You’re on the lookout for a new home, and you’ve answered all the key questions homebuyers ask. You probably have a list of standard questions you want to ask the sellers of each house you view. Here, though, are five questions homebuyers never think to ask. The answers to these questions can ultimately determine whether or not you make an offer.
1. What’s in the neighborhood?
So you like the house: it doesn’t have termites and doesn’t need a new roof. But what about the surroundings?
You can ask the seller, or if you’re working with a buyer’s agent they should be able to tell you. Are the neighbors noisy? Are there any farms or industrial sites nearby that give off strong smells? (Farms nearby can also attract lots of flies.)
Are there restaurants, bars or clubs nearby? Are they noisy? As a homebuyer, you’ll want to ask these questions and take a walk or a drive around the area and familiarize yourself with the surroundings.
2. What are the plans for the area?
Ask what plans the city or town has for the neighborhood. If the seller or his/her agent can’t tell you, you can inform yourself at the local town center, clerk’s office or city hall. Are there any upcoming construction projects? If there are building plans, are they commercial or residential?
It’s worth informing yourself about future projects because construction might mean several years of lots of noise and dust. You’ll be glad you thought to ask the question because the home’s surroundings have an influence on its future value.
3. Are there any stigmas attached to the house?
If you are a superstitious buyer, you might want to ask about the land the property sits on, and its history. Is this native land? Were there any land disputes in the past? Have there been any tragedies in the house?
Some people view a new home as a clean slate, but remember that the neighborhood will have a perception of your house and if you’re concerned about a stigma it is important to be informed. If you feel you cannot trust what the seller or his/her agent is telling you, ask the neighbors.
These are questions many homebuyers never think to ask about and later regret.
4. What is the house’s history?
Has this house been implicated in any criminal activities? For instance, if it was used as a grow-op for cannabis, electrical systems may have been refitted improperly or dangerously.
This question may sound extreme and even a little silly. But it helps homebuyers ward off any unpleasant surprises after you have purchased the home.
5. How long have the sellers owned the house?
If the owners have been there for less than a year or 18 months, the house could be a “flip”—an investment on the part of the owner to quickly fix up and sell for a higher price.
In that short amount of time, though, the renovations done could be purely cosmetic and might even cover up some deeper structural issues. Always insist on a home inspection!
Are you thinking of buying a house? Visit ComFree.com for more information.