October 22, 2018
You have most likely taken a few steps toward preparing to buy a home, before you even think about contacting a real estate agent to assist you. (Yes! Your best case scenario to avoid pitfalls and problems is to engage a professional representative!) You’ve searched the online sites, looked at floorplans, perhaps you’ve even begun the Want and Need list that will keep you focused once you begin actually walking through homes for sale.
The descriptions of each home tell you the things a seller wants you to know and the things a listing agent thinks you are interested in knowing, but there are a few things that may not be included in those details that you absolutely OUGHT to know before making an offer on any home.
- Is there a homeowners association?
You need to know if there are monthly or annual dues you will be responsible to pay. You need to know what the Covenants, Restrictions and Conditions include so you can determine if they fit with your plans and the lifestyle you want to live in your new home.
- Are there any planned improvements?
Things like new schools being built or even new street lights being installed. These may affect your property taxes or there may be an extra assessment that will be added in the future.
- Utility costs and/or easements for the property?
Home owners shouldn’t mind providing you with the average cost to heat, cool or maintain the home. This information can help you with budgeting and knowing what to expect. If there are utility easements you need to know about them to plan any landscaping or fencing projects you intend in your new home.
Your local marketing specialist should also be able to provide you with other important information you’ll need to know, like what are the recent trends in home values? Are they going up or have they come down? What are the best options for cable, trash pickup or public transportation if that is a concern? Asking the right questions can help you make the best decision for your household and budget, but you need to know which the right questions are. Being thorough in your research before you make an offer to purchase, the better home buying experience you will have.