One of the most important things you can do as a buyer is to ask questions about a property you’re considering buying. You want to get all the information you need about the house before making your final decision. Since it can be hard to know exactly what to ask the sellers, I’m sharing a handy list of 9 questions you need to ask about every home you put an offer in on.
1. How old is the roof? Generally, the roof should be replaced every 20-30 years. If the roof is older, you might be able to get a concession from the seller to help pay for the replacement.
2. How old are the appliances? The same thing goes here. If the appliances are older, you might be able to negotiate with the seller to get them replaced.
3. What comes in the sale? Sometimes sellers want to leave everything behind. Other items, they’ll take the appliances, the blinds, and even the curtains. Know what’s included in the sale before you get the keys to a home without any curtains.
4. How much do the utilities usually cost? Utility costs vary greatly between homes especially depending on how they’re heated and cooled. It’s a good idea to know what the sellers typically spend during different times of the year.
5. Is the house/property susceptible to natural disasters? If the home is in a flood plain or a rock slide area, it could impact your homeowner’s insurance premium and raise your mortgage payment.
6. What’s the reason for the sale? Sometimes people move for work or for family. Other times, they move because the neighbors are actually crazy or a huge construction project is planned across the street that will go on for years.
7. What are the property taxes? Property taxes can make a big impact on your monthly mortgage payment, so get an idea for how much they’ll run.
8. Is there room to grow in the home? Life changes, so it’s good to know if you can add on or build out on the property.
9. Have any major repairs been done? If there’s been a huge pumping or electrical redo, it’s important to know about it before you buy so you can keep an eye on it.
Asking these questions will help you head off any unpleasant surprises–like super expensive utilities or missing appliances–before you sign the closing docs.