Whether it’s your first home or your tenth, buying a house is a big deal. It’s often one of the biggest purchases a person makes in their lifetime, so there’s a lot of pressure to get it right. Knowing the questions to ask when buying a house can help you do just that.
Questions to Ask When Buying a House
Location might be the most touted quality when you’re talking about real estate, but it’s only one of the many topics that you’ll want to think about when you’re trying to find a home that fits your wants, needs, and budget. What are the important questions to ask when buying a house?
What Is My Budget?
Budgeting isn’t simple or fun. However, struggling financially because you bought more house than you could comfortably afford is likely to lead to stress and misery. So before you start shopping for homes, take some time to run the numbers and find out what you can afford.
Many experts recommend that you get preapproved for a loan before you begin shopping for a home. This will give you an idea of how much you can afford, and knowing that at the start of the hunt means that you won’t waste time and energy evaluating homes that are outside of your price range. It’s also important to remember that the house price isn’t the only financial factor involved in a home purchase. As Dave Ramsey points out, you’ll also want to budget for a down payment, closing costs, moving expenses, furnishings, taxes, and insurance costs. Beyond all that, it’s also a idea to maintain an emergency fund.
What Do I Want in a Property?
Once you know what you can afford to spend, it’s time to think about what you want to spend it on. How much space do you need? Are stairs an issue? What amenities are you looking for? Is something that’s move-in ready a must? Or, are you open to something that’s in need of fixing up? Then, there’s the matter of location. Obviously, you want something that’s convenient for your particular travels, but savvy buyers look beyond that. After all, if you decide to sell later on, you’ll be in better shape if other buyers are likely to find your property desirable. The Balance suggests considering these things when weighing potential locations:
- The Schools: Parents want quality schools for their children, so if you have or are planning to have children, asking about schools is a natural move. However, even if you don’t have kids, the quality of nearby schools can impact your property values, so it’s smart to look into school districts.
- The Surrounding Properties: The properties nearby will impact the value of your home, so take a look at how your potential purchase compares to the nearby homes and what other types of properties are in the vicinity.
- The Neighborhood: Is the neighborhood stable or improving? Is it conveniently located? Do you feel welcomed and safe? Are there any obvious nuisances?
What Is the History of This Property?
Why should you care about a property’s history? Notorious events or famous or infamous past owners can have an impact on a property’s value; many people would feel uncomfortable living in a home where a vicious murder took place. However, a home’s history can also offer subtle clues to its livability. As the National Association of Realtors notes, it’s normal for a centuries-old home to have passed through many hands, but it’s a red flag if a newer home has tallied numerous owners. Frequent turnover could be a sign of a hidden problem with the property.
What Is Included in the Sale?
When staging a house, the goal is to create an attractive space that buyers can easily imagine calling home. However, what you see during a home tour isn’t necessarily what you’ll get if you buy the property. As Investopedia reports, items that are permanently attached to the house are considered fixtures and are typically included in the sale of the home. However, there’s a fair amount of wiggle room when categorizing the contents of a home. Sheds, outdoor play equipment, window treatments, appliances, lighting fixtures, and other similar items may or may not make the list. To avoid confusion and unexpected expenses when you move in, ask what is included with the sale.
Whether you’re buying a home or eager to refinance, PrimeLending of Springfield, Missouri, can help you find the financing options that will help you reach your housing goals. Contact us today to get started.