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Five Questions to Ask Before You Purchase a Home

Five Questions to Ask Before You Purchase a Home


Are you thinking about moving soon or are new to the home buying process? Purchasing a home is a big and exciting step to take in your life! Before you get started on the process, you will want to ask yourself these five questions to get an idea of what you want and to ease some stress! 


1. How should I start the home buying process?

When you begin the process of searching for a home to buy, you might have a lot of questions running through your mind. Do you want to buy an existing home or do you want to purchase land and build a new home? Do you know the specific location that you want to live in? You'll want to consider all of these questions before moving forward. Having an idea of what you want will make the home buying process run a lot smoother. 

Once you know how you want to go about finding a home, you can then find a licensed real estate agent and begin your search. Start by thinking about what you ultimately want in your new home, including size, features, and location. Be sure to send your "want" list of your real estate agent, so he/she can compile a list of homes for you to review. It is also a good idea to do some of your own research and see what homes are currently on the market! 


2. Does the home's location fit my needs?

Once you've started narrowing down your search to a home or a few homes that you are really interested in purchasing, you will want to start researching the community.  When you are looking at the location of a home, think about the long-term. Will this home still work for you in five years? How about ten years from now? You may not have children now, but if you plan on having them in the future it is smart to look at the local schools, as well as what the community has to offer as far as recreation, shopping, daycares, etc. Also, see how close you are to work and other amenities that are important to you.

So, what happens when you've found the perfect community, but can't find a home for sale in it? Consider purchasing land and building a home on that land. You can also tell your real estate agent to keep an eye on the location and let you know as soon as something comes on the market. If it really is your perfect location, be willing to be patient while the development grows! 


3. What is the history of this home?

One of the most important questions to ask about a particular home is to find out the condition of the home itself.  Having a home inspection will help you determine the home's condition and what necessary repairs it will need.

It is also very wise to have a title search completed on the property. The title search will show if there are any existing liens on the property that you would be responsible for if you purchased the home. Also, be sure to ask about title insurance to protect you against liens.


4. What are the expected costs associated with this purchase?

When starting the home buying process, you should get pre-approved before searching for a home. A pre-approval will let you know how much of a mortgage you qualify for, so you can determine the price range to look in.

However, homeowners often think of just the mortgage payment and forget to consider the other costs of homeownership. In order to properly budget for your home, be sure to ask your real estate agent about the following items:

  • Real Estate Fees

  • Closing Costs

  • Property Taxes

  • Local Taxes

  • Insurance

  • Estimated Utility Costs

  • New Appliances (ask if the seller will be taking or leaving the appliances)

  • HOA costs (if any)

  • Home and Yard Upkeep

Factor all of these into your budget, so that you are not caught off guard when the time comes to close on and live in your house!


5. Am I ready to commit to this?

Becoming a homeowner is a big responsibility! So, before you sign a contract be sure this is something you really want. It may be wise to meet with a financial planner to discuss future budgeting. Also, you'll want to be sure the house you choose is right for you. Before you purchase, ask a close family member or friend to tour the house with you. 


At the end of the day, you want to buy a new home that you will be happy with for many years to come. Doing your homework at the outset and asking the right questions will help ensure your contentment and happiness with your investment.  If you are ready to take the next big step, reach out to one of our real estate agents!