|Southbound Enterprises LLC|
Buying a house is a big and exciting decision, but not asking the right questions beforehand can often lead to expensive and frustrating problems down the road. Ask these seven questions during your house hunt so you can be prepared and and save yourself time and money.
1. How much are the utilities?
Finding out a good idea of what your monthly utilities will cost can help you figure out if you can afford to live in the home you're looking at since these are an extra cost on top of a mortgage and can impact your budget.
2. Will the roof, windows, or gutters need to be replaced?
Let's face it, it's expensive to replace a roof, windows, or gutters. If you don't have the money in your budget to repair or replace these vital parts of a home if needed within the next few years, think again about buying it.
3. What is the neighborhood's crime rate?
While you can look up crime rates for neighborhoods online, it could be useful to talk to neighbors in the area to get a feel from the locals who live there day in and day out. Also check out the local sex offender registry to find out if there are any sex offenders living in the area.
4. How do the schools rank?
If you have children or plan to in the future, this is an important consideration to take into account. The higher a school ranks, the better. Also consider how far of a commute your child would have to their school each day and what extracurricular activities are offered. Check out greatschools.org to see how local schools rank.
5. What are the home's zoning guidelines?
This question is important if you're looking to make any structural changes to the home.
6. What is the position and quality of trees on the property?
This question can help you save time and money. If you aren't into raking leaves and fall in love with a house with lots of trees that shed their leaves in the fall, consider whether or not you have the time or money to deal with raking leaves or hiring someone to do so. If there are damaged, rotted, or dangerously placed trees that could fall on your future home, think about what you will do in each situation if you buy the home.
7. Are there any signs of pests?
Make sure to check for pests during a home tour. Overlooked spots include behind refrigerators, in cabinets, and dark corners of basements. Look for signs of cockroaches, mice, and termites. If you find pests, ask yourself if you're willing to pay to take care of this issue.