Buying a home in 2019 could be a wise decision for Americans because of several factors at play. Although the prices are higher than they were a year ago, the lower mortgage rates work in favor of buyers looking for homes across the mid-range and the higher end of the spectrum. However, mortgage rates for entry-level homes aren’t so rosy.
On the whole, the real estate market might have softened a bit for buyers, but that doesn’t mean you should rush into buying a home.
When you feel you have found your perfect home, stop and think before you leap forward for the biggest purchase of your life because a wrong real estate purchase can bury you under heaps of regret and debt. And it would be too late until you realize it.
It is important to visit the property you are buying multiple times because every visit drives you one step closer to an informed decision.
And during your conversation with the seller or the person showing you around, here are 5 questions you should ask before signing the purchase agreement.
Q1: Start with ‘why?’
There may be several reasons why people sell their house, but why should it concern you as a buyer?
Because knowing why they are moving out can determine the room for negotiation. For instance, if the seller is relocating to a different city or country, there are chances they want to sell fast and may succumb to your negotiation skills.
But if they are not in a hurry to sell, you will know you have to struggle a bit to swing the deal in your favor.
In either case, knowing ‘why’ is important.
Q2: How old is the house and its systems?
If the house you are looking at is too old to last for at least 30 years, it’s better to walk away, unless it’s a bargain.
Between buying and not buying, there’s a lot of gray area here, and you need someone knowledgeable to guide you through the labyrinth. You can get in touch with one of the experienced home inspectors to get an expert opinion about the property, along with a detailed report outlining structural and system defects.
Rather than predicating your decision on a hunch or seller’s goodwill, a property inspection should help you make an informed buying decision.
Q3: Any major repairs in the past?
Now, if there had been some structural issues in the past and have been fixed before putting the property on the market, it shouldn’t concern you.
But knowing those issues is important because they might lead to another issue in the future. For instance, the owner might have fixed the leaky roof, but what was done about the water that seeped into the adjoining walls? It’s a scary thought when you think about it.
Q4: Condition of the systems and components?
When you are buying a house, you are buying everything good and bad that comes along. However, it’s always better to go with the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.
If the structural aspect of the building turns out to be in great shape, you might as well want to run a thorough inspection for plumbing, electrical, HVAC and other systems of the property as recommended by Alpha Building Inspections — one of the leading home inspectors in Concord NH.
Q5: What do they like about the house they are selling?
This unexpected question is most likely to elicit an honest response because it puts the seller in a position where they can’t afford to go wrong, nor can they manage to make something up on the fly.
This is where you catch them off guard, and this is your moment to know if they ever liked the place they have inhabited for a long time.
These questions, when asked in the given order, can help you get a true picture of the property you are planning to buy.
One final question: What’s the area like?
We all know that location is crucial for house hunters.
While you can get a good idea of what the neighborhood is like from driving around and taking a closer look at the streets and properties surrounding the homes you’re looking at, you might get a much better sense of community spirit and be able to gather information about facilities, amenities, attractions and schools from talking to the owners or real estate agents.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and take the opportunity to learn more about the things that matter most to you, for example, sports facilities if you’re an avid fitness fan or local schools if you have children who will be transferring.