You’ve been on the home search for a little while now and finally you find your dream home! Don’t start redecorating just yet however. There are a few things you should be asking your Realtor® before you submit the offer.
1 - What are the property taxes?
Knowing how much you’ll be expected to pay every year, in addition to your mortgage and insurance, will help you be sure you can afford what you want. It also will help you find out if you will be eligible for any exemptions; as they can impact the amount of home you can qualify for.
2 - Is there a home owners association (HOA)?
Knowing if there are HOA fees and rules will also play into what is affordable and if it fits into your lifestyle.
3 - What are the utilities like?
Things like water, gas and trash collection fees can vary greatly depending on where your home is located. Also, consider if you will have access to internet, cable and other desirable services.
4 - How is the neighborhood?
With a quick search of the internet it’s easy to research crime rates, schools, shopping and other amenities.
5 - How long has the house been on the market?
If it’s been on the market a while, this may indicate an overlooked issue. Of course, it may just be “stale” from being initially overpriced.
6 - How soon are the owners looking to sell?
If the owners are in a hurry to get to another home, they may be willing to negotiate a better price.
7 - What's the future of the neighborhood look like?
With housing prices likely to rise, this could be a great way to get into a less expensive home in an area you may not have previously considered. If you Realtor® struggles with this, it may suggest they don’t know the area, or lack of experience to help you find the right home.