When searching for your new home, it’s not enough to just fall in love from the curb (but that’s definitely a start)! There are a few key things you should ask your agent (or maybe they’ve already told you before you had a chance…if they’re really good!) to get the full picture.
1. What are the property taxes of the home?
Getting an idea of what you’ll be paying come tax time is a key factor in being able to afford the home. It’s often forgotten when discussing down payments and purchase price.’
2. Is there an HOA?
Love ’em or hate ’em, it’s important to know if your new pad falls in with a Homeowner’s Association. The dues can vary from neighborhood to neighborhood, and make sure you understand (and agree to) the rules.
3. What’s the neighborhood like?
Research the crime rate for the neighborhood and make sure there isn’t a pattern of police activity. Also, get a feel for the closest shopping, dining, and entertainment options! They’ll likely be your hot-spots once you move in.
4. What’s the market history for the area?
Real estate values and markets ebb and flow, rising and falling with time. Up-and-coming areas area great place to plant yourself as a better investment in the long run! Learn the market history and get some insight of where it will likely go.
5. How long has the home been on the market?
Homes that sit on the market for long periods of time (from 4-5 week to many months) generally do so for a reason. If it’s been there for a while, try to inquire if there’s a less-than-obvious problem you may not be seeing.
As a general rule, more information you have makes you a more empowered buyer. Find an agent that will empower you the most with insight, data, market knowledge, and a history of success in the area! And never stop asking questions!