9 Must Ask Questions Before You Buy Your Next Home
You have finally found "the one." Or so you think. After multiple weeks of digging through websites, google searches of "homes for sale in Greenwood", and asking your Realtor to scour the MLS for every possible match, this was it. It has that open concept and the exact hardwood floors you've been wanting.
But... Before you get super excited and just blindly put in an offer, it's time to ask some questions. But not just any random question that pops into your mind.
We've put together a list of the nine questions you should ask before submitting an offer.
1. What is the sales history of the home?
A good first step is to check the last time that the home sold and how much the current owners paid for it. You can easily find the sales history here and don't even need a Realtor to do it.
"Keep in mind that while you may be able to determine what the house was bought for previously by the owners, ultimately, the recent activity of similar homes that are for sale or have been sold will determine how much the home is actually worth" said Casey Lucas, a Certified Residential Appraiser from the Greenwood area.
2. Have there been any major renovations or add-ons?
If the sellers have recently improved the kitchen or bathroom, or they have added an extra bedroom or converted attic space to living space, you're going to want to know.
Depending on exactly what they did will give you a guesstimate on how much they spent on improving the area. And, just because a seller spent a certain amount on the remodel doesn't mean that they are going to get the full return on it. On average a remodel can expect about a 60-65 percent return.
3. Has there ever been a broken pipe?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, broken pipes make up an estimated 22 percent of all home insurance losses. If the homeowner doesn’t mention it at the begining, a good home inspector will usually be able to find evidence, so you might want to put these on your list of questions to ask your inspector, also.
4. What are the monthly utility costs?
Is there a monthly HOA fee? Find out all of the details about it. What kind of power does the house use? Gas, electric, a combination? Whatever it is, find out who the companies are and what the average monthly costs are.
5. How much are the property taxes?
Property taxes are another one that can be found very easily without a Realtor. If you have trouble finding it, you can ask your Realtor or the sellers. You'll want to find out what the sellers have paid. It's critical to know that the property taxes are based on a percentage of the assessed valuation of the house, so keep in mind that the purchase price of the home could affect this.
6. How old is the roof?
The 2015 Remodeling Impact Report from the National Association of Realtors says the national median cost of an asphalt roofing replacement is about $7,600. Definitely a good idea to know how soon you might need to lay out that substantial amount of cash.
7. Has there ever been any pest infestations?
If there have been pest infestations, when were they treated last? And just because a house has been treated doesn't necessarily mean that it's pest-free now. So asking the question is a great place to start.
8. Are there warranties on the appliances, HVAC, garage door?
If there are warranties in place, ask the seller to provide documents. This will give you an idea on the age of the big ticket items and allow for you to plan for replacing them in the future.
9. Does the house have any kind of unusual history?
In Indiana, sellers are not required to disclose specific occurrences that happen on or in a property... out of the gate. However, if you ask these questions they must present the truth:
- Has there ever been methamphetamine produced in the house?
- Was there any gang-related activity in the house?
- Were there any felonies committed in the house?
- Have there been any gunshots fired in the house?
- Has anyone died in the house?