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  • Realtors Reveal: The Questions to Ask When Searching for a Home

    Each house is unique and requires its own prospective. If it’s your first time looking for a home or your tenth, you should treat each house you look at individually. There are many questions you’ll have when checking out a house, but what are the most important ones to ask? 

    The first: how is the roof? Roof replacement can range from $2000-$12000, or more, so noting the condition of the roof is a substantial piece of information for any potential new home owner. The specific details you should know are the type, the general condition, the age, any recent repairs and the chimney.

    Next, ask all about the utility systems:

    What is the rate of the electricity flow, or amps throughout the house? A modern house typically uses 100A-200A while an older home averages as low as 60A. Keep in mind, the more systems you plan on using, such as central air, TVs, computers and microwaves, the more amps you’ll need to power all of them.

    Do the faucets work? Let the agent show you the water flow through each faucet to be sure. Also ask if the faucets are up to current code, the material of the pipes and how old the hot water heater is. Make sure that your water service works too, and check the pump if the house has one.

    And don’t forget about the heat! Make sure you know what type of heat the house runs on. The possible options are oil, electric, steam, baseboard combination and heat dump, all varying in costs for you.

    After you know the ins-and-outs of the home’s utility systems, make sure you ask how much the utilities cost. Any trustworthy seller with nothing to hide will be willing to share this information.

    Lastly, find out what type of neighborhood the house is in. The neighborhood could make or break a house deal and you want to make sure you’re in a neighborhood that fits your tastes as much as your new home does. Even if you don’t have children, it’s important to check out the schools in your neighborhood. Why? If you end up selling your home, you’ll lose potential buyers if they have children and the schools in the area are poor. Also check out the crime in the neighborhood. Are there street lights? Are the streets crowded and noisy? And make sure the lifestyle of the neighborhood fits you. Check out where restaurants, public transit, shopping and parks are in relation to the house then ask yourself if those distances will be a problem or not.

    In general, the more you know about the house, the better prepared you’ll be for making a decision. Whether you choose to use a realtor or not, make sure you stay informed every step of the way!


    Oct 26 2011