28 Dec 2021

Practical Questions to Ask Before Buying a Home

Practical Questions to Ask Before Buying a Home

Buying a home is one of the most exciting moments in anyone’s life. It’s a huge investment that requires a lot of time and energy to find the perfect place.

Naturally, buying a home also comes with many questions throughout every step of the process.  If it’s your first time purchasing a home, these questions may be even more abundant.  There are many options out there, and you’ll want to ensure you’re getting the perfect place for you.  If you find yourself wondering what sort of questions you should be asking, here are some practical and common questions for first-time homebuyers to ask.

1. What Is My Budget?

If you’re wondering which questions to ask a lender when buying a home, this is an important one. Establishing your budget is an essential step in the home-buying process. Understanding what you can truly afford to buy is vital to ensure that you don’t unnecessarily burden yourself financially in the near future.

In most cases, your lender can help you establish your budget and understand other costs you may need to consider. Several costs need to be taken into consideration when purchasing a home. These include the sales price, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance and homeowners association dues. Your lender can aid in breaking down these costs as well as estimating your monthly mortgage payments for you. You can also calculate this yourself through the use of a mortgage calculator.

For new home buyers, one rule that some financial experts recommend is the 28/36 rule. The 28/36 rule essentially states that your housing costs shouldn’t be over 28% of your gross monthly income and that your total debt, including housing, shouldn’t exceed 36%. Using these tools will assist you in finding what your budget is for your new home!

2. Is the Location Right for Me?

Apart from understanding your budget, figuring out if your potential house’s location is right for you is another practical question to ask before buying your home.  When researching homes, take a look at what’s around each home’s location. You can check out the neighborhood, nearby schools, restaurants and entertainment.

Each homebuyer has their own needs, and location preferences will vary by person. For example, if you have a family, you may be interested in what schools are nearby and if your neighborhood has families similar to yours. On the other hand, if you’re a young professional, you may be more interested in public transportation and a nightlife scene.

Your best resources for learning about the house’s location are the seller as well as the neighbors. These are the people who live in the exact area you’re interested in — you couldn’t ask for better resources! After scouting out the area and talking to the people closest to the location, you should be able to come up with a pretty good idea if the location fits what you’re looking for. Since you can’t change the house’s location, it’s crucial that you’re happy with what’s around it because that’s where you’ll be living for the immediate future!

3. Does the House Have Any Existing Problems?

Before you finalize a deal on a home, you’re going to want to know if any problems will need fixing. You’ll get a document from the seller detailing any known issues with the house. However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t need to get a home inspection before officially buying the house.

In fact, in a recent survey, 88 percent of homebuyers hired an inspector before buying their home! Hiring a home inspector before you buy will help turn up any issues that the seller either didn’t know about or forgot to include in their document. There are many good questions to ask the home inspector during the inspection. No house is 100% perfect, so there will always be a few issues that need addressing.

If you wish to buy the home, it may be a good idea to ask the inspector what repairs will need prioritization above others. After getting the report, you can also ask the inspector which problems are usual and which are more problematic. If you’re a new homebuyer who hasn’t seen a home inspection report before, it can be nerve-wracking seeing the list and not knowing what’s a significant problem and what isn’t. Asking the inspector will help to clear this up and make the entire process more stress-free!

4. What’s Included With the House?

Every person has different buying needs. One person may be looking to purchase a move-in-ready home, while this may not be a requirement for another. No matter what end of the spectrum you’re on, it’s essential to know what you may or may not be getting with the purchase of your home.

Anything that’s considered a fixture, or permanently attached to the house, will typically be included in the sale. If there are any other items in the home that you are interested in, it’s good to ask the seller if they would be willing to include them and get them in writing. One of the worst mistakes you can make as a new home buyer is to assume that certain items come with the house only for them not to be there when you move in.

5. What Do I Have to Do Before Closing?

If you’ve done your due diligence throughout the home search and have finally found a place in an area that you love and the only thing left is the closing process, you might not know what to expect. This process may leave you with several real estate closing questions. You can help alleviate these questions by taking the time to understand what you will need to do before the close.

As the buyer, there are some things you need to do before the closing date, including getting a title search, title insurance, and homeowner’s insurance. It may also be beneficial for you to calculate your potential closing costs.

The closing process can take upwards of an hour. If you have work, this is especially important to note, as you’ll want to make sure that you have ample time blocked off in the event it runs long. There will be several documents to sign at the closing that aid in the finalization of the sale. If you’re unsure of exactly what you’ll need to sign, you can ask your agent for what you can expect to see.

Make Philly Your Home With Streamline

If you’re looking to purchase a new home in the Philadelphia area, look no further than Streamline!  Streamline has been selling semi-custom homes in Philadelphia for over 14 years that can fit whatever style feels like home for you.

Contact us today to learn more about how Streamline can find the perfect home for you!