Your New Home Should be Your Sanctuary
It goes without saying that you should have all of the information that you can get before you make any purchase, but especially a large one, like real estate. You’ve already narrowed down a home in terms of your commute to and from work, so now it’s time to ask about things specific to the home you’re ready to buy. Not asking enough of the right questions can end up negatively affecting you or your family later, and only asking a few questions overall is never a good idea when you’re making an investment. Bear in mind, also, that it is worth it to check with the local government regarding regulations and restrictions on home additions and remodeling.
How Much are Property Taxes and HOA Fees?
This is a monthly or yearly expense for which you will need to prepare to add to your cost of living. While every neighborhood does not have a homeowner’s association, the neighborhood in which you want to live almost certainly does. It is understandable that you may not want to be part of your homeowner’s association, but if you choose a home that has one, you will be obligated to pay those fees. Property taxes are the local government’s way of collecting revenue that goes back into the community to provide services, and many of them will benefit you, such as the maintenance of parks and athletic facilities.
How Much are Utilities Each Month?
Another snapshot of the cost of living in the home you’re choosing, the cost of monthly utilities can vary wildly from home to home. As a general rule, larger homes will cost more to operate, but depending on the state and city in which your live, there may not be much of a difference in the cost of your utilities, except during the hottest days of summer, and the coldest days of winter.
How Old is the Roof?
The roof of your home is the first defense against damage from the elements. If your roof is old, it could be prone to infestation, leaks, and even collapse. If your real estate agent isn’t sure of how old your roof is, or mentioned that it has been repaired in the past, get the whole story. A roof is something on which you should never gamble. You may end up paying with broken appliances, or injured loved ones.
Has a Pipe Ever Burst, and Has the Sewer Ever Backed Up?
This information could end up saving your family thousands of dollars, and a mountain of frustration. Knowing how well plumbing has been cared for in a home is equivalent to knowing if a person has ever had a history of gastro-intestinal issues. The very structure of your home is partially reliant on the plumbing, so it is a central, extremely important element.
Has there Ever Been an Infestation?
No one wants to move into their new home to discover they a family of roaches already lives there. If you’re not asking about the status of the house when it comes to pests, you could be setting yourself up for frustration and high bills from an exterminator. Be smart. Ask questions. And be thorough.