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Questions To Ask Before You Buy A House

The longer a house sits on the market, the more motivated the seller will likely be to make a deal. This means you might find flexibility to negotiate the price, contingencies, terms and credits for replacing outdated carpet or other noticeable issues.

questions to ask before you buy a house


Naturally, you will want to choose a great real estate agent that you are comfortable with and feel like they have your best interests in mind. Most real estate experts recommend that you interview at least three agents identified by recommendations from friends and family who have bought or sold a house recently. Here are some questions to ask potential agents to see if they are the right agent for you.

Keep an eye out for culprits like lead paint and radon that can pose serious health risks if left unaddressed. Sellers of homes built before 1978 are required to fill out a lead-based paint disclosure.

The ongoing cost of living in your home is just as important as your mortgage payments. When you look at a house, make sure you get a sense for what your monthly utilities will cost. Depending on where you live and how the house is set up, these could add a significant amount to your monthly bills.

Anything you find out here will be important. If the seller is dissatisfied with something about the house, you might be able to spot a dealbreaker before closing, and if the seller has a pressing reason for leaving, you might be able to negotiate for a better price.

These questions are a great resource to keep in your back pocket when looking at a home. Bring a checklist before going to a viewing or meeting with your realtor and make sure you get answers to all these important questions before negotiating on a house.

Finally, ask yourself what your long-term plans are for the house. Is this your forever home or a starter home? The answer may dictate what type of mortgage you get, which can save or cost a lot of money in the long run.

Your real estate agent can guide you through best practices for houses that have been on the market for more than 21 days and less than 90, where the nuances of what to offer may be trickier to navigate for the uninitiated.

This is a super-important question to ask before buying a house because it can reveal a lot about the property or the neighborhood. Some reasons are obvious: the seller needs more space for a growing family, has to relocate for a new job, or is downsizing for retirement.

So how can you find out about that past? Great question. The easiest way is to ask the seller for a copy of their CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) report, which includes a seven-year record of insurable incidents that have happened to the house.

This is a hugely important question to ask when buying a house. The presence of certain substances can pose a threat to the health of you and your family and may even mean your dream house is not worth the risk.

Choosing the right home is exciting, but it can be a lot of work. Even with a great real estate agent and a solid understanding of the features you're looking for in a house, locating and reviewing homes takes time and energy.

Your real estate agent should be present at any property you view, so they can get a better understanding of what you like and dislike about the home. They can also answer many questions, as well as give you advice on whether the house is a good fit based on your wants and needs.

If you have a spouse or partner, they should attend a viewing. In some cases, you may decide to go alone to the first selections your real estate agent shows you, then narrow down the options to two or three strong possibilities. Though this seems like it would save time by eliminating homes that are an obvious no-go, seeing these poor fits can help spark important conversations with your partner about what you really want in a home. For that reason, it's ideal for both of you to look at every house.

When attending a scheduled viewing or open house, it's best if you don't bring your children. Younger kids can become bored and need attention at a time when you should be focused on looking critically at each home. Even older children should only look at the houses you deem to be front runners, as they can get excited about features that aren't on your list and then be disappointed that you didn't, for example, choose the house with the swimming pool or the loft in the kids' room.

It's important to choose homes to view that fit within your price range. Sometimes, a real estate agent may suggest you view a home that is outside of your budget but fits all your other requirements. However, if you don't have any flexibility on what you can afford, it can just lead to disappointment. Getting prequalified before looking at homes can help you narrow down your search to homes that fall within your budget.

You should also have a good idea of your preferred locations and stick close to those areas when looking for properties. While you can make updates and renovations to the house, you can't change the neighborhood.

Replacing the roof is a big expense, and one that people expecting to move might put off. A new roof can cost several thousand dollars, so find out if that's needed. A roof in need of repair could also be a problem for your lender, and you may have to negotiate with the seller to replace it before you can get your mortgage.

Sellers are required to report if there could be lead paint in the house. And in some locations, they also need to disclose the presence of asbestos, mold and water or pest damage. If the seller doesn't know, though, they can't be expected to reveal the information. Even if you want to have a specialized inspection that tests for asbestos or other harmful materials, the seller may not permit it. For homes built during the time those materials were commonly used, you may have to use your best guess and resolve to pay if you need to remove these materials.

An easement is a legal right of a neighbor to access your property. This can happen if a shared driveway, for example, starts on your land and branches off to other houses. If you have any plans for the yard, you'll want to know if there's anything you can't change.

Whether you're determining how much house you can afford, estimating your monthly payment with our mortgage calculator or looking to prequalify for a mortgage, we can help you at any part of the home buying process. See our current mortgage rates, low down payment options, and jumbo mortgage loans.

Chase serves millions of people with a broad range of products. To learn more, visit the Banking Education Center. For questions or concerns, please contact Chase customer service or let us know at Chase complaints and feedback.

Not sure what questions to ask when buying a home? Be sure to download my FREE home buying workbook over at How to Buy a House in 12 Weeks. Also, be sure to check out the first 10 questions you must ask before buying a house.

So I wanted to write a follow-up with even more questions you must ask before you buy a house! So be sure to read PART 1 of questions to ask when buying a house. And to get all 30 questions, enter your name below to download the first time home buying checklist.

The thing is, there was no alarm to alert me that this was broken. I just happened to notice that the two blue levels were both at ZERO. Who knows how long it has been broken, which means we were breathing radon. I would recommend to set a reminder and check the vacuum levels at least once every couple of months if you buy a house with a radon abatement such as in my house.

If you have specific questions about buying a house in your area, find a real estate agent. You can find a great one using our Endorsed Local Providers (ELP) program. Our ELP team finds and connects you with the best-performing agents across the nation who actually care about your budget and understand your needs.

While it may not be listed, asking how old the property is exactly is one of the questions to ask when viewing a house. Not only is this nice to know anyway, but the upkeep of older houses is often more expensive.

It may seem quite specific to ask about, but the roof is one of the most important features on a house. An old roof is prone to leaking or even collapsing, and poorly maintained roofs can cause insurance headaches, too.

If the house has been extensively renovated or upgraded, find out from the seller who did the work. They should be able to provide the name of a contractor or even some building permits, depending on the scope of the work.

You must have thought about affordability before starting to look for the house. However, now is your final chance to do a deep dive and validate your real readiness. At the very least, the following three factors merit a revisit:

Your dream home comes with additional costs and is sure to change your household budget significantly. Using a worksheet, such as this one from Kiplinger, develop a new budget with a breakdown of home-related expenses. Once the budget is ready, check if your current income sources provide sufficient cash flow for your anticipated expenses. Finally, analyze how stable your sources of income are so you can sustain the expenses into the future and enjoy your dream home!

The blueprint for your credit worthiness is your credit report. It contains detailed information on your past spending patterns, your history of paying back loans on time, etc. Your lender will thoroughly scrutinize this report before agreeing to provide you the loan.

If you are not sure about the answers to these questions, now is the time to do more research or seek professional help. Don't make your home-buying decision with an assumption that you get huge tax breaks.

Garrett Callahan is a freelance writer who writes on the ins-and-outs of buying the perfect home. For over six years, he has written extensively on travel, history, and culture, and he spent the past two years researching the home-buying process as a first-time homeowner. Based in Massachusetts, he is an admirer of historic homes and loves an old house with a good story. 041b061a72

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