Truth be told, saying that purchasing a home is an overwhelming transaction would still be an understatement. There is just a lot at stake when it comes to home buying that you have to be as keen and as meticulous as you can.
Studying your choices and calculating every move will lead you to a successful and valuable purchase. On the other hand, rushing through the process will cause you to end up with a dud. In the worst cases, this can even send your hard-earned money down the drain!
The bright side is that you can steer clear of these mishaps and slip-ups. What’s even better is that you can do this by simply being inquisitive and asking as many questions as you have. As long as you know what to look for, you will be able to discover the real state of the property you are eyeing and, consequently, make informed decisions.
Without further ado, here is your ultimate checklist of the key details you must know before buying a home. See to it that you get all of these items checked off!
1. The Owner’s Reason to Sell
This is perhaps one of the most essential details you should know about a property before moving forward.
Sellers have different motivations for putting their homes on the market. It could be that they are upsizing to accommodate their growing family, relocating to a different state or country for work, and so on. Unfortunately, some also decide to sell their houses due to problems with the property or the neighbourhood it is in.
Your real estate agent does not need to disclose the owner’s reason to sell in full detail to you, especially if it is something personal. However, if it concerns the property in question (e.g. defects, faulty fixtures and infestation), you have a right to know these issues before moving forward.
2. How Long the Property Has Been on the Market
Do not hesitate to ask your real estate agent if the house has been on the market for more than three months. If it isn’t selling, it pays for you to know the reasons why other prospective buyers are evading it—it may be due to an issue you have not realised yet.
It could be that the property is overpriced considering its time on the market. It could also be that there are other concerns that put off previous prospects. Asking your agent will let you understand the pros and cons of settling with a certain home. Ultimately, this will help you truly anticipate how you will begin your life again in the new place should you decide to push through with it.
3. What the Neighbourhood Is Like
When you are buying a new home, it helps to remember that you will not be living in that house alone. You will also be living in the neighbourhood it is in. Consequently, the quality of your life in this new abode will be significantly influenced by the families living next door, the community’s accessibility, the proximity of key establishments and so on.
Considering all of these, it is a smart idea to ask your agent about the local neighbourhood. Before anything else, you will want to know if the seller has previously filed complaints about their neighbours and what the issue was. You may also ask what the crime rate is like in the community or how good the transport links are.
Aside from hearing what the agent has to say, see to it that you conduct your own research, too. You can go around and talk to your potential next-door-neighbours as well as local shopkeepers.
4. How the House Was Valued
As mentioned earlier, home buying is a big transaction—it could even be the biggest one you will ever make in your life. Considering this, it only makes sense for you to understand how much you will be paying for and why. This will help you decide whether or not a property really lives up to its price tag. It will also let you know if you will be better off looking at other estates!
On that note, it is worth asking your agent how the asking price was decided on. More often than not, a good agent will patiently explain to you the reasons behind such valuation. Furthermore, if they do have your best interests in mind, they will be upfront with you and admit if a house is overpriced.
In any case, know that you can always look around and visit other homes for sale in the area. Doing so will give you an idea on how much the properties in that location actually sell for.
5. Any Development Plans in the Area
This is critical information to know, especially if you are eyeing a property because of the view of a nearby landscape or body of water. Since you are contemplating on purchasing that particular home because of its undisturbed view, it pays to see to it that you will continue to enjoy this feature for the years to come. Otherwise, you will not be able to appreciate your investment as much.
It is best to ask your real estate agent about this as soon as possible. If there will indeed be redevelopment plans affecting your neighbourhood in the future, you must take this into account when deciding whether to proceed with the purchase or not.
6. Features That Are Included in the Sale
When it comes to home purchases, you must never assume that a certain structure or fixture is included in the sale. This will only lead to major disappointments, even conflicts.
Before you proceed with the transaction, it is a good idea to clarify what fixtures, fittings and external structures are included in the sale. Is the garden shed or greenhouse part of the deal? How about the lighting fixtures and appliances?
There’s nothing wrong with looking into these specifics. Doing so will give you a clear idea of what you are getting out of this transaction.
Buying a home is a significant venture; it is perhaps one of the most significant ones you’ll enter into in your life. Consequently, your hard-earned money will be at stake if you do not study your choices meticulously. On top of that, you are also making a decision that can significantly alter your family’s lifestyle.
It is for these reasons that you must approach the home buying process carefully and meticulously. Don’t hesitate to ask questions, especially if you find something unsettling. At the end of the day, you deserve to get your money’s worth. Looking into these details will bring your closer to a home you will truly love coming home to.
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