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5 questions you should ask before buying a home

Miniature house and many question marks

Buying a home is a huge milestone and it can be easy to get lost in the excitement and emotions of the process. But don’t forget that a successful home sale involves research, preparation, and hard work. It’s important to ask a lot of questions before sealing the deal.

Here are the top 5 questions that you should ask:

  1. How old is the house?

    Knowing the age of the house or when it was built gives you an idea about its current condition. Generally, houses that are older require more upkeep and maintenance than newer ones because of foundation issues, leaky areas, and older appliances needing replacement. Also look at the other features of the home such as the plumbing, heating, cooling, and electrical systems, because these may be outdated.

    All this will help you gauge whether you should come up with a lower offer or pass on the home.

  2. What are the average utility bills?

    To know how much it costs to live in your new home and neighborhood, ask the seller or your real estate agent about the average cost of utility bills. This way, you’ll have an idea about how much you’ll be spending on water, gas, and electricity each month.

  3. What is the history of the house?

    Another crucial question that you should ask is about the home’s history. Does it have a history of pests or termite infestations? Has it been through any natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes or fires? You should also find out if the house is stigmatized – stigmatized properties are those that have negative associations either because a crime was committed there or it’s rumored to be haunted. It’s important to get full disclosure because it could lead to complications in the future.

  4. How long has it been on the market?

    Knowing the sales history of your potential home can help in your negotiations. If the home you’re looking at has been on the market for a while there’s probably a good reason why. While the time it takes to sell a home depends on its location and local housing market, the average time a home stays on the market is around 68 days.

    If a home has remained unsold for more than three months, it could mean that it’s overpriced. There may also be some hidden problems that past buyers have seen. Ask your real estate agent why the home has not been sold yet.

  5. What’s in and around the neighborhood?

    When you buy a home, you’re not only buying the property, you’re investing in the neighborhood as well. You must carefully assess the neighborhood you’re looking at because this will impact your quality of life. How are the schools? What are the noise levels like? How close are shops, services, or medical facilities? You also need to consider if the neighborhood fits your lifestyle.

Maximize your home buying experience with helpfromNew Jersey’s top Realtors: Cindy Pagnotta and the team at Pagnotta Homes. Feel free to call 908.436.7947 or e-mail info(at)pagnottahomes(dotted)com today.