The more homework you do before purchasing your home, the more confident you will be in your ultimate decision and the less likely you will be to regret your purchase. After all, purchasing a home is likely the most significant investment you will make in your lifetime. There is no question too basic or silly to ask your realtor before buying a home. In fact, if you find that you are uncomfortable asking your realtor any questions, this may be a sign that you do not have the best real estate agent to meet your personal needs. These are some of the major considerations you will want to dig into before buying a home.
1. Find out if your realtor has been involved in the sale of houses in your particular neighborhood in recent years. This could give you an idea of the comparable prices of homes in the same neighborhood and help you figure out what kind of initial offer to make to the seller.
2. Ask your realtor to find out if the seller is firm on the price or if there is room to negotiate. If the seller is firm on the price and it is at the higher end of your budget, find out whether there is room to negotiate on closing costs.
3. Get as much information about the neighborhood as you can. Ask your realtor to provide whatever data she can on the school system in the area and comparable home values. This will give you an idea of whether the value of your home can be expected to rise over time.
4. Ask about the market for homes in your area. Find out whether there have been many home sales in recent months and whether there is any new construction in your area. In general, if you buy a home in an area that is expected to experience considerable growth, then your home value could rise over time as the demand for housing in your area increases.
5. As early as you can, find out whether the home is associated with a home owner’s association. While the home owner’s association can help preserve the appearance and value of homes in the neighborhood, it can also impose quite a few obligations that a homeowner must comply with. You will also want to make sure that you are aware of the dues that must be paid.
6. Your realtor should provide you with property tax information and any assessment data available for the property. This will help you understand your annual tax obligation and will likely factor into how large of a mortgage you can afford. This information is also available in public property records.