You are just a few hand shakes and signatures away from being the homeowner of the abode of your dreams. Before you pursue sealing the deal, take a moment to ask some key questions that will give you negotiating power and confidence with your choice.
1. How old is the roof?
Roofs are a first line of defense against pests, rain, and the other elements. A newer roof can spare you a headache from these potential problems. Knowing the age can help you budget for repairs or replacement down the road.
2. Where is the appliance paperwork?
Ask for the warranties and manuals of major appliances, HVAC, and other house equipment. This is not a deal breaker by any means. However, these items can give you an idea of age, possible replacement time frame, and troubleshooting know-how.
3. Any infestations to worry about?
Have any pests made this home their home? Infestations will be disclosed at the time of purchase, but the problem may not have been eradicated. Be sure to address what could have attracted the pests in the first place.
4. Is there anything to disclose about the backyard?
Ask about Fido’s final resting place. It may sound a little strange, but these are surprises that you don’t want to run into while gardening or putting in a tree. Many states allow for pet burials with few limitations. Don’t get caught off guard.
5. What is the condition of the water heater?
Get the stats on the water heater. The capacity of the hot water heater will be the source for the family’s hygiene and cleaning. Know whether or not the appliance can cater to your family’s size.
The average life expectancy for a water heater is about 13 years, so be sure to plan accordingly for replacement.
6. Is the home on a septic system?
Some homes are on a septic system. If your prospective place has one, when was the last time it was pumped? The EPA suggests every 3 to 5 years. This recommendation can vary depending on family size as well.
7. Any busted pipes?
Busted pipes account for 22% of home insurance claims, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Has this house been one of them? Flooded water can cause a plethora of problems, from pest attraction, to mold growth, and even structural issues.
8. Are you in a flood zone?
The Federal Emergency Management Agency maps out properties with flood potential. A flood hazard equals more monthly dollars from your wallet in the form of flood insurance. You can plan ahead for this added expense or opt for another property all together.
9. What’s included in the sale?
It’s no fun to get caught off guard after a sale is finalized. Be sure you know exactly what is included in the sale. Are they taking the storage shed with them and leaving you with a bald spot on your lawn?
10. How does sunlight affect each room?
The sunshine can make or break a view. If the sun beams unceasingly through the windows, you may need to plan for professional window tinting or blackout curtains.
Remember, this is one of the largest purchases you will ever make and there is no such thing as too many questions.
Sources: Houselogic.com, thenottingham.com, bankrate.com
Learn something new? Want to pass an idea to a friend?
Share the knowledge with your network!