When you tour a home, you’ll be asking a ton of questions about the house, the property, and the surrounding community. And as you become more interested in the prospect, it’s crucial to cover all aspects to ensure you aren’t taken by surprise after moving in. Here are eight questions you might never think to ask, but should.
1. Who was the builder of the house? This is a perfectly valid question to ask before buying. If you want to research the reputation of the homebuilder, or investigate specific plans like the foundation, plumbing, or electric, visit the Better Business Bureau or contact the county records office.
2. How many other children are in the neighborhood? Did you know that by law your Realtor can’t answer this question? But you can do your own research. As you drive around the neighborhood, look for things like swing sets and toys, “children playing” road signs, and also take a peak at the closest school bus stop. As you know, moving with children is a big transition, so it’s important they can make friends and play with kids their age.
3. Does the home belong to an HOA/what are the HOA rules? Depending on the community the home is in, HOA regulations can come into play. HOAs dictate a number of things that you can and cannot do to the home and the surrounding community. There are also fees involved. So if you buy a home within an HOA, make sure you read the agreement and have a full understanding what your monthly and/or yearly fees will cost you.
4. How easy would it be to move furniture into the home? You may fall in love with the 20-step staircase to the front door, but good luck getting your wraparound couch up it. And what about narrow hallways and stairwells? Envision how easy it would be to move things like mattresses and dressers throughout the home, and bring a tape measurer when touring.
5. What’s the geological makeup of the area/lot? It’s important to survey the outside property and get to know the lay of the land. Consider how level the ground is, the quality of soil, where the water will drain, and if there’s already visible erosion.
6. What kind of natural light does the home get? A house with ample natural light saves electrical use and keeps your energy bills down. Your well-being can benefit from the sun, too. Studies have shown that natural light can benefit homeowners by reducing dips in mood, increasing productivity, and providing faster physical healing. Remember: the sun is to our south, so whichever wall is facing the south will receive the most sunlight. Visit the home during peak sunlight hours to see which rooms get maximum natural light.
7. Am I close to recreational venues? These places can be as specific as concert halls and museums to ordinary settings like movie theaters and walking trails. If you have kids, how close is the nearest playground, public pool, and ball field? Time away from the home is essential, so make sure you have places nearby to enjoy.
8. What’s this town known for? Inquire about the town’s highlights as well as its downfalls. Historical significance, famous landmarks, and community events make a town special. But don’t forget about things like noise, traffic, and pollution that can sway you the other way.
Once you’ve found the perfect home, a ditech Home Loan Specialist can help you determine the right mortgage to put you on the path to home ownership. Find a Home Loan Specialist Now.