Finding your dream home can be a challenging experience: especially since you are physically visiting houses that must stack up to all that dreamy criteria in your head. While it's great to visit open houses, it's not enough to just do a walk-through. In order to paint a comprehensive picture of your investment, you should ask the right questions for every house you visit, and don't be afraid to ask!
Here are some essentials every potential homeowner should ask when viewing a home. Print this out as a worksheet if you have to, especially if you have a few houses in mind without a method to compare them. So let's get started!
1) What am I buying?
2) How much will my bills be?
It's not enough to just determine what your monthly mortgage payment is: you'll need to know how much your utilities and council tax bills will be. Determine whether the house uses electricity, gas, or both, and ask the seller what you might expect to pay for these bills.
3) Who’s lived here before me?
While not many people think to ask this question, it's a good way to approach the condition of the house that you're interested in. New homes that have just been placed on the market ensure that it hasn't had any previous neglectful owners.
4) Have there ever been any issues with the boiler?
Boiler issues are extremely expensive, so always inquire as to whether there have ever been any faults with the boiler, and details on when it was last serviced.
5) Is it insulated?
A properly insulated home will save you hundreds in heating bills. Ask the seller about the cavity and loft wall insulation: if the home doesn't have any, you will need to pay for a new remodeling project.
6) Has it been remodeled?
If the home you're viewing isn't new, ask about previous remodeling projects that the house has undergone. Be sure to request building and planning consent forms so you can see the history of the house.
7) Is central heating installed?
This is a big one: ask if the house comes with full central heating. If not, you could pay a great deal for individual heaters or remodeling projects to fit radiators. If there is central heating, ask how old it is and if it has a history of problems.
8) How new is the décor?
A house with dated decor may require you to invest in updates when you move in. In this case, you'll have to evaluate whether this is something you are willing to do and how much it will cost.
9) What’s the surrounding area like?
This is good to both research online and to ask the real estate agent or seller. Ask about local amenities that are important to you, and inquire about the crime rate.
10) What are the neighbors like?
Take time to ask about the neighbors! You'll be living next to them for years to come, so it's a good idea to get to know the street atmosphere. Ask how long they've lived in the area, who they are (i.e., young couples like you or big families?) This could save you a lot of frustration in the long run, and maybe be a deciding factor if you're in a deadlock between a few properties.
So go look at some houses, and good luck! And if you're local to Massachusetts' North Shore, contact me for any remodeling questions or projects and I'd be more than happy to help out.
Source: The Most Important Checks You Must Make Before Moving Into a New House
About the Author: Rick McManus of RAM Construction in a local Massachusetts' North Shore carpenter who has owned and operated his own business for several years. He specializes in indoor and exterior remodeling, as well as home construction projects such as deck construction and home additions. For more information, please visit this great business' home construction website to contact him about how you can get started on your next home improvement project!
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