(Closed) Questions to ask at a showing?

posted 8 years ago in Home
Post # 3
3762 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

You should already have a sellers disclosure sheet (the realtor can provide).  This will give answers to a lot of questions (when things were replaced, were there ever issues, etc etc).

I think other than really reviewing that document its really just about seeing the house in person.  I wouldn’t really count on any answer from a realtor.  They are just trying to sell the house just like any salesperson. 

Post # 5
1645 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

The disclosure sheet is important, and will answer most of the questions as far as when things were replaced or when maintenance was done.

My husband and I have looked at many homes, all single family homes built anywhere from 1890 to 2000. Some things we learned along the way to ask or look for were:

Roof: when it was replaced, how many layers of shingles are on there now (should never be more than 2 according to the home inspector we hired) and what kind of shingles are on there. Also you’ll want to look for flashing around a chimney if there is one.

gutters: where the downpipes are, where they drain, and how far away from the house (should be about 4-5 feet depending on drainage and terrain)

foundation: what kind (stone, block, poured concrete). Look for wetness, discoloration on the foundation walls, as well as any support beams, that might indicate previous standing water. Also look to see how strait the walls are, is there any bowing or movement.

Plumbing (in basement, under sinks in kitchen and bathroom) water pressure, discoloration from minerals in the water (“hard” water), wetness or dampness, leaks.

heating: you’ll want to know the energy source for the heating system, how long ago it was installed. You might be able to find out what the sellers avg monthly cost is. Also, during the inspection they should test the heat output to make sure that all of the house gets heat and there are no blockages. check for thermostats and whether or not the house is split up into zones for individual control.

electrical: should be circuit breakers and you’ll want at least 150 to 200 amps. The electrical box should be neat and the wires should look to be in good condition (no fraying, striped wires, etc..) Also, there should be electrical collars (little fittings that keep the wire from shifting) at the entrance of each and every wire to any box (not necessarily a big deal, but it indicates poor work and potential electrical problems)

Check ceilings for any water marks or discoloration. check floors for bowing or movement as you walk (indicates poor support from the floor below). check windows and doors, specifically how well they seal to the outside. Other things to consider are gas/oil leases for the porperty, and any right of ways on your property or to get to your property. You’ll also want to check heights of ceilings (on each level and in the basement) as well as door heights and widths. One odd thing we ran into is that many homes do not have standard height basements or second stories, and hubs is 6’6″ so that was important to us.

I hope this gives you some ideas and is helpful as you start looking at homes!

Post # 7
2030 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I learned that hard way that just because something is installed in the house, doesn’t mean it’s in working condition. Be sure to ASK things like, “Does the fireplace work?” if something like that is important to you.

Post # 8
1645 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

That is very true, snmcdowell. At our home inspection they ran the clothes washer and found that it leaks! It’s probably fixable, but we wouldn’t have thought to do that. Also taste the water. I’d also advise going for a second look if you are able to before you make an offer. There were two houses that we did not like as much on the second visit, and the one we’re buying we loved even more on the second visit.

Post # 9
940 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

I would always ask the sellers or the realtors why they’re selling the house.  I ask about the neighborhood, about the neighbors, the town.

Good luck!  Home ownership is really awesome.

Post # 10
120 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

if you find a place you’re interested in, it’s always a good idea to come back WITHOUT A REALTOR and ask some neighbors about the neighborhood.  you’ll get some good feedback.  and check out the place at all times of day.

and remember that a realtor is not on your side–even your realtor.  he/she is interested in completing the sale, not necessarily your best interests.

Post # 11
3943 posts
Honey bee

I agree with everyone else but you find a house you would like to buy you should without a doubt get an inspection done. I know not all states require them but its money well spent. 

You can ask about when the windows, roof, furnace, etc, were replaced. Check out the neighborhood at different times of day. Look under the sink in the bathroom and kitchen for water marks. Walk around the yard and check out the neighbors. If you have children (or want to in the future) check out how far away schools, hospital, etc. are from the house.  Ask which, if any, appliances stay.  They might not be top of the line…but at least it could be one less thing you have to buy up front.

Once you start walking through houses you will have a million questions to ask!

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