Questions and Decisions in the Homebuying Process

homebuyingWhen buying a house it’s important to find the right neighborhood and the right house depending on your needs and wants. But to be best prepared for making the right offer on the house of your dreams, you’ll need to understand the market in terms of other houses in the area. By getting answers to common questions, you’ll be able to make a fair offer and not pay too much for the home you really want. Expect to get answers that you’ll need clarification, but know that your real estate agent/broker and your mortgage lender can help explain these answers in such a way that you make a reasonable offer.

First, understand that the market is always in flux and changes regularly. Your decisions though, will be based on the information you have at hand at the moment. It’s important to act quickly, but not feel rushed, and/or not make a rash decision and wind up with a home you don’t want or can’t afford.

Your real estate agent will help you determine the following in your decision process:

  • How many homes are in the area?
  • How many homes in the area are comparable to the one you’re pursuing?
  • How many days has the house been on the market?
  • Why might it not have sold already?
  • How does the price compare to other comparable homes in the area?
  • What other houses in the area are in your price range?
  • What is the suggested highest offer you should make?
  • What is the current interest rate? How long does the lender expect this to stay in place?
  • Are there any stipulations the current owner has during the sale (such as timeframe and when they can be out of the house by)?
  • Should you wait till another season to buy (do more people sell quickly in spring compared to fall)?
  • How flexible are the owners in terms of multiple showings/appointments?
  • How willing do the owners seem about being flexible on the price?

Structural Questions to Find Answers To:

  • Are there foundation problems?
  • Mold?
  • Leaks/Moisture?
  • Is the electrical system up to date?
  • Is there heating system up to date?
  • How old is the roof?
  • How well insulated is the home? What kind of insulation does it have?
  • How new are the windows in the home?
  • Are there any plumbing problems you should be aware of?
  • Are there any additional structural issues you need to know?

Be prepared to ask these questions and be prepared to walk away if the answers are leading you into territory that is cost-prohibitive.

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