You’re thinking of buying a new home. Perhaps you need a house that’s larger because your family is growing. Or you’re looking to invest in your retirement. Or leave your family a nest egg when you’re gone.
People have a number of reasons to buy a home. But whatever your reason for wanting to buy, you need to know what should a home buyer consider when buying a house. This essential information will help you make the most out of your investment and negotiate a better deal.
The last thing you want to do is make the mistakes that many uninformed home buyers make because they lack important information. Here’s what you need to ask before you buy.
What is the Condition of the Roof?
Replacing the roof is a big expense. It can cost home buyers thousands of dollars to replace. If the home seller doesn’t include the information that the roof is in poor condition, it can cost you a lot if you find out too late.
Because the roof is up high, it might not be easy to see from the ground. And unless you have someone climb a ladder to look at the roof’s condition, you may never know until it’s too late.
If the roof is in poor condition, but you still want to buy the house, you can use the roof to negotiate your price down. Contact a few roofing companies and get an estimate of the approximate price before you present the deduction to the seller.
If you want the house and the seller wants to get it off the market, you can easily take the cost of replacing or repairing the roof off the price you’ll pay at closing.
How Old is the Air Conditioning Unit?
Most homes have central air conditioning throughout the house. The cost of replacing an air conditioning unit can run around up to nine thousand dollars for the installation and purchase of the air conditioner.
If the air conditioning unit is more than ten years old, there’s a chance it may need to be replaced while you own the home. A home inspector can test the condition of the AC.
But if the temperature outside is below 65 degrees your home inspector won’t be able to test it. The reason: the AC unit can be severely damaged if it’s turned on in cold weather.
Your home inspector won’t be able to test it which can leave you at a disadvantage if you don’t know if or how well it works. And many contracts have a clause in them that the home seller isn’t responsible for replacing things that aren’t broken.
Sure you can try to put the money a new AC would cost in escrow until the weather gets warmer. But that means your title agency or attorney will need to hold the money in their account. A seller probably won’t agree to this.
Should You Hire a Home Inspector?
The answer is yes. If you’re thinking about being a new homeowner, you want to know the condition and issues of the home you’re buying. Although the home inspector can’t check the air conditioning unit in cold weather, they can check the other systems in the house.
Some of these major systems include electric and plumbing. These systems when broken down or in poor condition can be a safety hazard. They can also cost the homeowners a lot of money to update.
If the home inspector finds electrical issues or the need for plumbing repair, you can probably deduct that from the price of the home if you still want the house. Or on the other hand, you might decide to walk away from the sale.
While a typical home inspection in Florida may cost around $300, it is well worth the price if the information the inspector provides can save you thousands of dollars or help you avoid a bad investment.
Does the Community Have a Home Owner’s Association?
Many residential communities are operated by a homeowner association, also known as the HOA. Associations charge a monthly fee to use their amenities and maintain the grounds.
Some examples include mowing your lawn, removing trash, paving roads, running sprinklers, and keeping the community property looking nice.
HOA’s also have rules that are written in a bylaws document. Before you put down your earnest deposit, make sure you’re comfortable with the rules the association expects you to comply with.
Are you comfortable with the monthly fee for what they offer? Are you willing to pay the membership fee for a new homeowner which can be around $2,000? Answering these questions will let you know if the community and you make a good fit.
Does the Home Need to Be Remodeled?
It’s highly likely if the former homeowner has lived there for many years, or rented the property, that it needs to be updated. You might be looking for a turnkey home and not want to take on a renovation.
On the other hand, remodeling a home can give you the opportunity to customize the home’s design to your preferences. You can choose the kitchen countertops and cabinets you like.
You can remove a wall for an open concept look. Or make any changes that make it feel like you. And with today’s kitchen software technology, designing a kitchen is much easier. Check it out.
The Takeaway: What Should a Home Buyer Consider When Buying a House?
Now you have some solid answers to the question: What should a home buyer consider when buying a house? As you can see, knowing the answers beforehand can help you decide if this is your dream home or you should continue looking elsewhere.
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