Thinking about purchasing and moving into another home? It’s likely that you’re already knowledgeable about the answers to the standard, must-ask home buying questions, such as “Which type of mortgage is right for me?” and “How much of a down payment can I afford?”
However, there are a few not-so-obvious questions that many buyers don’t think to ask, and the answers can ultimately determine whether or not you decide to call a new piece of property home sweet home.
- What is in store for the future of that city/area?
Think about asking the realtor and even calling the local city hall in that area and ask questions like, are there any plans for new buildings in the area? Will they be residential or commercial? New park systems? New upgrades to schools? Street constructions? It can save you a few years worth of possible headaches or surprises.
- Does the home match your given criteria or do you find yourself settling?
It is important not to lose sight of your dream must-haves (garage, fenced in yard, finished basement) simply because a home has a few other “these would be nice-to-haves” (fireplace, cathedral ceilings). When house hunting online and/or in person, prepare a set checklist of your ultimate must-haves, to help you weed and sort through homes in your area while shopping around.
- What is around the neighborhood?
While you may have found what you think is your dream home, you may not have taken the time to check out the rest of the neighborhood itself. Are the other neighbors young and like to party but you don’t? Are there too many families with young screaming loud children who like to be outside and you don’t have kids and therefore aren’t into that? Are the other homes as nice as yours or are most run-down and older and in need of many heavy repairs? Are there many families with dogs or other loud animals like chickens and roosters and who may keep you up late at night? What are your pet peeves basically and do you see any of those nearby? Go and knock on some neighbors doors and tell them you are thinking of moving into the neighborhood and ask them what it has been like living in the area too.
- What is the home’s history?
It is vital to ask the current home owner (if he is available) and the realtor about the entire home’s history, like the repairs it has had over the years and dates of repairs, what warranties are still in place for major improvements, how many owners did it have and what the families who lived there were like too. Has it been bought and sold frequently and often and why?
- Has this home been flipped or is it currently being flipped and why?
When visiting a home, don’t be fooled by recent renovations or touch-ups. In addition to possibly paying more for a home than it’s worth, another potential risk with purchasing a flipped property is that the renovations could be purely cosmetic and might cover up deeper structural problems. This is why it is always wise to get a home inspection.