When purchasing a home, hundreds of questions come at you from every direction. Whether from your Realtor®, Loan Processor or Loan Originator, all parties involved in the transaction request a lot of information from you as the buyer. It might seem overwhelming.
To help relieve some of the pressure, remember that questions should go both ways. Purchasing a home is one of the largest financial investments you will make in your lifetime. Take an active and primary role in the process. If you’re curious or unsure about any part of the home buying journey, ask away. There are no dumb questions.
If you’re not sure what to ask, then here are five great questions that will guide you towards buying the home best-suited for you.
“What’s old about the home?”
No matter how new or old your potential home is, inquire about the age and condition of each part.
For example, look into the roof. The most common type of roofing, regular asphalt shingles, need to be replaced approximately every 20 to 25 years. On average, replacing the roof runs over $8,000. That’s a sizable chunk of change. Learning when the most recent roof replacement occurred assists you in estimating when you may need a new one. Knowing this approximate timeframe allows you to budget accordingly.
The same goes for all other major appliances and features of the home such as the hot water heater and the air conditioner. Request documentation of all warranties you may need to reference in the future. Knowledge you have about the home’s history equips you in the future.
Knowledge you have about the home’s history equips you in the future.
“What’s new about the home?”
If previous owners added a room, remodeled the kitchen, or converted the basement or garage to living space, you’ll want to make note. Depending on the home and the renovations made, some improvements may be easy spot.
As the buyer, you don’t feel pressured to pay dollar for dollar the updates made. In fact, reports from 2020 show the cost-to-value ratio for home improvements hovers just below 64%. The amount recouped depends greatly on what part of the home received renovations.
For all renovations, keep record of the contractor’s information in case you need additional updates or repairs.
“Have bugs ever infested the home?”
During the sales process, the previous owners should disclose if the home experienced an infestation by critters such as carpenter ants, termites, or other bugs. Additionally, they should provide information on the treatment conducted to rid the home of the unwelcomed guests.
However, even if previous owners addressed the problem in the past, it doesn’t mean the bugs left for good. The conditions that made the home their target originally may still exist. Also, remember that an infestation of one house in the neighborhood often means the same for other homes nearby.
Pest infestations are more than just annoying. They are expensive as well. Extermination expenses often run up to thousands of dollars. Afterwards, you then spend money replacing damaged areas. A very small insect can cost a very large amount.
Be aware of this infestation history. Also, remove invitations for the bugs to return such as softer rotting wood and slow leaks under your home. With this knowledge and preparation, you help avoid these added costs.
“What is the history of water pipes bursting in the home?”
A water pipe bursting in a home is not unheard of. In most cases, it’s not necessarily the worst thing in the world or a deal breaker.
However, according to the Insurance Information Institute, close to 24% of all home insurance claims are due to frozen or burst pipes. Past water damage can cause lead to future problems, including mold behind trim and drywall.
A person sometimes does not see the results of a burst water pipe because they often lurk behind and underneath. Professional home inspectors typically notice and report any consequential damage. The severity of the damage may change your mind on purchasing the home.
Once you move into the home, take steps to avoid water pipes bursting in the future. Insulate exposed pipes. Check the condition of washing machine hoses. Install frost-proof spigots on exterior faucets. You will thank yourself for taking preventative steps like these.
Using your knowledge about previous bursts helps you from drowning in future water pipe worries.
“What additional costs should I expect?”
The mortgage payment doesn’t cover all the expenses of owning a home. One of the “joys” of homeownership is that utilities are your full responsibility.
Find out the average utility expenses throughout the year. Also, learn when the pricier months fall. This helps you budget accordingly.
You also want to discover what energy companies and source options are available to you. Knowing if sources are gas, propane, electric or a combination of those informs you what correct energy-efficient appliances to buy.
One Extra Question.
To make sure your mortgage journey is a smooth one, here is one more important question to ask: “Am I working with the right mortgage lender?”
If your answer is, “I’m working with my Loan Originator at Blu Print Home Loans,” then you’re off to a great start!
All in all, asking the right questions guides you towards living in the home best-suited for you. We’re here to help you find all the answers you need along the way!