There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to investing in a new home. Even after you narrow down your search to your ideal location and property features, each house comes with its own history, quirks, and special circumstances!
The housing market can move pretty quickly, so it’s crucial to be prepared with the most important questions to ask before you make an offer. Ensure you have all the information you need to confidently commit to a new home and begin the exciting process of preparing for your move, by asking these questions before you sign!
Why are you selling?
Knowing the reason a property is up for sale in the first place can be an advantageous negotiation tool when it comes time to make your offer. If the seller is in a hurry to relocate for a new job or expand their space before a new baby arrives, they might agree to a lower price and save you a significant chunk of change!
While every homeowner may not be entirely truthful, in some situations you might at least learn what they liked about the property and what they felt was missing.
What’s included in the sale?
A lot of prospective buyers assume that all the features they see in a home are going to come with it—like a spacious garden shed or brand-new refrigerator. Sometimes, however, the seller may be planning to take some of those ancillary fixtures with them. You don’t want to make a bid based on the wall-mounted surround sound system in the living room that the owner ends up taking with them.
You’ll also want to find out if the owner is willing to pitch in for some of the closing costs. A lot of those taxes and service fees can add up and have you paying a couple grand more than you anticipated. Make sure that whatever you agree on, you get in writing!
What’s the status of this house on the market?
There are two major pieces of information you want to secure in terms of how your house measures up on the market: how long its been there and how the asking price compares to similar properties in the area. The longer a house sits on the market, the more its value decreases. If the house you’re looking at has been up for sale for a while, you may be able to negotiate a better deal.
You should also ask your real estate agent or the seller about comparable sales and asking prices in the area. This is one of the best ways to objectively determine if the property you’re interested in is being marketed at a fair value.
How old are the replaceable components of the house?
A significant factor in determining the value of a home is how new its foundational features and appliances are. Find out how old some of the more principal and expensive aspects of the house are and weigh the cost of replacing or repairing them when you settle on an offer.
Ask about the roof, HVAC systems, electrical system, windows, kitchen appliances, and even the fixtures in the bathroom!
Has the house had issues in the past?
Depending on where you’re looking, there are different rules about how much a homeowner has to disclose about property issues that aren’t current. Ask if there have been any major repairs or maintenance services done to the house—have any of the pipes burst? If so, was there water damage? Have there been any insulation or wiring problems?
If there have been significant restorations, ask for documentation. Some newer appliances and systems may still be under warranty, which could come in handy if you close on the house and then discover further complications. It will also be helpful to know who did the initial work in case any follow up service is required.
Are there any hazards or nuisances I should know about?
You’ll want to be aware of any potential health and safety hazards, as well as any considerable irritations not just for negotiating price, but to decide if this is really where you want to live! Find out about any safety risks such as lead paint, termites, or even a lien on the house that could come back to bite you.
Inquire about any nuisance factors that may affect your quality of life in the property you’re considering too. Will you be moving next to notoriously rude or difficult neighbors? Is the house in a high-traffic area that makes getting out of your driveway a nightmare? These are important things to know and consider when investing in something as significant as house.
Once you’ve asked these questions and officially decided which property you’re going to turn into your new home, there’s only one question left to answer—how can I make my move as easy and efficient as possible? Luckily, the answer is simple! Dowell’s Moving and Storage has all of the services you need to take the stress out of moving and speed up the process.
Contact us today to learn more about the packing, moving, and storage teams we have available to ease your worries and help get you settled into your new home!