buyer about the property defects, though not all of them do which can lead to trouble later on. That is why it is so important to do a home inspection. It is the perfect way to identify any issues, negotiate lower prices, or withdraw your offer without the fear of penalties.
- How long has it been for sale?
If a property has been on the market for a large amount of time, owners are usually going to act on a first come, first serve basis. This could mean two things. One, that the owner has mispriced the house and will be happy to negotiate on price. Two, that there are potential issues with the house which means that you will need to do a thorough inspection.
- Are there any health and safety risks?
While it may not seem to be the first question people think of, asking about potential health and safety risks is of the utmost importance. It is necessary because it makes sure that the property doesn’t pose any serious risks or dangers. You can also ask the seller if they have had any past issues and what they did to fix it.
It is also recommended that you speak to neighbors to ask if they have had any pest problems or other risks that would pass from house to house. In any case, an inspection is your best bet.
- Is there a history of insurance claims?
You should pay specific attention to a house’s insurance history. If there is a history of losses, it will likely haunt you and affect your ability to obtain coverage for a new house. For example, a house with water damage is likely to suffer from mold which can make people unwell when inhaled. If you go ahead and purchase the house, you won’t be able to get affordable coverage because of this.
- Have any repairs or renovations been carried out? Why?
It is very much necessary to understand the current condition of the property. That is why it is so important to ask about any repairs or renovations to gain an understanding as to why they were done. Finding out can give you an answer as to what to expect from the property. Also, you need to make sure that any work done previously was approved. You are well within your right to request any documentation from the seller to ensure that there haven’t been any violations.
- What is the housing budget?
You must ask yourself if you can afford this particular house, and the second step is to ensure that the utility costs will not put you out in the long run. Buying a house means that you now have far more responsibility, so you need to consider what you’re doing. This means that you should ask all of the necessary questions that may become a costly problem over time. Utilities can impact your budget which is why you need to be realistic about your budget.
- How good is the soundproofing and property insulation?
When you begin to view houses, make sure that you pay attention to installations such as basements and swimming pools. Asking about the properties energy efficiency and high-quality soundproofing is very important and while it may add value to the house, it offers many advantages so potential owners.
- What is the neighborhood like?
Good neighbors will usually make a good neighborhood, but that isn’t always the case. That is why it is so important to find out what your neighbors are like and how good the neighborhood is. You will likely be living in the area for a long time, so it is recommended that you do your research.
Before you decide, take a drive and check out the neighborhood. Sellers may be hesitant to share any negatives, but the neighbors will happily tell you most of the time.
- What is included when I purchase the house?
This question may seem odd at first, but it helps you understand what does and does not come with the house. Not everything in the house will stay with you, so you need to pay close attention to what you will get. There is nothing wrong with asking about outdoor furniture, a lamp, or a water heater.
- What is factored into the closing costs?
This question is fairly critical because closing costs are yours to handle. They often include taxes, insurance costs, inspection, and property evaluation fees. You may not know about these costs in advance unless you ask, but you are able to get a rough estimate and negotiate. Asking the important questions can pave the way to a much easier settlement.
- What is the best thing about living here?
This question is entirely personal, but it is a good way to get the seller to talk about their beautiful home. It is a good way to see if the seller has a personal connection to the home. It may seem like an odd question, but it is the perfect way to find out some extra details about the home or neighbourhood that you may have missed.