Whether you are hunting your new dream home online or offline, there is a phase where you need to verify whether the home you came across is worth buying. Sometimes we come across a home that we like (based on a few visible and obvious factors) but later in the home buying process find something that makes us flinch. This is why you need to ask the following questions to the homeowner.
Here Are the 5 Questions You Should Always Ask About a Home Before Buying It
1) How old are the appliances? Are they in good condition?
Unless you are planning to buy an unfurnished home, it is key to know about the physical condition of the appliances in the home you are about to purchase. In a furnished or semi-furnished home, most homeowners will have appliances like the HVAC system, ceiling fans, lighting, refrigerator, air conditioner, stove, dishwasher, geyser, etc already present in their homes. Ask them to give you a lost of all items, purchase date, and also their warranty details.
2) Ask them about the neighbors. Are the neighbors friendly and cordial?
According to a stat by Pew Research, “about two-thirds of Americans who know at least some of their neighbors (66%) would feel comfortable asking to leave a set of keys with them for emergencies“. In a country where the rate the millennials homeowners are going up, there are still people who want to interact and be close to their neighbors. Even with the advent of smartphones and automatic devices, Americans still want to make sure they have a neighbor they can rely on–during emergencies.
3) Since when are they trying to offload this property?
Is the home you are about to buy just deadwood for the seller or there is a valid reason to sell? Unless you are getting a home for a much cheaper price than the actual market value (and you are aware of its resale value), it is imperative to know why the current homeowner wants to sell and since when are they trying to offload it? If they are trying hard for more than six months, surely there is something about the home that the previous prospects didn’t like.
4) What is the condition of the roof? Has there been any repairs done lately?
The home inspector you or the homeowner hires will provide you all the details about the condition of the roof but before moving further with the home buying process, it is important to ask the homeowner about the condition of the roof. Knowing the truth in the initial phase will save your time, money and effort. If you haven’t yet visited the home, ask them to send you a picture of the roof. See if there are any noticeable damages like holes, cracks or inconsistencies in the contour of the roof.
5) Does the home have mold growing inside
According to a report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), indoor exposure to mold can lead to upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze, asthma, and other breathing-related diseases. Although mold is common in extremely cold areas, you should ask the homeowner about it. You don’t want to fall sick a few days later moving in. Mold grows wherever there are dampness and moisture. Sometimes leakage of pipes or problems in heating/cooling systems can also speed up the growth of mold.
Homebuying may seem like a complete gamble. You are trusting your realtor and the homeowner based on the facts they present to you at the time. But with being a bit more diligent, you can filter out the troublemakers and focus on the ones that are worth your attention.