In order to help eager home buyers avoid costly surprises down the road, here's a list of the most important - but often overlooked - questions home shoppers need to ask before committing to a home purchase and long-term mortgage debt.
Is renting vs. buying a better option?Before you spend too much time looking for your dream home, you need to weigh all your options. Depending on your situation, you may not be ready to buy, may need some time to save for a down payment, or may live in a more expensive housing market. If you have a lot of debt, a low credit score, or don't have much money saved up, renting may be a better option. Someone with these factors may have to wait a few more years to be in a better financial situation before they are able to obtain a mortgage loan.
What is the neighborhood's crime rate?The second thing regarding what questions to ask when buying a house is the safety of your neighborhood and town. What is the crime rate in the area?
What are my home 'needs' and 'wants'?No property is perfect. What are your 'deal breakers' vs. your wants. Where are you willing and able to compromise? The point here is to have a shorter check-list of "must-haves" when looking at potential homes.
Where is the seller's disclosure?Even if you fall head-over-heels for a house, don't be punch-drunk in love with it. Unlike a person, a home is just four walls - and there are plenty out there with many more being built. Ask the listing agent if there are any seller disclosures (known defects of material facts that can affect desirability or value) before you write an offer. Just like a relationship, you need to take time to know your future partner, or in this case, your future home.
Can I make the needed home renovations or additions?
If you are looking to add on to your home or do renovations, it is wise to check the house's zoning or area disclosure. Know if the property is located in any type of historic or preservation area or area disclosure. There may be limits on adding on, aesthetics, etc.
Ready to get your home buying process started? Contact your local Carrington Real Estate Services agent for assistance with answering these questions and getting the home of your dreams.