When searching for a home, you should never leave a viewing blindly only focusing on the appearance and feel of the home. Here are five specific questions to ask and get the answers to:
- Why is the Owner Selling? The first thing you want to know is why the owner is selling. This will give you a bit more context and it can even help with the process of negotiation. For example, if the owner is selling because they are moving to a new area for a job, then chances are, they are in a rush to sell the property, which can be used to your advantage during negotiation. If, on the other hand, they are selling because they don't like the neighborhood, you might want to look more into that.
- How Often Has the Property Changed Hands? When a property has changed hands often, it may be an indicator of a problem that you want to look into. You are legally obligated to receive this information, so don't be shy to ask. You will also want to ask how long the current owners have lived there. If it was only a short time, this is also a warning sign that something might be wrong.
- Has There Been Major Work Done? If there has been major work done recently, such as a renovated kitchen, you want to ask about this and see the building consents. This will help you determine whether or not the work was carried out properly. If not, then you might discover that you need to rebuild parts of the home soon after moving in, which might be a deal breaker for you, especially if you are looking to move into a home that is move-in ready.
- How's the Neighborhood? Is the home located in an HOA? If so, you want to know what those fees will be like and whether or not it is an HOA that is operated well meaning that the rules are reasonable and the HOA council is easy to get in contact with. You also want to know other information about the neighborhood, such as what schools are nearby, shops, crime rate, and more.
- How are the Neighbors? Finally, it doesn't hurt to ask what the neighbors are like. If there has been a problem with a neighbor where legal complaints have been filed, it is your legal right to know about this. You should also find out more about this situation. After all, you don't want to have to deal with the same thing in the future.
To ensure that you have all the information that you need about a home you are viewing, it's always a good idea to bring along your real estate agent to ensure that none of your needs are overlooked. Contact local real estate services for more information.