Home Buyer Education

Questions to Ask when Buying a New Home

  • Is the home priced according to comparable market value?

Knowing if the home you are looking at is priced according to market conditions/value will help you determine what price you may offer on the home.  Is the home over priced or under priced?

  • How long has the home truly been on the market?

Market conditions and pricing often dictate how long a home stays on the market.  A home priced as close to the its current market value will typically not remain on market for long periods of time.

  • What are the annual taxes?

Annual taxes will affect your mortgage payment or be an additional cost you will need to pay each year.  The amount can vary greatly from city/town to city/town so it is very important to confirm exactly what the yearly taxes are on a home you may want to purchase.

  • What schools is the home zoned for?

If you are a family moving to a new town you will want to ask what schools are in the area.  You can research on the internet MCAS scores, ratings, and get general feedback about the area you are thinking of moving.

  • What are the major route's, businesses, supermarkets in the area?

Whether you would like to be close to major routes, businesses and supermarkets or would rather be more rural is an individual's choice.  Everyone wants different things out of their home, but being aware of things like this will help you make a better choice.

  • What type of utilities does the home require (i.e. gas, oil, septic, etc.)?

Will you need to pay for water, or will you have a private well?  Will you have town sewer or a private septic system?  There are pluses and minuses to all options for utilities, therefore exploring what a home has will help you understand your costs of living and what you will need to do after moving in.

  • What is a fair offer after comparing other homes on the market?

Market conditions change on a varying basis from month to month and year to year, therefore your real estate agent is your best guide to helping you with this question.  Trust that you have hired someone who is knowledgeable in their field and can help in this area.

  • Has all major work on the home been completed with a permit and is the work to code?

Some in home work is allowed to be done by the homeowner, however there are certain jobs that require a licensed professional.  Ask your agent to check with the homeowner and/or verify with the municipal building department to determine if any major changes have been done in the home over the time they have owned the home.

  • How old is the home?

Age of a home can give character and styles that modern homes of today sometimes do not have.  There are benefits to owning both an old home and a new home.  This is  a personal choice you will want to make as a buyer.      Are you handy and like making repairs?  Maybe an older home is for you?  Do you prefer new construction, which often allows for the ability to choose your finishes within the home?  Would you like a home that has character?

  • Who would you recommend for a home inspection?

Often real estate agents have a team of professionals they can recommend who will be reliable, trustworthy, and professional at their particular specialty.  Asking your agent for help with these items can be of great value.

  • What items are included in the sale?

Finding out which items are included in the sale will give you a realistic expectation at closing time.  Will the curtains be included or won't they?  In general, there are items that typically remain with the home, but you will want to confirm this in writing so that you are not caught off guard.

  • Is there a homeowners associations?  Fees?  Monthly/Quarterly/Yearly?

Some homes have homeowners fees.  Even detached single family homes can have fees such as this for things such as communal areas, beach areas, etc.  Ask your agent to confirm if this is the case on your home so that you are knowledgeable about the home you are viewing.

  • What is your relationship with the listing agent?

Listing agents and buyer's agents in the same local area often have a working relationship.  What kind of past relations have occurred with the listing agent can be helpful knowledge.

  • How long does it typically take for a property to close?

The process of buying a home from offer, first documents signed, to closing time, when keys are exchanged and legal papers are signed, usually takes approximately 60-90 days.  This can vary based on the buyer's and seller's needs.

Need our help purchasing YOUR next home?  Contact us at The Elaine McDonald Team and we can help guide you through the process.  We are here to help!