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Important Questions to Ask Before Buying A House

By Chris Porter | October 22, 2017

You will make costly mistakes if you don’t stand up and ask some important questions about the house. The truth is that there is information out there, but you can only know about them if you ask. Even your realtor won’t know about your issues if you don’t ask. So, for you to protect your money, here are some of the questions you should ask:

Why is the house on sale?

Though the realtor may lack the exact answers, they may hint to the reason for the sale. If the seller is desperate to sell the house, ask them why they are. If it has nothing to do with the condition and if the sale is necessitated by work transfer abroad, then you can negotiate a low price. What is wrong with the house?

What is included in the sale?

Does the selling price include the greenhouse, the garden shed, and the fixtures and fittings? You should make inquiries about the boundary line. You have to know what you are getting to avoid getting ripped off.

Do the windows need replacement?

If the windows need replacement, then you should be aware of the market price of the window. Factor in this cost to determine if the house’s selling price makes economic sense. You should also find out if the windows are drafty and if they are chipped of lead-based.

What is the quality of the trees and what is their position?

Do the trees need to be cut down and will they affect the quality and the amount of sunlight reaching the house? Is there a possibility of the trees falling on the house? Do the trees appear rotten and will you have the money and the time for the cleanup of the fallen leaves? Will you be needing an Emergency Fallen Tree Response?

Are there sidewalks in the neighborhood?

For your safety, the location of the house should have sidewalks – some neighborhoods are missing this important feature. Sidewalks are ideal for walking, and they are also perfect for kids to play and ride their bikes without you worrying about their safety around cars.

Are there weird smells in the house?

All you have to do is to visit the house to determine if there are foreign smells although you can ask your home inspector for this information. You or the inspector should be aware of musty or moldy smells in the house. Also, beware of pungent cigarette smells and pets. Getting rid of some smells and repairing houses is too expensive.

How outdated is the house?

You don’t need to buy a house that will require extensive repairs and remodeling. Unless you are getting the house at an almost free cost, if it needs a lot of work then you should continue searching for a dream house. You should also get information on how long the seller lived in the house. If they lived there for a short time, find out the reason why.

What is the minimum acceptable price for the sale?

Asking this will help in negotiating a better deal for you to save money. You also need to ask how the agent decided on the asking price. This is where you also ask if you can speak directly to the seller.

Other questions

  • How old is the property?
  • How much is council tax and utility bills in the area?
  • Is the property listed?
  • How noisy are the neighbors?
  • Are the drains sturdy?
  • Is the boiler working well?
  • Can you peek under the rugs?
  • What is the property’s worth in the current market?
  • What is the neighborhood’s crime rate?
"Chris Porteous has significant experience in the financial markets with stints at Goldman Sachs, UBS Securities and DBRS. At DBRS, Chris extensively covered the Mortgage Backed Securities market, Covered Bonds and regulatory changes involved in the real estate markets. Chris currently runs a personal Real Estate Investment Trust with over 15 properties located in South Florida."
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