Most new homeowners discover some types of problems with the home within the first few months of moving in. Many of these issues could have been addressed by the previous homeowner if only the right questions were asked before signing on the dotted line. Today we will discuss a number of the questions that will help the transition into your first home go smoothly.
These are 7 questions you must ask when buying your first home;
1. How Old Is the Roof?
The average roof will last for about fifteen years before needing replacing. Ask if the roof has ever been replaced, has it ever leaked, and how old is the house. The last thing a new homeowner needs is footing a bill for a new roof the first year they move into their home. Your realtor can put you in touch with a home inspection crew that can carefully analyze the roof and alert you of issues before making that offer.
2. Has There Ever Been an Issue with Insect Infestation?
Insect damage can be near impossible to see with the naked eye because these critters work behind the wall. Termites will invest the attic or beams behind a wall, until all the wood is gone and you are left with nothing but saw dust a few years after moving in. The homeowner should have documentation they have had the house treated, how often, and by which service.
3. Have all Renovations Been Properly Permitted?
Perhaps you did or didn’t notice, but that game room might be an addition that was not part of the original construction. If this is the case, the homeowner needed to apply for and have all the proper permits to allow work to commence. If the work was not permitted, when the house is assessed in the future, the new homeowner may be subject to having the work completed properly or paying additional taxes on the additional space.
4. What Items are Included in the Sale?
It is a good idea to see what items in the house are included with the sale. In order to sweeten the deal and get you to sign, the owners might include the washer and dryer, window treatments, and any furniture you like. This could amount to a huge savings in having to repurchase these items after moving in. If the seller is motivated, they may include additional items, but you have to ask in order for them to want to make the offer more attractive.
5. How Fast Can the Seller Close?
Everything about the house might be perfect, but the homeowners want to wait until their kids are out of school before moving. Be sure you get a solid closing date or the sale could be prolonged until the sellers are ready to vacate.
6. Have Pets Lived in the Home?
There may not be signs of pets during your initial walk through, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. Pets attract fleas, and fleas could still be in the home, not to mention other types of parasites. Pets can soil carpeting and padding, and it might be the house was just professionally cleaned and you can’t see or smell the animal right now.
7. Why is the Owner Selling?
Once you meet the homeowner and see the house a couple times, it is possible to build a rapport with them while looking around. In the middle of a casual conversation, simply ask the homeowner why they are selling. Without their realtor shielding them from saying the wrong things, they may reveal a reason you weren’t aware of. Perhaps the neighborhood is changing, the house has too much work needed, or the taxes are going up again. Listen carefully to why the owner has put the house when buying your first home.
By asking the right questions, you can get these potential issues addressed by the seller so there is less likely any chance of something going wrong soon after you move in. Ask these questions to your realtor before making an offer, because the seller will want these addressed quickly in order to get an offer on their home.