Buying a home can be overwhelming. Most people think they are savvy enough to ask the right questions and get a good deal. Here are a few questions to ask before you purchase a particular home.
What are the monthly utility bills? This can usually be answered by calling the utilities company and asking them this question for the particular property. You may think this information is confidential, but usually it is not. I have seen properties for sale with utility bills in the $500 range because the air conditioning unit was too small for the property. Wouldn't it be nice to know this before you make your offer?
Is the area known for sink holes or soil movement? Some areas are known for these issues. Sometimes a particular property may not be affected, but if the neighborhood is known for these issues, the property of interest may suffer from the stigma of the subdivision. This would cause a resale dilemma. I have seen properties that were affected by a sink hole, but the owner was not disclosing it.
Buyers have been known to knock on the doors of the neighbors to inquire about the reasons for selling. Imagine the information you could gather by talking to neighbors. I can tell you that neighbors are usually happy to give you the scoop. I have a friend who should have asked the neighbors for the seller's motivations to sell. It turns out the neighbors knew the home was prone to flooding because of the design of the street and street drains. The buyer found out too late.
I know of a property where a serious crime was committed (I mean serious). There was no law requiring the realtor or seller to disclose what had recently happened in the property. The home sold. I am sure the new owner eventually spoke to the neighbors and was sick. How would you feel if this happened to you?
These tips are simple ideas that take very little time to address. Just make sure you know what you are buying to maximize the value of your investment.