6 Questions to Ask Before Buying a House
Once you sign the papers, there’s no going back. There’s nothing more infuriating than thinking you bought “the one” just to be surprised with a bunch of unexpected problems. We don’t want you to go through that, so here’s a blog post to help.
We’ll be looking at 3 questions to ask yourself and 3 questions to ask the homeowner. These questions are meant to ensure that you do, in fact, get “the one” that’s best for you!
Questions to Ask Yourself
What’s my total budget?
Be realistic about how much house you can afford. This way, you don’t set yourself up for disappointment. To calculate your budget, we recommend following Investopedia’s 28% Rule. This rule just means that your mortgage shouldn’t be more than 28% of your gross income each month.
How much are closing costs?
Closing costs are usually proportional to the actual cost of the house. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll be paying 2 – 5% of your home’s purchase price. For instance, if the price of the home is $300,000 – you’re looking at potentially paying $6,000 – $15,000.
Is the location prone to natural disasters?
Events like flooding can wreak havoc and cost you thousands of dollars in home repairs. If you can, avoidable buying a house that’s located in or near flood zones.
To see if a house is located in a flood zone, use the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)’s flood map. Put in the address of the house, and you’ll be able to see important information like risk level and floodways.
Questions to Ask the Homeowner
Why Are You Selling?
There are many reasons why people move. Things like a job relocation or a change of pace don’t have anything to do with the house – but some reasons do involve the actual house. Maybe, it’s a loud neighbor? Or, a roof that’s always leaking?
While you may not always get a truthful answer, asking why the seller is moving can determine how much room you have to negotiate buying at a lower offer.
How Long Has Your House Been on the Market?
The longer a house has been on the market, the less desirable it becomes. It gets “stale” and people start to think that there is something inherently wrong with the house (even if there isn’t). If a house has been on the market for a long time, the seller may be more inclined to sell it to you at a cheaper price.
What Did You Like Most?
A bit of an unconventional question, but equally a good one to ask. This question puts the homeowner on the spot and gets them talking about the home, people, and community in a genuine way. If they can’t answer the question, that’s also not a good sign.