Buying a home is about the largest single investment you’ll ever make, and you should spend a lot of time and investigate for the perfect house for your family. You must get answers to questions that will give you peace of mind in your purchase. Hopefully, you have found the best Realtor who will help you get to the bottom of these questions:
Why is the house for sale: You may not get the real reason why. There are many reasons why people move, including job relocation, desire to get into a smaller/larger house, life events (marriage, the birth of a child, death of a spouse, or other reason) and retirement. But, if you can get an answer it might help in the negotiation of price.
How long has the home for sale been on the market? If it’s been more than 60 days, chances are you will have more room to negotiate.
How old is the roof? A roof generally lasts between 15 and 50 years, depending on its materials. If you know how old the roof is, and what type is, you will better be able to determine how long it will last and calculate that into your offer price.
What was the previous selling price? If you know how much the seller paid for the home you will be able to see the value of the local market that the home is in – has it gone up or down. If they paid a lower price, they may be willing to negotiate. If they bought it close to what they are asking for, they most likely won’t budge.
Is there radon in the home? Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas that’s found in about 1 every 15 homes. Most Realtors will tell buyers to get a test done. If the home is found to have it, it will be safe to live in once the radon remediation occurs.
How is the school system? This really matters even if you don’t have children. The quality and rating of the school system affect the value of your home. The next buyers may have kids.
Has there ever been a pipe burst? A good inspector usually can tell if water damage has occurred, and any damage should be disclosed by the previous owner at the time of sale. The big problem from water damage is moisture problems we are unable to see, behind drywall and trim which leads to mold. A mold remediation professional can tell you if mold is present and how to remove it.
Any signs of pests? Another disclosure that should be made by the owners at the time of the sale. Even if they had a past infestation and dealt with it and can offer proof, such as a receipt for pest control it doesn’t mean the pests are gone for good. Whatever conditions made the home ripe for infestation- a slow leak under the house, rotting wood, or even a total neighborhood situation, get the answers with help from your Realtor.
There are many more investigative questions to ask and hopefully, you have the perfect Realtor that will do a search for all the answers to any questions you may have. Nothing is off limits – this is your investment.
- Are there sex offenders in the neighborhood?
- What is the slope of the driveway?
- How old are the appliances?
- How many offers has the seller gotten?
- What type of foundation?
- What is included in the sale?
- Are there any neighborhood nuisances?
- Any lead paint?
The Bottom Line: A conversation with the seller and their Realtor and a review of public records can fill in any blanks to help you make the best decision. Also, you can contact city hall and the county’s property appraiser.