So you’re thinking about buying your next home? Fantastic news! When it comes to finding the right home for you and your family, you may feel overwhelmed by your options and the decisions at hand. Aside from being aesthetically pleasing, how do you decide whether or not a home is really the right home for you?
That’s an easy question to answer – you ask questions! Here’s a look at the 10 most overlooked questions that you may want to ask your Realtor before, during, and after you begin touring homes.
1. “Can I see the Seller’s Disclosure?”
The Seller’s Disclosure is an important document that reviews the home’s current state and a brief history of known repairs and/or issues. It’s important for buyers to review this document, as something might stand out to you that could help you decide how much to offer (if you decide you want to submit an offer) or if you should consider electing any inspections.
2. “What are the zoning guidelines or restrictions?”
This is important if you plan to make any changes to the structure of the home or add any exterior additions. Zoning plays a critical role in the design of homes and communities, and sometimes has restrictions that outline the kind of permits that might be required to make changes.
3. “What kind of home inspections should we do?”
While walking through the home, ask your agent what kind of inspections they would advise you elect to have completed. There are numerous inspections that you can elect, from a general inspection to a water or septic inspection. Based on everything you see at the home, what you or your agent review on the disclosure, and any other insight gathered, your agent can help you decide which inspections should be prioritized.
4. “Why are the owners selling?”
Understandings the seller’s motivating factors could help you to decide your strategy when submitting an offer and navigating negotiations later.
5. “Has the home ever been tested for Radon?”
Radon is a gas that is unseen and can’t be smelled. Radon becomes present when uranium, thorium, or radium begins to break down, forming a dangerous gas known as Radon. Knowing whether or not Radon has been present in the past indicates that there was at one time a breakdown of natural materials in the home. You’ll want to know how and when this was addressed and may consider doing a follow-up Radon test to ensure it is no longer present in the home.
6. “Do the smoke detectors work and where are they located?”
PA fire code indicates that there must be, at minimum, 1 operable smoke detector on each floor of the home and within 15 feet of each bedroom. This includes the basement and attic of the home. Knowing where these are located and that they work is important for your and your family’s safety. If there are no smoke detectors or they are not operable, this is something you can negotiate later or plan to install/replace.
7. “Has this home ever had a mold inspection?”
This is an important question to ask if you have any reason to believe the home may have had water damage in the past or is located in an area at risk of water damage, such as near a waterway or in a low-lying region close to water. If the home has had a mold inspection, ask if you are able to see the report. If the home hasn’t recently had a mold inspection you may decide to elect to complete one prior to moving in.
8. “Is this a family or dog-friendly neighborhood?”
If you are a family with young kids or a family with pets, knowing the friendliness of your surrounding neighbors might be incredibly important to you. Family-oriented communities may have community days, whereas, in a dog-friendly community, you’ll likely see more owners with pets of their own. This makes for a more positive experience for you and your loved ones.
9. “Is it really noisy here?”
While your agent may not know immediately the level of noise, making them aware that this is something important to you allows them to be proactive about looking for indicators (such as a busy nearby road) or asking about noise.
10. Where is the closest family-friendly park?
If you have kids, knowing the closest park may be important to you. Having a park close by means your kids will have somewhere safe to play and meet new friends, which provides a positive experience for your family.
The bottom line is, make sure to ask a lot of questions – before, during, and after you’ve toured each home. Asking a lot of questions will help you to understand everything you will want to know about the home, especially if you proceed with writing an offer and moving in!
If you’re ready to make your next move, Furner Realty Group would be happy to answer each of your questions – before, during, and after we start touring homes!
If you’re interested in move buyer tips…
head over to our “Best Buyer Tips” Pinterest Board!