14 Questions You Need to Ask When Buying a Home
Buying a home can be an amazing and exciting experience. Whether you’re buying it for you and your family or are looking for a good investment, the process can become stressful if you don’t do your homework.
The key is learning what questions to ask when buying a home. Asking the right questions will save you time, money, and a lot of frustration in the future. If you sign a mortgage on a new home without doing enough research, you could end up regretting your investment for years to come.
We don’t want to see that happen to you. Keep reading for the top 14 questions to ask before buying a home.
1. Can I Afford This?
Investing in a home isn’t like renting an apartment. When you sign a mortgage contract, you’re assuming complete financial responsibility for the home.
As such, you need to make sure you can comfortably afford the payment you’re taking on. Analyze your budget before making any final decisions to ensure this home won’t be a financial hardship.
2. What Other Costs Are Involved?
Part of doing your due diligence for your budget means learning what other expenses are included with homeownership. You’ll be paying more than just the monthly mortgage payments. For example, you also need to consider:
- Utilities (water, electric, gas, waste removal)
- Services (cable, phone, internet)
- Property taxes
- Home maintenance and repair costs
- HOA fees (if your home is under a home owner’s association)
- Homeowner’s insurance
- And more
Do you have room in your budget for these extra costs?
3. Is This a Good Investment?
When investing in a home for commercial purposes, you need to make sure the ROI (return on your investment) is going to be worth the costs. If your flipping the house, can you get enough out of it to make it worth your time and money? If you’re renting the home out, how long will it take to break even?
4. Am I Eligible for the Loan?
Before you can commit to real estate investing for personal or commercial purposes, you need to make sure you can get approved for the home loan. One of the most important questions to ask when buying a home is “Is my credit good enough?”
Your credit history will dictate how much you can get approved for and under what interest rates and terms.
5. Should I Get a Realtor?
When buying a home for any reason, there are several questions to ask a realtor. For that matter, you need to ask yourself if you even want to hire a real estate agent. A realtor can provide incredible value to the home buying process, but they typically charge 3% of the home’s value for their services.
6. Is This Home in a Good School District?
If you have children, one of the most important questions to ask when buying a home is what school district you’re neighborhood is in. You want to make sure your kids have access to the best schools around. If you fall outside of your desired school district, you may have to pay for them to attend the school of your choice (if it’s even an option).
7. Is This Home Close Enough to Work?
Another factor to consider is how close the home is to your work. How far do you want to travel back and forth to work each day? Adding an extra 15 minutes onto your drive takes a half-hour out of your day five days a week.
8. Are There Any Nearby Parks or Playgrounds?
Another question to consider if you have kids is whether or not there are any playgrounds or parks nearby. You may have your own swing set and outdoor play equipment, but sometimes it’s nice to get out and have a family picnic. Take a look at a map online to see how close the home is to parks and other family amenities.
9. Is the Home Priced Fairly?
One of the most common questions to ask when buying a home is about pricing. Has the home been appraised? If so, is it priced accurately?
You don’t want to pay more for a home than what it’s valued at. This can lead to negative equity and financial problems down the road.
10. Has the Home Been Inspected?
Additonally, you want to make sure the home has been inspected by a licensed home inspector. Typically, it’s up to you, the buyer, to hire the home inspector. They’ll be able to find any major issues or damages to the home, which can change the scope of your offer.
11. What Can I Negotiate?
After the inspection, you can start to explore your negotiation options. This is one of the most important questions to ask a realtor. They have experience negotiating with sellers.
Keep in mind, you can negotiate for more than just the price. You can also request repairs, updates, appliances, decor, furniture, closing costs, realtor fees, and more.
12. Do I Qualify for Any Home Buying Grants or Programs?
As a new home buyer, one of the most important questions to ask when buying a home is whether or not you qualify for any grants. For example, the QLD first home owners grant can help you save thousands of dollars on your home. There are also government programs to help first-time buyers.
13. Will I Need to Make Any Immediate Repairs or Updates?
Depending on what you see in your walk-through and the results of the home inspection, the home may require a lot of work. If you don’t want to buy a home that’s not completely move-in ready, you may want to consider your other options. On the other hand, a home that needs work may give your valuable leverage during negotiations.
14. Is This the Right Home for My Family and Lifestyle?
Finally, you need to make sure the home you choose is right for your needs. If you have a growing family, make sure the home is big enough to accommodate everyone’s needs and space requirements. This also means finding a home in a safe neighborhood.
Alternatively, you may need to think about things like pets, planting gardens, at-home businesses, and other lifestyle choices that may not be appropriate for all homes.
Looking for More Questions to Ask When Buying a Home and Other Real Estate Advice?
If you’re thinking about buying a home soon, you need to take your time to make the right choice for you, your family, and your budget. Remember the questions to ask when buying a home listed above. Sit down with your family and your realtor to make sure everyone’s on the same page.
And if you’re looking for more tips and advice about real estate, check out some of our other articles before you go. We have more content on finances, home-buying, home improvement, and more.