Once you’ve decided to purchase a home, there will be a lot of things to consider. Since this will be one of the biggest investments you make, it will be helpful to look over the “Top 11 Things to Know When Buying a Home” to guide you on your way and help with a successful home buying experience. The following are 11 questions you might ask, along with some helpful answers:
1. What Do I Look for in Terms of Community?
You will want your community to reflect your values and your style of living. For families, they may look for a community that is quiet and safe and that is located close to schools. Are there things that you need to be close to? Do you prefer a busy community or one that is peaceful on a rural street?
You will want your community to reflect your values and your style of living. For families, they may look for a community that is quiet and safe and that is located close to schools.
Are there things that you need to be close to? Do you prefer a busy community or one that is peaceful on a rural street?
2. How Would I Find Local Schools?
Contact the city or local school board to gather information about their school system and where all facilities are located. You might also inquire with your real estate agent who should know the area quite well.
3. How Do I Get Information about the Community?
To find out more about your community, you may want to contact the local chamber to get some welcome kits, maps and other information about the area. A visit to the library can also be a good option; going to the library will allow you to find resources on local events and activities. You can also ask your realtor or check online to see if the community has their own website or page.
4. How Do I Learn About Home Prices in Specific Neighborhoods and Communities?
This is important information that you can very well ask your realtor about before buying a home. They should be able to provide you with comparable listings to give you an idea about trending prices in the area.
5. Is There a Way to Find out About the Property Tax Liability?
Last year’s property tax should be included in the listing data. If you do not see it, you may ask the seller for a tax receipt or connect with the local assessor’s office. Remember that tax rates change annually and figures may change.
6. Are There Any Tax Benefits I Need to Know About?
Remember that for US residents, mortgage interest and real estate taxes are deductible. You can get more details about tax liabilities and benefits from your qualified realtor or real estate professional.
7. Does a New Home or an Old Home Have More Value?
There is not a definite answer for this question, as it really depends on what you’re looking for. In general, many older homes are situated in a great location or established neighborhood and likely have lower property tax rates. Those buying a home in an older state don’t mind having to renovate or do some repairs and they may be more drawn towards old-fashioned design and style.
For those who prefer a more modern home, a newer property may be the best bet. These homes have more of an up-to-date design, easier maintenance and more energy-efficient options.
8. What Should I Consider When I Look Through a Home?
When you’re looking for a home, you’ll want to look for your “must-haves” first and foremost. After that, consider some of these factors to help you decide if a home is for you:
* Is there a room for expansion in the future?
* Are there enough bedrooms and bathrooms?
* Is the structure of the house sound?
* Do the home's mechanical system work?
* Is your backyard large enough?
* Will your furniture fit? Do you have enough storage space? (Best to bring a tape measure)
* Will you need to do some repairs or replace anything? Is the seller going to do the repairs or replace anything for you?
* Do you think the house will be able to survive whatever weather conditions it faces year-round?
Do not rush your process of buying a home. Compare each house you visit with your agent and speak to your realtor or real estate professional about the pros and cons each home you visit from a professional stand point.
9. What Questions Should I Ask When Looking for A Home?
It’s important to ask the hard questions about the issues concerning the maintenance or potential in the home. Homeowners should already be prepared to answer these questions regardless. Is there anything that will need to be replaced? What should be maintained? (HVAC, roof, carpet, appliances, paint, etc.)
Ask about the neighborhood and the house but focus on quality of life issues. Be sure to get a complete and clear explanation from the seller and your real estate professional or realtor. Do not be afraid to ask for clarification to satisfy yourself about what you need to know. It’s a good idea to make up a list of questions ahead of time so that you can organize your thoughts and cover everything you want to know.
10. How will I track the homes I get to see?
If you are allowed, take photos of each home you see including the front of the house, rooms, the yard and some of the extra features you liked or that you were worried about. You may also take a second look at the properties you liked or search online; most properties will have photos posted.
If you cannot take photos, consider making notes.
11. How Many Homes Should I See Before Buying a Home?
There is no set amount of homes that you can look at before you decide on a home. Essentially, you should keep looking until you find a property that meets most of your must-haves and has the right price. An average homebuyer sees about 15 houses. It will help to take note of the houses you have visited and coordinate with your real estate professional about the ones you liked so as not to waste time.
Are you still unsure about buying a home? If you’ve been putting off buying a property because of your current status, then check out this great article to boost your buying confidence: Can You Guess Who the Second Largest First-Time Home Buying Group is?
Why trust Showcase Realty with your home search? Be sure to read Nancy Braun of Showcase Realty LLC Named One of America’s Top 1,000 Real Estate Professionals by Real Trends, as Advertised in the Wall Street Journal. You are working with the best in the real estate industry!
We would be happy to answer any of your questions regarding buying and selling. Feel free to call us at Showcase Realty at 704.997.3794 or send us a message here!