Post # 1
My FH and I are starting our home buying experience. We found a lovely house that we are going to go take a look at tomorrow. For those who have been through the home buying process….What are some questions we should ask as we are looking at this house with the realtor? Any help or advice would be appreciated. We are uber excited.
Post # 3
I don’t know many questions to ask as mostly it’s based on the home. You will want to have an inspection done, see if the house requires flood insurance, maybe they might be able to give you a list of average utilities. If you plan on having children you can ask about the school system. Also, ask the realtor to run comps so you can make sure it’s a fair price for the house. Basically this compares all similar houses within a mile radius that were sold in the past 6 months.
Post # 4
How old is the roof?
How old is the electrical system?
Do all rooms have an electrical outlet? Do all the outlets work?
(If it’s an older home – pre-mid-century: Are all the walls insulated?)
Post # 5
If there’s a basement, is there any history of flooding or water seepage. (sp? if that’s a word…) Make sure to look for evidence of this as well – water marks anywhere on walls or ceilings. Most of the real questions wont really be answered until you have a house inspector go through it.. realtors have general ideas and are usually just geared toward showing you a space that you like imo.
Post # 6
@jatelynn: Congrats on house hunting, it’s so exciting!
One thing I’ve asked, besides what the PP’s have already suggested, is that if this is an established home what is the cost of the average utilities, HOA’s, taxes, etc. You’ll need to take all those things into consideration in your overall budget, as well as the basic mortgage payment, and they can add up.
My preference is a large yard so I would ask about the total lot size. And total square footage of the living/heated area of the home. Check out the appliances and find out when they were installed. Also find out the age of the hot water heater, heat pump, etc.
Gas or electric?
Ask if there has ever been a mold issue.
Post # 7
Ask if the sellers have any disclosures… Asking this question will answer any questions about previous flooding, water damage, mold, etc.
Good luck in your search!
Post # 8
Is the seller underwater on the value of the home? Is the seller motivated to sell?
Honestly, you can and should figure out the answers to most of the above listed questions on your own. You can find out the Great Schools rating for the local schools, the age of the house, etc online.
Post # 9
How long has it been on the market for, What it last sold for, What’s the average selling price in the neighborhood, etc.
Do inquire about other surrounding properties to get a better idea of the one you are looking at!
And GOOD LUCK!!! 🙂
Post # 10
Thanks for all the great advice and questions. We went to look at it yesterday afternoon and it went really well. It’s a foreclosed property, and has been on the market for a little over three months. It needs a lot of work but the structure looks really good, but we would know better after an inspection should an offer be put in and accepted.
We are totally thinking about putting in an offer, which scares me but in a good way. It’s such a huge decision but before we even walked into the house, we both had that feeling. After we walked through it, we talked and said how we both felt with a lot of elbow grease this could be our first family home.
It’s a gorgeous two story victorian house, has two garages, a nice yard, 4 bd, 1 bath, and some really great built ins in the kitchen. Off the bat, it needs some new floors, part of the roof over the porch needs to be re done, and a lot of painting. So tonight after the FH gets off work, we are calling some lenders to talk options and maybe by this weekend, we’ll be putting in an offer. So excited but trying to stay grounded and realistic in all of this. We really weren’t even looking to buy until early next year but when a good deal happens upon you, you kind of have to take it.
Post # 11
@jatelynn: that’s very exciting. Did you guys get pre-approved?
Sometimes having this in hand can make the difference between you and an equally qualified buyer without a pre-approval letter.
Post # 12
@jatelynn: 1 bathroom? Power to you. I’m guessing you’ll add one? Add up ALL possible expenses (including ones that the inspector might not find) and then subtract that from the cost of the house.
Also remember that a well-kept property will cost 3% of it’s sale price to maintain it each year. So if the house is $200k, the house will cost $6k to maintain with regular maintenance. Distressed properties cost more in yearly maintenance because there’s always something ready to break unless you gut it all out.
Post # 13
Well, I’m excited to announce that we’ll be putting in an offer today. The house is a foreclosure and is a steal in the price. It does need some work but the bones of the house look good. We are going to ask for inspection when the offer is accepted. If the inspections finds some major problems, we’ll probably walk away. We are really hoping that the offer is accepted and that the inspection goes well. But I know in the home buying process, things always go wrong. So trying to remain realistic. But so excited!