What to Ask When Buying a House

Posted by Pekin Insurance on Mar 07, 2016

Are you worried about what to ask when buying a house? You don't want to miss anything, so be sure to cover these topics!

What To Ask When Buying A House

Becoming a homeowner is both a stressful and exciting process. You might have a few properties you're hoping to close, or maybe you're still in the process of searching. Either way, there is one thing you need to do before you make the decision to buy: ask the right questions. Do you know what to ask when buying a house? It's not all that complicated.

Ask your agent, the homeowner, or their agent the following questions, and you'll receive the best deal on the purchase.

What to ask when buying a house: 6 crucial questions to consider 

Has this house been inspected recently? If so, can I see the results? 

What you're really asking is, "What are the problems with this house?" It's a polite and professional way to get the facts on paper and see what an expert says about the condition of the property.

In other words, never take anything at face value. When you purchase a house, you're not only purchasing the open-air kitchen and view of the countryside. You're buying all the unseen things, too. Think of a house like an iceberg: ninety-percent of the object is below the surface.

Make sure you know everything you possibly can about what goes on behind the walls and under the floorboards.

How flexible is the asking price? 

Is the homeowner willing to negotiate and make a deal? This is one of the first issues to cover. Otherwise, you wind up getting attached to a house that's over your budget, which could lead to many bad financial decisions.

If the owner is willing to negotiate on the price, you'll have a better chance of getting what you want.

How does this property compare with similar ones in today's market? 

For ethical reasons, your agent won't create an offer for you. However, what he or she can do is put together a list of comparable properties or "comps" to give you a better idea of how valuable the property is.

You should also ask how long the property has been up for sale. If it's been up for many months, you may have more leverage with your offer.

Is this property at risk for or does it have a history of flood damage? 

The different types of insurance plans you need to take out on the house affect the overall cost of living there. Find out if the house is on a flood plain or has a history of flood damage.

The question hits two birds with one stone: you're evaluating the "true cost" of the home while investigating the possibility of flood damage. If flooding isn't properly cleaned, there are several bad aftereffects, like mold behind the walls and in the air.

Is there a history of insect infestations? 

If you're planning what to ask when buying a house, this one often gets overlooked. Bug infestations can seriously damage a piece of property before extermination. Plus, they always have a chance of coming back.

If there have been bug infestations, ask to see the results from the exterminator and house inspection. You want to know the total damage, area of infestation, and if there is a possibility for the bugs to return.

What are the average monthly costs of utilities? 

Finally, it's crucial to understand the "true cost" of the property. Just like the apartments or houses you've lived in before, utilities are a large expense, especially if the units or systems have not been updated in years. 

Ask the homeowner or their agent for the average utility costs for the past 12 months. You want a full understanding of how much you will spend on heating, cooling, electricity, and more. 

Don't know what to ask when buying a house? Aim to figure out the risks. 

At the end of the day, what you want to know is everything beyond the surface information. You know the asking price, but can it be lower? You love the living room and kitchen, but what's happening behind the walls? Buying a home is a huge investment—ask enough to make an informed decision. 

Buying a new home is one thing—keeping it protected is another. We offer a wide range of insurance choices for our customers—home, mobile, condo, and renters—and keep them competitively priced. Request a quote today and see what Pekin Insurance can do for you. 

Can we ask your opinion? How do you feel about our selection of important questions? Share your thoughts!


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