Buying a Home? 5 Things to Ask Your Real Estate Agent

by Guest Author on October 17, 2013

Purchasing a home is a monumental decision and one that should not be taken lightly and knowing the facts can save you a great deal of heartache and money in the long run. Here are 5 questions you should ask your real estate agent if you are planning to buy a new home.

How Old is the Roof?

Purchasing a home is a major expense as is, and the last thing you want to take on is the cost of replacing the home’s roof. A brand new roof can cost anywhere between $2,000 and $10,000 or more. Find out when the roof was last replaced or repaired – this is something that your real estate agent should be able to find out for you as part of their due diligence. If the roof was recently repaired, find out what the exact repairs were; was it a replacement or just a patch? This will give you an idea of its overall condition, and what to expect in the near future. A new roof should have a life expectancy of 10-15 years or more, which can either cost you in the near future or save you the expense for years to come.

Are There Any Issues with the Home’s Plumbing System?

The condition of the home’s plumbing system is just as important as the condition of the roof. Repairs and replacements can cost a great deal of money, so it is important to understand what you are getting into before you sign on that dotted line. If there are any repairs that need to be made, find out details about what needs to be fixed, and ask for recommendations from professionals. This is only one of the reasons it’s important to ensure you use a good home inspector prior to final purchase.  If a repair is needed, there are companies they can recommend who specialize in the services you might need.

What Type of Foundation Does the Home Have?

It is important to find out what type of foundation the home has in order to make a smart buying decision. New homes are typically built with a slab foundation. However, there are some benefits to choosing a home with a raised foundation. This particular type of foundation allows for easy access to plumbing, and electrical components, which can actually reduce the overall cost of any repairs that need to be made to these systems. Talk to your real estate agent about the differences so that you understand the pros and cons of both.

What is the Neighborhood Like?

Regardless of how beautiful the home may be, you will regret buying the property if you are unhappy with its location. Spend some time in the neighborhood and try to get to know some of your potential neighbors. Find out what the school system is like, and calculate how long your morning commute will be. Living in a pleasant neighborhood that you enjoy is just as important as the home itself.

How Long has the Home Been on the Market?

If the home has been on the market for quite some time, this might provide you with an advantage when negotiating the price of the sale; depending on the urgency of the seller. The sellers may be more willing to accept a lower offer if they are looking to sell their home quickly. But, also beware of the home itself. Talk to your real estate agent and find out whatever you can about the property.  Was their a previous deal that fell through? Has something else prevented the home from selling?  Make sure you have a full understanding prior to committing.

By asking your real estate these important questions and more, you will be able to make a smart home buying decision; one that is right for you and your family for years to come.

Article and insights provided by Brooke Chaplan.

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