THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN BUYING A HOME FOR THE FIRST TIME
While beginning the search for a new home can be very exciting, often times, the process can seem a bit overwhelming, especially for those who are new to the world of real estate. Since purchasing a home will likely be the most significant investment one will ever make, there are many factors to consider and information to gather before signing on the dotted line. From location to taxes, inspections to re-sale value, knowing the right questions to ask can make all the difference.
In an effort to streamline the home buying process, the professionals at Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC are going back to basics. Below are the top ten questions home buyers should consider during the hunt for a new home:
- How do I determine how much I can afford? Identifying a specific price point before looking to buy a home is an important first step. By setting an overall budget before beginning a home search and sticking to it, buyers will feel confident that they will be able to afford their monthly expenses, avoid financial problems down the line and find a home that they love within their price range.
- How can a real estate agent help me during the home buying process? Understanding the role of a real estate agent is a necessary step in the pursuit of a happy house hunt. A real estate agent oversees the transaction of the home on the buyer’s behalf, and is instrumental in making sure the process is both simple and seamless from start to finish. Therefore, it is crucial that the buyer select an expert who understands what they are trying to find.
- Which home loan is best for me? Choosing a home loan that best suits one’s specific needs can be a complex undertaking. From fixed-rate to adjustable-rate, choosing the appropriate home loan is one of the most important decisions a buyer will make. To determine the best loan for them, buyers should speak with a qualified mortgage consultant who can assess their situation and provide an expert opinion.
- Do I need to have an home inspection?Home inspections are a crucial part of the home buying process. Before deciding on a property, it’s worth the small investment to have a home inspection completed before placing an offer on a property, even if the seller recently conducted an inspection as part of the home selling process.
- Do I need a home warranty? A home warranty will cover expenses that arise post closing, including appliance repair and replacement costs and plumbing or electrical defects. Because each home (and its contents) is different, it is a smart idea to discuss the need for a home warranty with a real estate agent.
- How long has the home been on the market? Before purchasing a home, the buyer should inquire about how long the property has been for sale.The length of time a home is on the market can help determine what the appropriate offer price is and whether or not this is a home that might be worth re-evaluating.
- How much should I offer to buy the home? When a buyer decides on the house of their dreams, it is important to know how much to offer. Since this is arguably the most important step in the home buying process, it is important that they have an agent advising them every step of the way. Placing a bid too far below the asking price could result in the house being sold to a higher bidder. On the flip side, offering too much might result in money spent that could have been put towards other expenses. A real estate agent plays a critical role in reaching the balance, so that his or her client can make a reasonable offer and walk away with a signed contract in hand.
- What are the plans for the neighborhood? Location is a significant factor in deciding which home to purchase. Looking beyond the homes proximity to schools, hospitals, etc., buyers will also want to know what plans, if any, the city has in store for the home’s surrounding area. A real estate agent can direct buyers to the right sources for uncovering any major construction projects in the works or town plans to give the neighborhood a facelift. Researching the city’s upcoming projects can often times provide insight into the home’s potential appreciation or depreciation.
- Where are the home’s property boundaries? Land boundaries are not as obvious as one might think. What looks like a spacious backyard could be half its size depending upon where the neighbor’s property begins. Therefore it is always important to request to see paperwork that discloses the property lines.
10. How much are the home’s taxes? In addition to a monthly mortgage payment, buyers will also be responsible for covering the taxes associated with their new property. And taxes could potentially total several thousand dollars a year. Therefore discussing the home’s taxes ahead of time with your real estate agent can help a buyer understand the additional costs.