Home Buyers Ask?
love the neighborhood, the large backyard, the wood floors and it has all the things
on your wish list..
before you make an offer on this home, there are at least 8 questions you need
the answers to first, to make sure your
dream home is truly ideal!
Long has the Home been on the market?
A glimpse into the past
can help you determine if you’re paying a good price. Your realtor should
provide this information for you.
Has this seller had this
property on and off the market more than 3 times in the past year? If so, have
your Realtor find out why. The answer may determine the sellers level of
The longer the home has been on the market,
the more likely it is overpriced or have
some other problem.
If you are financing your
new home, your lender will order an appraisal of the home. So making a
realistic offer based on comparable sales, is better than potentially getting
into a situation of over paying. Unless of course, you absolutely HAVE TO HAVE the
home and you are prepared to come to closing with additional money if the home
does not appraise for your contractual price.
I talk about these
situations and more in detail in my earlier video..The good news is..There’s
usually always a remedy that makes both the buyer and seller happy!
What are the utility costs?
When buying a house,
you’re probably not thinking about how much the utilities are each month…But
you should ask!
You need a good idea how
much, on average, you need to budget for these added homeowner costs.
Most utility companies will
give you the last 12 months of monthly bill amount or at least a yearly average.
If you’re buying a home in the greater Lakeland area, I put a link below to all
the local utility companies for your convenience..Just keep in mind, that the
current owner may have a different lifestyle than yours..For example: Do the
sellers have a lot of children, and you don’t?...Their water and electric bill
may run a bit higher than a family of 2…But you’ll be able to get a good idea,
How old is the roof?
year, Remodeling Trends publication puts out a list of the most and least
cost efficient home improvement projects.
cost of roofing replacement is climbing, but returning a slightly lower value.
A roof is expensive. You
don’t want to be stuck replacing the roof in a couple of years, so find out how
old the roof is. This will give you a good idea of how long you have until the
roof must be replaced. And make your offer with this in mind.
What problems has the home had in the past?
Unless you plan to buy a
house as a project home, you don’t want a property with a lot of problems. You
want to be able to rule out homes with major issues.
The sellers may have
filled out a Sellers Disclosure, declaring everything they know about the
home…But please Do not rely on this!
Of course you’re going to
get a professional home and termite inspection. This will ultimately tell you
the truths about the homes’ condition..
But this is done AFTER
you get into contract..
So Ask if the home has
had any past pest infestations, like
termites. If so, When was the home treated? and is there a transferable bond to you, as
the new owner?
You should also ask about
broken pipes, past fires or mold and mildew damage.
If a home deal seems too
good to be true, and you’re not in the market for a fixer-upper, ask what’s
wrong with it!
How much are property taxes?
By now, you might notice
that being a homeowner comes with a few additional costs. One of those costs is
Two things: If your home
purchase is going to be your primary residence, it’s VERY important that you
file for your homestead exemption. Other wise you will be paying A LOT more in
AND If you are financing
more than 80% of your purchase price, your property taxes with be escrowed into
your monthly payment.. Again, it’s super important to file for your homestead
exemption, or you may see your Mortgage payment increase!
Buying a home in Polk County??,
I’ve included a link on the FREE checklist below.
This link will take you
to the Polk County Property Appraisers TAX ESTIMATOR site, where you can type
in the property address and purchase price, and calculate what Your property
taxes will be.
What’s the sewer situation?
If the property is not on
city sewer, then it has a septic system. Maintaining a septic system adds
another minimal cost.
Ask when the system was
last pumped, and how old is the drain field? And has the system ever backed up?
You’ll want to have a
complete septic inspection done in order not to get saddled with having to
replace the septic system.
Is the electrical up to code?
Ask about the electrical
system when you buy a house, too. Today’s electronic lifestyle means more plugs
Check for adequate
outlets, and make sure the electrical system can handle your usage.
Also, if the electrical
system is outdated, you may not be able to obtain a binder for homeowner
insurance. Not to mention the costs of having to overhaul the system. Again,
your offer should reflect this.
What warranties are still in effect?
Your Homebuying checklist
should include a question about warranties.
Is the HVAC system still
under warranty? What about the appliances in the home?
From the roof to the
water heater, you want to know what’s still under warranty. Ask for the records
as well, and keep them all in a safe place.
For your convenience, I
put a link to my FREE checklist titled “Questions Every Home Buyer Needs to
On it, you will also find
additional links to help you make the very best and informed decision when
making the most important (and expensive) purchase of your life!
Im Lisa Kelly, Lakeland
Homes & Lifestyles with Premier Realty.. I hope you found this video helpful
and if so, Hit Like, and leave me a comment. I’d to hear about your Home Buying
experience so far!